Tour a renovated, 19th-century townhouse with landmark status that used to be an egg and poultry distributor.

The entire parlor floor now serves as an open-plan kitchen, dining, and living area.

On the former site of Washington Market, which was active from the 1770s through the 1960s, this Federal-style townhouse in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood was built in 1828 and spent most of its life as an egg and poultry distributor. When it was threatened with demolition in the late 1960s during the Washington Street Urban Renewal Project, the now-defunct Landmarks Preservation Society and the Housing and Development Administration secured funding to renovate and incorporate this home, as well as eight others, within the Washington Street redevelopment area. The nine houses were given individual landmark status for their uniqueness as “a group of intact houses characteristic of late eighteenth-century scale and profile which did not exist anywhere else in Manhattan.”

YUN Architecture carefully restored the exterior of the house with new windows, dormers, and wood frames.

YUN Architecture carefully restored the exterior of the house with new windows, dormers, and wood frames.

Devon Banks Photography

With the historic home falling into disrepair, the current homeowners, both artists, hired Susan Yun of YUN Architecture to give the home a more contemporary look—one that would also pay homage to the home’s rich history. Referencing the past, yet not trying to recreate it, the architects sought to create the layered look of a home that had evolved over the years. Yun explained, “The homeowners didn’t want a specifically modern house or to try and make a Federal house, and because of the home’s past renovation, no original details were left—they didn’t want to try and make it into a period piece.” The dilapidated interiors served as a blank slate for Yun and interior designer Penelope August (who had worked together previously at Selldorf Architects). While many elements of the project were custom-made for the home, almost equal amounts are salvaged pieces found by the homeowners. Scroll ahead for a look at the stunning transformation.

The Parlor Floor: Before

The biggest architectural maneuver in the renovation was moving the staircase to allow for a more spacious kitchen. In this view, you can see the little volume at the center that housed the refrigerator.

The biggest architectural maneuver in the renovation was moving the staircase to allow for a more spacious kitchen. In this view, you can see the little volume at the center that housed the refrigerator. 

YUN Architecture

The floors were covered in red tile, all of which was removed.

The floors were covered in red tile, all of which was removed. 

YUN Architecture

The Parlor Floor: After

Now virtually unrecognizable, the parlor floor is the home's open-plan living area. A formerly defunct fireplace was reactivated and clad with a custom-made, limestone mantle.

Now virtually unrecognizable, the parlor floor is the home’s open-plan living area. A formerly defunct fireplace was reactivated and clad with a custom-made, limestone mantle. 

Devon Banks Photography

The red wall cabinet was designed by August. The floors throughout the home were replaced with wide, salvaged heart pine floorboards with radiant heat.

The red wall cabinet was designed by August. The floors throughout the home were replaced with wide, salvaged heart pine floorboards with radiant heat. 

Devon Banks Photography

The entire parlor floor now serves as an open-plan kitchen, dining, and living area.

The entire parlor floor now serves as an open-plan kitchen, dining, and living area.

Devon Banks Photography

Shop the Look

Group Partner Small Adam

This pot is cast in a speckled grey clay and hand painted with colorfast matte glazes. Photo courtesy of Group Partner

Eames Molded Plywood Coffee Table Wood Base

What cup of coffee wouldn’t look better sitting on this elegant Eames table? Charles and Ray Eames applied the same breakthrough technology that resulted in their famous molded plywood chairs to create this simple, lightweight, imaginative table. Photo courtesy of Herman Miller

Fritz Hansen Series 7 Chair

Though Fritz Hansen has produced multiple memorable designs over the years, the Arne Jacobsen-designed Series 7 is one that’s gained iconic status since it’s birth in 1955. Also known as “3107,” the seat is constructed of pressure-moulded veneer while the base is made up of chromed steel tubes. The lamination technique that Fritz Hansen developed for this chair made history, and is still being used in their factory just north of Copenhagen. Today, you can choose from four different bases, 10 veneers, and two finishes—either coloured ash or a choice of 12 lacquers. Additionally, you can opt to have it upholstered in a range of fabrics and leathers.

The kitchen features custom millwork with opal glass pulls, recycled glass terrazzo countertops and backsplash, copper plumbing, and a showstopping Lacanche range in Provence yellow.

The kitchen features custom millwork with opal glass pulls, recycled glass terrazzo countertops and backsplash, copper plumbing, and a showstopping Lacanche range in Provence yellow. 

Devon Banks Photography

The custom millwork was painted Farrow & Paul Calluna No. 270, which is described as a tranquil lilac and looks light gray according to the light.

The custom millwork was painted Farrow & Paul Calluna No. 270, which is described as a tranquil lilac and looks light gray according to the light. 

Devon Banks Photography

The kitchen lights were designed by August and custom-made by a local glass blower.

The kitchen lights were designed by August and custom-made by a local glass blower.

Devon Banks Photography

The blue tiles in the powder room reference one of the homeowner’s artworks. The eyes at the top are vintage globes from a former optometrist's shop. The sink is also a vintage piece from Demolition Depot—in fact, most of the home's plumbing are repurposed pieces.

The blue tiles in the powder room reference one of the homeowner’s artworks. The eyes at the top are vintage globes from a former optometrist’s shop. The sink is also a vintage piece from Demolition Depot—in fact, most of the home’s plumbing are repurposed pieces. 

Devon Banks Photography

The main staircase at the center of the house creates a gracious ascent from the open living room and kitchen at the parlor level to a library and bedrooms on the upper levels. The stained walnut handrail adds a traditional look, but boasts a clean, modern treatment. Wood paneling envelops a discreet door that leads to the cellar.

The main staircase at the center of the house creates a gracious ascent from the open living room and kitchen at the parlor level to a library and bedrooms on the upper levels. The stained walnut handrail adds a traditional look, but boasts a clean, modern treatment. Wood paneling envelops a discreet door that leads to the cellar. 

Devon Banks Photography

The Second Floor: Before

This second-floor bedroom would become a sitting room post-renovation.

This second-floor bedroom would become a sitting room post-renovation. 

YUN Architecture

A second upstairs bedroom with a defunct brick fireplace would become an office.

A second upstairs bedroom with a defunct brick fireplace would become an office. 

YUN Architecture

The Second Floor: After



The sitting room is an updated homage to the past that references the home’s history while keeping a distinctly contemporary vibe. "However, she did want to make one room that felt old," explains Yun.

The sitting room is an updated homage to the past that references the home’s history while keeping a distinctly contemporary vibe. “However, she did want to make one room that felt old,” explains Yun.  

Devon Banks Photography

The designers fortunately happened on enough antique wallpaper to outfit the whole room. The bookshelf is a custom design by Yun and made of salvaged heart pine, same as the floor. It features grooves in the sides, so the shelves can be pulled in and out.

The designers fortunately happened on enough antique wallpaper to outfit the whole room. The bookshelf is a custom design by Yun and made of salvaged heart pine, same as the floor. It features grooves in the sides, so the shelves can be pulled in and out.  

Devon Banks Photography

All of the doors in the hallway were salvaged and found by the owners. Yun designed and inserted the glass transom windows above the doors.

All of the doors in the hallway were salvaged and found by the owners. Yun designed and inserted the glass transom windows above the doors. 

Devon Banks Photography

The focal point of the study is a custom-designed limestone fireplace and the artwork above it.

The focal point of the study is a custom-designed limestone fireplace and the artwork above it. 

Devon Banks Photography

The study is punctuated by a red accent chair.

The study is punctuated by a red accent chair. 

Devon Banks Photography

Yun designed this curved handrail. To the side, a carved niche is meant to showcase art.

Yun designed this curved handrail. To the side, a carved niche is meant to showcase art.

Devon Banks Photography

The Master Bedroom: Before

The top floor before the renovation felt cramped, and held another defunct fireplace in need of restoration.

The top floor before the renovation felt cramped, and held another defunct fireplace in need of restoration. 

YUN Architecture

The Master Bedroom: After

Another big architectural move was to redefine the unfortunate layout of the upstairs master suite. Yun moved the bedroom to one side and put the bathroom behind a wall.  The purple-blue tiles around the fireplace were designed by one of the owners and represent clocks with different hours—a reference to how watching the fire can be the best way to pass the time.

Another big architectural move was to redefine the unfortunate layout of the upstairs master suite. Yun moved the bedroom to one side and put the bathroom behind a wall.  The purple-blue tiles around the fireplace were designed by one of the owners and represent clocks with different hours—a reference to how watching the fire can be the best way to pass the time. 

Devon Banks Photography

The wood beams were in poor condition and needed to be cleaned up and treated with oil.

The wood beams were in poor condition and needed to be cleaned up and treated with oil. 

Devon Banks Photography

Custom millwork closets were added and lined with cedar and brass knobs that the owner found. Because of two dormers, the best use of space was to add drawers for additional storage.

Custom millwork closets were added and lined with cedar and brass knobs that the owner found. Because of two dormers, the best use of space was to add drawers for additional storage. 

Devon Banks Photography

The bathroom in the master suite features a custom-made vanity and medicine cabinet. Tadelakt, a waterproof plaster surface, was used on the walls with Bulgarian limestone in the shower. The custom tiles were made by Haand Ceramics. The bathtub is a reclaimed piece with brass plumbing from Waterworks.

The bathroom in the master suite features a custom-made vanity and medicine cabinet. Tadelakt, a waterproof plaster surface, was used on the walls with Bulgarian limestone in the shower. The custom tiles were made by Haand Ceramics. The bathtub is a reclaimed piece with brass plumbing from Waterworks. 

Devon Banks Photography

The shower is underneath a dormer, as it was the only way to fit in a shower and a tub.

The shower is underneath a dormer, as it was the only way to fit in a shower and a tub. 

Devon Banks Photography

The Cellar: Before

The unfinished cellar before the renovation.

The unfinished cellar before the renovation. 

YUN Architecture

The Cellar: After

The cellar now houses an office, studio, and exhibition space.

The cellar now houses an office, studio, and exhibition space. 

Devon Banks Photography

The office space sits behind a brass-framed glass window, which overlooks the studio. The owners wanted to leave the original stone wall as a relic of the home’s history.

The office space sits behind a brass-framed glass window, which overlooks the studio. The owners wanted to leave the original stone wall as a relic of the home’s history. 

Devon Banks Photography

The doors are insulated panels that can be left opened or closed depending on the use of the space.

The doors are insulated panels that can be left opened or closed depending on the use of the space. 

Devon Banks Photography

The Back Porch: Before

The wooden porch in the rear yard was deemed illegal during the Department of Buildings process. Wood is not allowed, and it had to be remade with non-combustible materials.

The wooden porch in the rear yard was deemed illegal during the Department of Buildings process. Wood is not allowed, and it had to be remade with non-combustible materials.  

YUN Architecture

The Back Porch: After

The porch was legalized and rebuilt with cast-iron columns, railings, and stone flooring in keeping within a refined, Federal-style aesthetic.

The porch was legalized and rebuilt with cast-iron columns, railings, and stone flooring in keeping within a refined, Federal-style aesthetic. 

Devon Banks Photography

The deck was done in a madras gray limestone so that the color matches the backyard steps of the other houses. The railing was based on the metalwork of the other nine house.

The deck was done in a madras gray limestone so that the color matches the backyard steps of the other houses. The railings were based on the metalwork of the other nine house.

Devon Banks Photography


Project Credits: 

Architect of Record: YUN Architecture, Susan YUN
Builder/General Contractor: Taconic Builders, Jim Hanley
Structural Engineer: Hanington Engineering Consultants, Edward Haning
Landscape Design: Vert Gardens, Pilar Altares
Interior Design: Penelope August
Cabinetry Design/Installation: Candlewood Valley Building, Mike Lent
Other: Koenig Iron Works, Tom Ryan
Stairs: SD Stairs & Handrails, Dhimitri Guma
Photography: Devon Banks Photography
  

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