Shangri-La on Park Avenue "It's one of the most beautiful apartments I've ever seen."- Feedback from early visits to this newly listed home.
Perched on the top floor of one of Manhattan's finest pre-war cooperatives, apartment 17-E at 550 Park Avenue has been masterfully redesigned as nine generous rooms from its original twelve. Its position, both within the building and in relation to its surroundings, defines inimitable. With four bedrooms plus an office, the reconfigured layout takes full advantage of four exposures, over-sized windows, bountiful natural light, ceilings reaching 10' 6", and extraordinary views, including the unobstructed northern skyline, parts of Central Park, and a peek at the East River.
From a comfortable and private elevator landing, a spacious reception gallery with walk-in closet and powder room sets the stage for this magnificent home, as classic arches gracefully distinguish the impressive public areas to the north from the private confines to the south. Beyond the first arch unfolds an expansive north and east-facing double living room with the first of the apartment's three wood burning fireplaces. On the opposite side, elegant custom bookcases anchor the dining room, which has a conveniently located wet bar and express an insightful, cultivated aesthetic. The second arch returns to the gallery. From there, a generous central hallway bisects the private wing, thoughtfully conceived around a master suite which truly enraptures. It faces east over Park Avenue, boasting a double-sided wood burning fireplace and charming sitting room.
Doors, at once fashionable and functional, can be closed to separate the sleeping chamber from the sitting area. A lavish walk-in closet with adjoining dressing area cradle a marble master bathroom. Double sinks, a Jacuzzi tub, and a separate, spacious shower work in concert to deliver a personal spa experience. The sunny second bedroom occupies a corner, enjoying east and south exposures. Sharing a full bathroom, the southwest guest bedroom features a third wood burning fireplace as well as views of the south end of Central Park. Pass a sizable home office, the third full bathroom, and another lovely bedroom when progressing toward the kitchen.
Ideal for a casual meal, or capable of catering a majestic dinner party, the chef's kitchen has been fitted with a six-burner Wolf cook-top, two Wolf ovens, a double-door Sub-Zero refrigerator, and two dishwashers. A fully-equipped butler's pantry features a second Sub-Zero refrigerator, large wine cooler, an ice-maker, and ample storage space for fine china, stemware, and formal silverware. Central air-conditioning provides year round comfort in the entire apartment. Equipment has been installed in a south end utility room, making access and service quick and easy. A separate, spacious storage room located on the building's first floor, as well as a large basement storage bin will convey with the apartment.
Completed in 1917, 550 Park Avenue was designed by renowned architect James E. R. Carpenter, who was the leading architect of luxury residential high-rise buildings in New York City during the pre-war period. Carpenter graduated from M.I.T. and studied at Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. One historian noted his work as having a "quiet, restful feeling about the apartments - in their large, high-ceilinged rooms, the careful finish of detail, and the skilled but unobtrusive service." 550 Park Avenue remains a full-service, white-glove cooperative which permits pets and does not restrict work to summer months.