The phrase “1902 Beaux-Arts landmark” conjures certain associations, none of which can accurately be called cutting-edge. But residents of the Dorilton co-op at 171 West 71st Street have for the most part long since ceased to fret over trendiness. And if the six-bedroom duplex there currently listed for $9.99 million appears, to some eyes, ever-so-slightly stuffy, that only reflects the building’s old-world sensibilities.
“Its style is in keeping with the period of the building,” said Margo Mohr of Fox Residential, who is sharing the listing with Brown Harris Stevens’ Laura Sirkin and Ellen Devens. “It’s in keeping with the existing details of the apartment.”
The longtime home of a retired teacher and an attorney—who will be moving to another, smaller unit in their beloved building—the apartment sports beveled and leaded glass windows, rich original hardwood herringbone floors and a large sunny living room leading, through French doors, onto a library and study. Prewar detailing runs through oaken woodwork, and an eat-in kitchen with attached butler’s pantry has original glass-front cabinetry. (All but the most retro-friendly of buyers will almost certainly overhaul the kitchen, though Ms. Mohr emphasizes the mitigating presence of Gaggenau and Sub-Zero.) A preponderance of old, dark wood, beamed ceilings and walls done in close relatives of maroon and purple can make the space appear cramped in photographs—an impression that a populous collection of plush floral furniture, closely-packed wall hangings, Oriental rugs and heavy chandeliers does nothing to help.
But it is only an impression. “It’s an enormous space,” Ms. Mohr said. “You know, in co-ops, we don’t really discuss numbers. But let’s just say it’s better than 4,000 square feet. It’s truly magnificent and beautifully-maintained. But the space is available to be reworked.” The broker seemed to dread that prospect, in spite of the unit’s deeply particular aesthetic style. “Let’s just say you painted it beige…” she trailed off. “I think there are people in this building who have made their apartments almost loft-like. I’m sure some people would come in a remove some of the detail. But I think that would be a shame.”
For our part, we would like to propose, perhaps, some sort of middle ground.