68 Morton Street is a one of a kind townhouse gem located on one of the most coveted blocks in the West Village. Masterfully renovated by renowned AD100 designer Steven Gambrel, the house retains all of its nineteenth century charm, intentionally keeping its original floors and staircase, which have been reinforced and restored to the highest standard. A fusion of elegance, style, and comfort, this modest sized yet generously scaled (thanks to its 25’ width) home offers a glamorous update of the traditional townhouse, combining the best craftsmanship and details with twenty-first century luxuries. Spread over four floors of living space, plus a cellar, all behind a beautiful Greek Revival brick facade, this is a home of the highest quality where every element (surfaces, fixtures, hardware, fittings) has been carefully selected and custom made, with a discerning eye.
The sense of beauty and of the meticulous construction quality begins with the perfectly restored historic facade, where every detail, down to the antique blown glass window panes in the double-hung hard-wood framed thermal sash windows, has been carefully updated to a modern standard but retains a period-appropriate aesthetic. The charming front stoop leads to an intimate entry vestibule, and into the parlor level stair hall. This elegant entry hall features a spectacular original staircase that winds its way to a skylight at the top of the house, bathing the stair from the roof to the parlor floor in natural light. Behind the entry, the visitor’s eye is drawn through a blown glass door into a jewel-like red lacquered library featuring the first of five magnificent wood-burning fireplaces, each with a unique stone mantelpiece surrounding the newly rebuilt and re-lined firebox. The library is also home to a coat closet and a guest powder room.
Double mahogany doors lead from the other side of the entry hall into a beautifully proportioned, 26-foot long, floor-through living room. With enormous windows at both ends, this sun-filled space overlooks the garden to the south, as well as tree-lined Morton Street to the north, and features an exquisite bolection fireplace and multiple seating areas. Ascending the restored original stair to the 3rd floor, one enters a black-lacquered sitting/media room, off of which are two guest bedrooms and a windowed full bath, replete with a marble-clad shower.
A sumptuous master suite occupies the entire 4th floor. The master has a beautiful reverse-painted mirrored hall and a large dressing room with custom-fitted wood cabinetry, as well as a spectacular sky-lit bed chamber with an enormous steel casement window. A five piece master bath with a custom double-vanity, deep soaking tub, and a luxurious glass-enclosed and marble-slab encased shower completes the floor.
The garden floor is home to a spectacular eat-in chef’s kitchen with a marble-slab stone floor salvaged from the facade of upper Fifth Avenue’s former Phipps mansion, a massive marble slab island, a custom-painted LaCanche 7-burner double oven range with a custom-fabricated hood, a Sub-Zero refrigerator, Miele dishwasher, and extensive custom built solid-wood cabinetry. The enormous open kitchen also functions as an elegant dining room, with a stunning plaster fireplace surround that reaches from the floor to the ceiling. French doors open out from the kitchen to stone steps leading up to a small gravel-covered garden oasis surrounded by enormous planters full of green boxwood and skip laurel. A hall leads to an enclosed laundry cupboard, and a second elegant powder room. Another door opens to stairs down to the fully re-built and immaculate cellar, with all new top-of-the-line mechanicals and extensive storage space.
Throughout the house are strong architectural details, including: muscular crown, door, window and baseboard moldings; restored hard-wood, reclaimed and new stone-slab floors; high-end millwork; antique, vintage and custom light fixtures; and solid wood doors. Each bathroom is unique and features luxurious marble, stonework, and fixtures.
Such a turn-key townhouse in perfect condition rarely comes on the market downtown, and has seldom been available in the prime West Village. Many of the furnishings may be purchased by separate agreement, offering a buyer an even rarer opportunity to purchase a complete S.R. Gambrel-designed townhome without the 3 years of planning, permitting, construction, and interior design, or the multi-million dollar budgets, usually required to achieve this level of quality.
Building History from LPC’s Greenwich Village Historic District Designation Report:
“This simple three-story house, above a basement, was built in 1846 for Charles Olmstead, city grocer, together with the small three-story house next to it. The latter may once have served also as a connection to the store at the corner of Hudson Street (No. 436), built at about the same time.
Nos. 68 and 68.5, which appear to be one house, are excellent examples of the simple type of house erected in the late Greek revival period. The lintels over the windows of No. 68 are flush with the wall and the house retains its simple roof cornice and undecorated fascia board over the low third story windows. The narrow doorway with sidelights and the ironwork are typical of the best of this modest type of Greek Revival house.
This attractive street displays a minor range of heights, three to five stories for the Nineteenth Century houses and apartment houses and six to eight stories for the early Twentieth Century buildings.
This street offers an interesting variety of architectural styles and is one of the most attractive in the Village. The south side has several fine Italianate houses, notably a row of four residences, and other houses further down the block ranging in style from late Greek Revival to Italianate.”
Annual Taxes: $19,788
Building Width: 25 ft.
Square Footage: Approx. 3,455 including the cellar, 2,800 above grade
Year Built: 1846