Tour a South Street Seaport Loft
Full of Texture and Color

By: Matilda Davies Urban living
Photo by Ashley Gallerani for House Method

The brick walk-up at 115 South Street in lower Manhattan, with its clean facade and stone base was once a ship chandlery belonging to whaling outfitters Slate, Gardiner & Howell. The neighborhood, known as South Street Seaport, got its start in 1625 when the Dutch West India Company built an outpost near this spot, making it a key port for Dutch trade. By the time the building at 115 South Street was erected in the mid-19th century, the area was home to bars and brothels supported by the maritime clientele that poured out of the trading ships docked at the neighboring pier.

More than 150 years later, one-fifteen was plucked from the dreck that was post-9/11 South Street Seaport: most windows in the area were dark, few New Yorkers inhabited or even conducted business these forgotten maritime ziggurats—some even slated for demolition, there was a certain quiet on these lower streets.

Former architect and vinter-cum-author Marco Pansanella bought the building at 115 South Street in 2002 with his wife, the interior designer Rebecca Robertson, because they saw what it would one day become.

In the fifteen years since Marco and Rebecca bought the building, the neighborhood has caught up to what they envisioned more than a decade ago. Now filled with world-class restaurants, shopping, and nightlife, it’s as if Marco and Rebecca stood atop the five-story walk-up, looked out at its views of the harbor and the East River and called out the future.

We stepped inside this expansive loft, currently listed as a rental property by Corcoran Group, to get a glimpse of what it has become

Photo by Ashley Gallerani for House Method

Floors The owners bleached the hardwoods and painted the exposed brick white to create a sense of lightness in the space

Photo by Ashley Gallerani for House Method

Shelving The expansive built-ins help delineate the open loft into office, living room, dining, and kitchen

Photo by Ashley Gallerani for House Method

Kitchen Owner Marco Pansanella designed and built the industrial kitchen island with materials salvaged from the neighborhood

Photo by Ashley Gallerani for House Method

Making space Because the loft is one large open space, owner and interior designer Rebecca Robertson has created smaller nooks for living and dining

Photo by Ashley Gallerani for House Method

History The metal contraption is called a wench, and is part of a pulley system that was used under the building's original function as a ship chandlery

Photo by Ashley Gallerani for House Method

Fireplace The fireplace features Dutch tiles in a blue and white nautical theme

Photo by Ashley Gallerani for House Method

Drapes The ceiling-to-floor drapes feature a New Amsterdam toile pattern, a nod to the building's Dutch shipping origin

Photo by Ashley Gallerani for House Method

Office The home's office is nestled in the corner of the open loft

Photo by Ashley Gallerani for House Method

Sitting Who wouldn't love the contrast of the crimson settee against the cool blue and white wallpaper

Photo by Ashley Gallerani for House Method

Master bedroom A vintage wool blanket hangs above the bed whose posts were inspired by the towers of the San Gimignano

Photo by Ashley Gallerani for House Method

Office A second office sits in the master bedroom against white beadboard walls

Photo by Ashley Gallerani for House Method

Bedroom A second bedroom continues the blue and white nod to the home's nautical past

Photo by Ashley Gallerani for House Method

Bathroom A beautiful porcelain tub sits in the beadboard-paneled bathroom

Photo by Ashley Gallerani for House Method

Bathroom Industrial meets maritime in this beautifully restored bathroom

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