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Mentioned in this Article:
Warner Lewis

Warner Lewis
Village Office

Ari Harkov

Ari Harkov
Village Office

New York Times

Celebration Of Modern In A Chelsea Penthouse

A SLEEK yet whimsical Chelsea penthouse custom-designed by John Edelman, the chief executive of Design Within Reach, with himself and his family in mind is now within the reach of buyers who crave total immersion in a midcentury modern aura and have $5.495 million to satisfy the urge. Emphatically unusual, the space is an entertainer masquerading as an apartment.

The seven-room residence has 12-foot ceilings; huge skylights in two of the bedrooms and one of the baths; a master suite with its own rear terrace; and a white marble master bathroom with a soaking tub, a steam shower and a built-in high-definition television (an idea borrowed from a bathroom at the St. Regis Hotel in New York).

Built-ins are a recurring theme in the penthouse, where a Miele espresso maker hovers above the wine cooler in the galley kitchen; so are the postindustrial steel-sheathed doorways and floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room. The crystal chandelier in the dining area was made in Austria by Lobmeyr; it is a replica of the dazzling chandeliers the firm designed for the Metropolitan Opera.

Besides the gleaming outdoor shower tucked into a corner on the roof, the bonus exterior space includes 3,000 square feet devoted to three terraces, one of them a 70-foot-long entertainment space with an immense Wolf grill at one end and a bar and banquettes at the other. The northward views encompass the Empire State Building, and retractable awnings render the main terrace usable in almost any weather.

“You just don’t find that kind of outdoor space very often in the middle of New York City,” Mr. Edelman said. “Nor do you very often get to put your own personal stamp on an apartment in the construction phases.”

After briefly renting it out for $25,000 a month, Mr. Edelman, whose primary residence is in Connecticut, has decided to sell the three-bedroom three-bathroom unit, which he describes as his “dream apartment,” at 150 West 26th Street, a 1923 midblock Art Deco-style warehouse converted to lofts in 2002.

It was then that Mr. Edelman bought a one-bedroom unit on the top floor. But when air rights became available a few years later and a penthouse with its own private roof deck began to materialize, Mr. Edelman bought that space as well. He and his wife, Bonnie, a photographer and native New Yorker, were then able to fine-tune its final design, and all the finishes, to their own taste, which he describes as “eclectic,” adding, “Bonnie slaved over every detail.”

The original idea was for them and their two children to move in full time and eventually combine the penthouse with the smaller unit, but that fizzled once the children started school in Connecticut.

“This is just too grand a space for the amount we use it,” he said, “and the reality is that we are years away from being able to move here full time. Renting it out makes us nervous, so we decided the responsible thing to do is to sell.”

Except for the one-of-a-kind coffee table — a giant python-covered cube originally commissioned for a property owned by Elton John — the furnishings are available for an additional fee. “I’m a hoarder of furniture,” Mr. Edelman said. “I’ve got a warehouse full of Milo Baughman pieces in Connecticut.” He said their next city pied-à-terre would be a small-scale affair.

There is also the potential, should the buyer be interested in a duplex footprint, for sinking a staircase into the floor of the small exercise room off the living room and combining the penthouse with No. 901, the 1,500-square-foot unit beneath it, which is currently rented.

The listing brokers are Warner Lewis and Ari Harkov of Halstead Property.

Friday, November 23, 2012