Despite its design pedigree, could the extremely unsympathetic interior renovations be keeping the William Lescaze-designed Kramer house from a smooth sale? The East 74th Street townhouse was designed by Lescaze in 1935. After purchasing the house in deteriorated condition in 2007, the current owner did a fine exterior restoration meeting current landmark commission guidelines along with a gut rehab of building systems. The interior was a different story. The townhouse was split into three apartments and all vestiges of the Lescaze-designed interior—finishes to built-ins—were removed and replaced with a mix of neoclassical and contemporary styled interiors totally out of sync with the house’s original forms. This Curbed NY article raises interesting questions about historic interiors. While non-public interiors are not eligible for NYC landmark protections they can often play into a building’s commercial value, while maintaining its historical value. The Kramer House has been listed four times since 2014 and is again on the market for $15.9 million.
Editors note: The Curbed NY article states that the Lescaze townhouse on East 48th, Lescaze’s own house, “has been meticulously restored.” This is not the case. The exterior is deteriorated and the current owner is underway with a project of restoration and significant changes that is being heard by the NYC Landmarks Commission this month. See related post.
“Why Hasn’t Anyone Bought This William Lescaze House?” Curbed NY, January 5, 2021.