Twenty-fourth Street between 10th and 11th avenues could easily be renamed Gallery Row; the relatively short block west of the High Line holds no fewer than nine galleries, including a location for the famed Gagosian Gallery.
If you want to buy a piece of art at one of those galleries, however, and you happen to live in any of the new buildings in the area, you may have a hard time finding a place to hang it. From the swooping curves of Zaha Hadid’s first — and last — New York residential building at 520 West 28th Street to the sleek and sharp edges of Soo K. Chan’s Soori High Line, the trend here — as it is with new construction buildings all over the city — is floor-to-ceiling windows that display the cityscape and leave very little, if any, wall space for art. The only art, it seems, is the view.
But for true art lovers (which many Chelsea residents are), that may not be enough. As Vickey Barron, a broker at Douglas Elliman, puts it, “Who doesn’t want to be surrounded by art?”
“It may be a bit unfashionable to talk about buildings
being beautiful — but we fully believe in that.”
—Robin Standefer, architect
Barron is the sales director for The Fitzroy, a new construction building at 514 West 24th Street with a considerably different aesthetic than its neighbors. Designed by architecture firm Roman and Williams, which also designed the Ace Hotel in Midtown, the Standard Hotel and its Boom Boom Room club, the John Dory Oyster Bar and even Gwyneth Paltrow’s residence in Tribeca (as well as her Goop pop-up shop), the building is a return to the clean lines, elegant façade and solid construction of New York’s beloved Art Deco buildings. And yes, it has plenty of wall space.
“We wanted to connect to that aspirational era in the 1930s when New York was ambitious but there was still something very romantic about it,” Robin Standefer, a principle architect at Roman and Williams, said. “It may be a bit unfashionable to talk about buildings being beautiful — but we fully believe in that.”
And The Fitzroy is, undoubtedly, beautiful. Architects chose materials that are designed to age well — from the Waterworks R.W. Atlas copper fixtures in the bathrooms and the kitchen to the hefty oak doors that are eight inches thick. Not to mention the terra cotta façade that is offset with copper-clad windows. Among its many features, the building has solid oak floors, Smallbone of Devizes cabinets in the kitchens that were designed by Roman and Williams and even copper bathtubs in the master bathrooms.
Along with the charm of a prewar building, The Fitzroy comes with many of the amenities and conveniences of a new construction building, including radiant floor heating throughout the apartments, air conditioning and a customizable Savant home automation system.
For the units listed right now (there are only 14 total in the building), prices start at $5.4 million and go up to $15.9 million.
According to Barron, many of the interested buyers so far have been creative and artistic people — either artists themselves or art collectors.
The one group that doesn’t seem to be interested in buying? “We’re not getting a lot of Goldman Sachs people here,” Barron said.