The cobblestone streets of New York City’s Tribeca offer a respite from the corporate offices and tourist hubs of the nearby Financial District and Chinatown. In the 1970s, artists found the same kind of solace for their work in the neighborhood’s spacious lofts, thanks to the A.I.R. (Artists in Residence) program that took advantage of Tribeca’s expiration as a manufacturing and food-processing district, refashioning warehouses into living and studio quarters.
Empty warehouses that once homed (at subsidy) famous icons like sculptor Richard Serra and painter James Rosenquist are now where A-listers like Jake Gyllenhaal and Jennifer Lawrence are signing for multi-million dollar lofts. Once a bleak land for the Upper East Side socialite, Tribeca is now the priciest neighborhood in the city, with median sales at $4.68 million, according to Property Shark.
Perched on top of Tribeca’s 44 Lispenard Street you’ll find a loft for almost double that—$8 million, listed by Corcoran Group. Just down the street is a shop flagged by a kitschy barber’s pole, an antique and military clothing store is right around the corner. The 3,000-square-foot, three-level penthouse in number 44, fitted with a private outdoor shower, a floating staircase, and three expansive patios, sits in that same eclectic neighborhood, capitalizing on vertical space.
Despite being in a city tight on room, with 8.5 million people constricting every livable inch, nothing inhibits this loft. And this is all happening at the top of a historic, landmarked building. Evidenced by the loft’s consistent adherence to minimalist ideals, culture is never sacrificed for novelty—in true New York City style.
With an unassuming dental practice in the lobby of 44 Lispenard, one might be surprised to learn that John Krasinski and Emily Blunt once lived three floors above the office until selling their apartment in 2013. The words “Erected 1866” are proudly embossed at the top of the building, proof to the long history of number 44.
A private elevator opens onto a living area whose neutral quarter-sawn white oak floor blends entertainment, lounging, and dining. The open floor plan, in addition to the 11-foot ceiling, pays tribute to the spacious lofts of the ’70s. This allows the exposed brick wall—another tribute to the building’s history—to be a focal point of the neutral room.
Nothing gets in the way of the light pouring in at the head of the living space. The sofa is almost frameless, like the mirror. Tables are understated—the end table uses its shape for function, and the coffee table is adorned with a warm faux pelt to reflect color into its otherwise plain glass material. The furnishings don’t obstruct the light, but absorb it, bringing their minimal qualities to life.
A neighborhood who owes its cache to aesthete residents must show its appreciation for the arts, even in streamlined contemporary spaces. Here, a Snaidero Italian kitchen, made in Italy—arguably the birthplace of art—does the trick. Ornamentation may be lacking, but the cabinets’ lack of hardware paired with a floating countertop and bubble-encased light fixtures flaunt artistic experimentation.
A yin and yang effect up close. The kitchen, like the rest of the loft, runs on beautiful parallels: the dark globe pendants of light, the mottle of gray and black against the pure limestone. With the balancing power of the cabinets’ wood finishes, the kitchen—with its location nearest the front door—introduces feng shui rather than an overstated theme. Featured kitchen fixtures are a Subzero refrigerator, Miele dishwasher, and six-burner Wolf range with vented hood.
A mostly monochrome bedroom with a saturated print for a pop of color—it’s a tried and true formula for success. But this bedroom doesn’t compete with the loft’s other two bedrooms for design innovation. Instead, notice how the guest room stays faithful to the loft’s vision of being a sanctuary in the sky. A whited-out color scheme expands the space, but it’s the play on textures and shades of these whites (stark, off-white, marble, braided, crinkly) that keeps the room buoyant.
With sand-colored marble walls and flooring, a floating toilet and hanging bathroom vanity, the guest bedroom’s attached bathroom is no-fuss. Natural yet precise, it’s a model minimalist bathroom.
The downstairs guest bedroom looks onto one of the three outdoor (and private) terraces in the loft. A lack of embellishment inside, evidenced by a white varnished dresser that blends into the rest of the muted furnishings, creates fluidity between the indoors and out.
With its landmarked status, the building simultaneously winks at the past and keeps an eye on the future. These pieces emulate that quirk. The console is urban enough with its steel, triangle-stacked legs, yet the mustard drawers are quintessentially mid-century modern. The mid-mod aesthetics also carry into the chair, which can be said to be a cross between the iconic ball and bubble chairs that emerged in the ’60s, both the designs of interior designer Eero Arnio. The pieces pay respect to Tribeca’s historical nature, but are experimental enough to flow with the overall contemporary design.
This isn’t an average staircase, but a sculptural one—emerging as its own work of art. The floating steps adhered to glass panes gives an ethereal effect to a loft that already seems to sit at the top of Tribeca.
Earthy wood and faux furs juxtaposed with steels and grays make for the right blend of contemporary—not too rustic, not too industrial. A throw blanket replaces an overload of throw pillows to adorn the humble sofa, which would have otherwise looked cluttered in this clean upstairs space.
Like the first guest bedroom, the second is reserved in its decorations, arguably even more so. The room’s accents still fall within the monochromatic category (with the zebra stripes adding zing to an otherwise quiet room), and for good reason. The discerning accents make the second private outdoor terrace, gated by a wall-consuming 12-foot mahogany and glass door, even more rewarding.
This terrace in particular is designated for downtime. Details like the plush cushions continue the living space from the indoors to the busy Tribeca outdoors.
The master suite that awaits after ascending the sculptural staircase nails symmetry and color. From the comforter to the decorative pillows to the lampshade, a perfect parallelism of green, black, and white runs throughout. The print mounted over the headboard ties this color scheme together almost too neatly, but the refreshing nautical visual keeps the room from taking its color palette too seriously.
This loft doesn’t limit a gorgeous city backdrop to just a view. Truly fitting for the master bedroom suite, a private outdoor terrace—nearly a second living room—is just steps from the bed. Once again, a 12-foot Weiland mahogany and glass floor-to-ceiling door opens onto the outdoor area, folding into itself for an even more grand effect.
The unexpected highlight of the loft is its ensuite bathroom. A radiant heated floor and wet room are at the top of the bathroom’s expansive list of features. The futuristic line of Toto fixtures provides a waterfall shower experience and the Neorest toilet puts the bathroom in an exclusive club. A modern double vanity, Robern uplift medicine cabinets, a Victoria & Albert soaking tub and the marble and limestone walls add exquisiteness to the bathing area.
The en-suite bathroom’s wet rooms opens straight into a private outdoor shower and terrace.
The sofas don’t try to compete with the apartment’s majestic backdrop. A barely there sofa frame and sky blue cushions allow the outdoor lounge to blend into the Lower Manhattan sky. From its seamless transition from interior to exterior, and now exterior to atmosphere, the loft continues to strategically monopolize on all the space New York can give.
A fully equipped outdoor kitchen erases any notion that the outdoor terrace is just an elevated patio: a Lynx BBQ, refrigerator, stainless steel sink, and faucet. Design doesn’t slack either; the loft remains cohesive by bringing the marble found in the downstairs kitchen into the outdoor kitchen. The dining table, with its streamlined planks, urbanizes the traditional picnic table for a more upscale barbecue experience.
To the North, the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings. Facing South, the World Financial Center City Hall buildings. These are the most the iconic skyscrapers visible from the peak of 44 Lispenard. This is a similar view to that of Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, Harry Styles, and Justin Timberlake, all of whom have resided in Tribeca.