Windows To the Soul: Warby Parker Founder Snags Muppet Manse

Better than Burt and Ernie's place, I guess?

Better than Burt and Ernie’s place, I guess?

Warby Parker built a business out of selling glasses that are both cool and cheap, but when founder Neil Blumenthal went house hunting with wife Rachel, he selected a Greenwich Village co-op that cost a good deal more than $95. But at least the three-bedroom pad has a provenance that would delight even the most hard-hearted hipster: it belonged to the late Sesame Street script and songwriter Tony Geiss.

The Blumenthals forked over a hefty $3.5 million for the eighth-floor apartment, according to city records — $200,000 above the initial asking price of $3.3 million. That’s a lot of cookies. In the words of everyone’s favorite blue monster: Cowabunga!

We can’t blame Mr. Blumenthal for thinking that Sesame Street is where it’s at, even if the listing, held by Kim Robilotti and Janet Aimone Robilotti doesn’t mention any Muppet amenities. Not even an old-fashioned metal trashcan à la Oscar the Grouch.

The Butterfield House, as 37 West 12th Street is known, might not have the pre-war bonafides of most co-op buildings (it went up in 1962, timing that we’re guessing was engineered to duck under the restrictive zoning code enacted around the same time), but what it lacks in brick and brownstone, it makes up in full-floor windows — fitting for the founder of a company reportedly in negotiations with Google to give its “Google Glass” a hipster-friendly makeover.

The eighth-floor unit that Mr. and Ms. Blumenthal bought claims to have just three bedrooms, but we count four, if you include the staff bedroom with an en-suite bath and the closet-less study. The apartment also has both north- and south-facing windows, a product of its block-through location between 12th and 13th streets. It also comes with dedicated off-street parking—to quote one of Mr. Geiss’s very own Muppet creations, the Honkers, “Honk, honk!