We here in the office have been watching with great curiosity the new Bravo Reality show, 9 By Design, which chronicles the chaotic adventures of Courtney and Bob Novogratz, the original rich hipster couple, and their seven quirkily named children as they move from house mansion to mansion in New York City.-
Bob and Courtney are a creative, downtown couple. If you couldn't tell this from their hip way of dressing and their vespas, they named their children with "artsy" and original names, such as Wolfgang (but everyone calls him Wolfie, natch), Tallulah, Bellamy, Breaker, Holledar (who, for the first ten minutes of the show I thought was named Collander) Major, and Five. As in the number. (Btw, Tallulah is totally the secret badass of the group. She's only 10, but her serious demeanor is a total ringer for Gwenyth Paltrow's character in The Royal Tennenbaums. Tallulah is definitely going to be the one to write a tell-all when she's thirty.)
Whatever you think of the Novogratzes parenting and decorating skills, their houses, which they move in to, decorate, and then or rent for millions of dollars, are definitely something to be seen. So let's take a look at a few.
22 Thompson street is the first of two houses the Novogratzes flipped on Thompson street. The four bedroom, 3 story townhouse is described as "Tuscany on Thompson", and features 2 "Juliet balconies", 4 baths, and a home office. The most impressive amenity, however, is the tiled "terrazzo" roofdeck. The 2,500-square foot house is "in contract" for $4,500,000, with a whopping $15,000 in taxes.
24 Thompson is the second house that the Novogratzes renovated on Thompson Street, between Grand and Watts in SoHo. The five-floor townhouse is approximately 5,000 square feet and features a terrace. The ceilings are an amazing 15 ft high with sweeping views of Manhattan. The building features its own elevator AND it's own garage, a rarity in Manhattan real estate. It's the tallest single family townhouse downtown. Despite its immense proportions, the house still only (ha) has four bedrooms, which means that the kids STILL probably had to double up. But with features such as a library and multiple living spaces, I'm sure they weren't hurting for room.
5 Centre Market
5 Centre Market is the house the Novogratzes are moving out of in episode one. The five story house boasts 12-ft ceilings and windows that work like garage doors and open up onto a terrace. The backyard has a stone fountain that the realtor says the family found in Nice, but Wolfgang claimed was from Italy on the episode. The master-bedroom suite takes up an entire floor, and bedroom has a glass balcony overlooking the street. His and hers closets off the master-suite are ENORMOUS, probably big enough to make one or two kids rooms out of. The master bathroom has a chandelier, the kids rooms look like something out of a movie, but my favorite feature of the house is definitely the huge screen in front of the couch in the finished basement/family room. Of course, the most eye-grabbing feature is the basketball dome on the roof, built to replicate the cupula of the police building across the street.
400 West Street
This is the home that the Novogratzes are buidling/refurbishing at the beginning of the series. The modern building in the far West Village between Charles and West 10th Street, has a Richard Woods facade, an interior basketball court, a full home theater, two car garage and a powder room. Once again, the master suite takes up an entire floor (seems a bit greedy for a family with seven children who are all forced to cohabitate), complete with a grand, windowed dressing room. The kitchen has amazing features such as a subzero fridge, a wine fridge, and built in espresso machine. The asking price? Oh, only $19, 950,000.
Saturday, May 25
We sat down with Anne Pasternak for a few questions about Creative Time's past and future, as well as the importance of having an awareness about public art in the city.