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A Soaring Skytop Penthouse

Photo by David Handschuh/New York Daily News.

Oh boy, did I hit the jackpot of fixer-uppers today! I can’t even begin to describe my excitement when my friend Maggie sent me the listing for this jaw dropper in Lower Manhattan. It’s not every day that you get to peek inside the penthouse of the Park Row Building, the tallest in New York upon its completion in 1899. I couldn’t afford this in my wildest dreams, but just in case I win the lotto tomorrow I might as well start scheming, right? Here are just some of the things that I love about this Big Apple beauty in the sky.



My favorite part of this listing is the description of the architectural features, which are “only found in a Hollywood motion picture.” While I’m not sure that’s necessarily true, why not go with it and be your very own Greta Garbo? With 10,600 square feet to work with on the 26th and 27th floors (oh, and the 28th, 29th, and 30th floors in both towers), you’ll never have to venture outside again! But, if you do, make sure to stand in City Hall Park and admire this early skyscraper’s commanding presence along the old “Newspaper Row.”



Let’s talk about the cherries on top, otherwise known as those two incredible towers topped with copper cupolas. The winding staircase – with its ornate balustrade and newel posts – is a beautiful gateway to these rounded rooms. I could see myself plucking a book off a curving wood bookcase here and settling down next to a warm fire. The metal stair has a charming feel to it, almost as if it leads you to a space only you know about. Apparently this is the first time this space is being used as a private residence, and I’m wondering whose office this may have been before, if it was an office at all…




A private elevator soars up to this penthouse fixer-upper. There’s so much you could do with two full floors of living space, which, by the looks of it, is a blank canvas awaiting your touch. And how about stepping out to your private terrace to watch the city from up high. Still not enough? Okay, let’s throw in two great balconies while we’re at it. Personally, I can’t get over the fact there are four sunlit exposures. For anyone who has lived in Manhattan and gets their natural light from an air shaft window (if that), even one sunlit exposure is a luxury!



Just imagine the incredible views from this penthouse! Why not gaze out towards all that beautiful terra cotta on the Woolworth Building or say hello to the Brooklyn Bridge? And while you’re at it, don’t forget to soak in the history of your new home. Yes, the Park Row Building once held the offices of the Associated Press and the Interborough Rapid Transit Company, which built the city’s first subway system. It’s no wonder then that, along with its impressive facade and ornament, it was designated a New York City Landmark precisely a century after it opened.


Ready to roll up your sleeves? Click through here to see the full listing!






Photo above by David Handschuh/New York Daily News.




Photo above by David Handschuh/New York Daily News.


The building in 1901, two years after its completion. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.



Amanda is an historic preservationist living in New York City with a particular fondness for fixer-uppers. She can be spotted checking out quirky historic details here, there, and everywhere in her handmade dresses. Every time Amanda sees a cozy room with large windows and beautiful built-ins she can’t help but imagine her very own sewing nook with oldies music playing in the background.


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