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Friday, February 26, 2010

Fuggedaboutit


I have just finished reading through a litany of quotes on patience, thinking that perhaps it would be a good theme for a story about what it takes to get an apartment like the one in today's photos. Specifically, a duplex that has a full parlor floor and a small bedroom on the lower floor with a small garden space. An apartment located in a historic 1837 landmark townhouse on Washington Square North with windows facing Washington Square Park. There are only three privately owned residential townhouses on the entire park - the rest are occupied by New York University and utilized as offices or residences for university faculty or personnel.

In reading over lists of quotes on patience and pondering what might be the best suited as appropriate for this real estate dilemma, it slowly dawned on me that, although patience is a virtue, it would really be disingenuous to tell you that the secret to getting a place like this is to have the patience of a saint. Why? Because you might die waiting. Literally.

This apartment has been occupied by the same tenant for the last 35 years. Super long tenancy is the same case for two of the three remaining apartments, both over 30 years. Unless you have a secret as to how to stack the odds in your favor for games like lotto, then it would be best to discount luck also, because being at the right place at the right time to acquire occupancy in a property like this somehow seems to require more than luck. For those who are religiously inclined, perhaps the grace of God would be more apt.

And for those who believe that money can buy most things and that lots of money can buy almost anything, think again. Because this is the kind of thing that money can't buy. This apartment is a rental and not available for sale. Buy the building? No, tenants have approached the owner over past years. The landlord has dozens of mortgage-free properties, does not need the money, and is just not interested in selling. Period.
So what's the secret? There is none. Just forget places like this exist. Or as they say in Brooklynese, fuggedaboutit :)


Note: For another rare glimpse at a spectacular garden space in this building, see Affront to Dignity here.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful rooms, beautiful photos!

Terry B, Blue Kitchen said...

This is serious real estate porn, Brian. Wow. Also reminds me of a story of Truman Capote as a young man sitting in Jackson Square in New Orleans and looking at a storied apartment building that faced the park. At the time, he told himself one day he would be rich enough to afford an apartment there. Later, although he got rich, he realized he would never live there--apartments in the building were handed down in families, generation to generation. Period.

Lisa said...

Washington Square sure seems like a beautiful area to live in. Thank you for sharing the beautiful home. GREAT pitures!!

Leslie said...

So this is what sits under your (so very different) apt...and the garden sits above it! Do they have a back yard lower level garden, too (obviously too private to even let you see)?

Catharine said...

Absolutely stunning!

Rob said...

This apartment is insane! SO NICE! How did you end up shooting these photos? Great place!

NYfan said...

Wow! How many bucks do you have to pay for this beauty??????? I want it!!!!!

Mary said...

Museum quality for sure.

Brian Dubé said...

Terry B - Porn it is.
Lisa, Catharine - Tx.
Leslie - yes.
Rob - secret - I live in the building!
NYfan - not for sale - rental only - read story.
Mary - it will be when the guys that rented it are thru.

Anonymous said...

What an awful color scheme in purple. Love the green though.

Shelle said...

If I had a place like that...I would never sell either. Although it may be unusual in this day and age...some people spend their whole lives in one home.

Cute Addict said...

sometimes it's not what you know, it's who you know. and money can't buy that.

Kenon Thompson said...

Amazing pictures! Yeah money can't buy everything these days.

designslinger.com said...

You'd have to forget that places like this exist or you'd lose your mind trying to figure out how to get into one.
Still, thank gawd a few do still remain, even if chances of winning this kind of lottery is 9 million to 1.

Jim

Mary said...

Do you know if the woodwork in the green room is original? I have basically the same layout in my apartment near Gramercy Park. Also a rental. We have cast iron molding on the ceiling, and lack the paneling on the walls. Our fireplace is carved white marble with an arched opening. The building dates to the 1850's, but we have been told the fireplace is later Victorian. We also have French doors in those large windows.
If we win the lotto, maybe we too can have ours repaired/renovated.
DREAM ON!

èl said...

Beautiful place!!