A penthouse high in the eaves of one of New York City’s first skyscrapers has hit the market for $2.695 million.
The full-floor loft-style apartment sits atop Liberty Tower, a 33-story early skyscraper in Manhattan’s Financial District that was built in 1909 and adorned in neo-Gothic flourishes. One of the historic building’s first tenants was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who set up his law office from the tower about 20 years before he was elected president in 1932.
The apartment spans the building’s entire 31st floor and a bonus second-level mezzanine now configured as two home offices, storage space and a bathroom, according to the listing with Richard N. Rothbloom and Bryant Montalvo of Brown Harris Stevens.
The mezzanine overlooks a loft-like living area below, including a kitchen and dining area. The apartment fills an area originally meant as an attic space, according to historic details from the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. Evidence of that includes large camouflaged mechanical pipes running through many rooms and steep, vaulted ceiling heights around the building’s dormer windows, photos of the home show.
It’s the second tallest unit in the building, though the 32nd-floor unit above is considerably smaller because the roof tapers, Mr. Rothbloom said.
“When the weather changes, when it’s storming out, it’s really fantastic,” he added. “You feel like you’re in Gotham City.”
Its location in the building give residents an exclusive view over the terracotta-clad building’s Gothic sculptures—eagles and elaborate finials that are impossible to see well from the street level.
Brown Harris Stevens
You can also see the backsides of two terracotta lions lording over the front over the front of the building. “They are sort of guarding the building,” said Mr. Rothbloom, who happens to also live in the building. “It’s almost like ‘The Wizard of Oz.’”
The home’s main level boasts 3,000 square feet, including four bedrooms, three bathrooms and 360-degree views of downtown Manhattan. A spiral staircase leads to the second-level office space. The unit hasn’t been available since 2000, when it last sold.
Liberty Tower was originally built as office spaces. Besides Roosevelt, other notable tenants during that time included German spies tasked with instigating diversionary wars with Japan and Mexico to keep the U.S. out of WWI—a plot later exposed in the notorious Zimmermann Telegram.
Developers converted the building into cooperative apartments in 1979.
It’s facade sustained significant damage during the collapse of the World Trade Center on 9/11 and underwent a $5 million restoration in 2010 to repair the building.
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