“Pictures don’t do the place justice” is a phrase that gets tossed around by realtors more than once when it comes to fabulous homes. But this saying is practically an understatement for 421 Broome Street. You have to be there to believe it and to experience the home as it was meant to be experienced, in pure comfort and sophistication. After speaking with Kirk Lehman and his team, the architectural masterminds behind the apartment’s transformation, it is easy to see why 421 Broome Street’s grandeur is unparalleled.
Kirk Lehman of A+M+L Architecture notes that while working on the reconstruction, no corner was cut or overlooked—both literally and figuratively—throughout the creative process. The beauty of the home lies in its superior elegance and its ability to remain true to its historic roots. A landmarked building (dating back to 1873) in the SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District, the home is required to adhere to a strict set of codes. But A+M+L did not take this as a limitation; in fact, it was an inspiration. With research and historic photographic proof as backup, A+M+L was able to transform the owner’s dreams into a reality, while still maintaining the home’s splendor and integrity.
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker Eric Becker, who is listing the apartment with both Noble Black and Fredrik Eklund, explains how the home’s creative direction focused on incorporating efficient storage without sacrificing style. Every nook and cranny has been accounted for, organization is in abundance, and secret doors are a reality. In fact, the dumbwaiter that travels between the three floors is cleverly hidden behind a brick wall that is easily accessible. Where other homes might simply use their walls for one purpose, most of the apartment’s walls contain shelves, drawers and racks appropriate for both entertaining and personal use. But you would never know it unless you looked closely, and even then you might miss a door’s understated handle.
Let the Journey Begin
Our journey starts on the 5th floor, where we are greeted by a steel and iron door with glass panels. The home’s interior palette is comprised of soft hues, dark grays, muted blues, creams and rich painted mahogany. The Dinesen floors are white European oak, with a wide, thick plank to allow for radiant heating throughout. The great room is filled with light from six large windows, framed in black steel that gives a historic nod to the building’s original time period. Lehman explains how he and his team found and utilized historical photographs to restore the windows to their original design.
As we enter the kitchen, we see a perfect example of how efficiency and style go hand in hand. Cabinets reflect natural light off their wavy glass panels, a pantry with sliding glass doors is perfect for all of your storage needs and if you still can’t get enough—a library ladder can help you access tucked-away spaces that a moment ago might have been out of reach.
Climbing the grand, curved staircase made of Chesney cantilevered black marble, we pass by walls covered in Belgium limewash. On the second floor, a paneled wall masterfully conceals a set of wardrobe closets, along with a full set of refrigerated drawers that hold refreshments, reinforcing the concept that each of the three main living floors are self-sufficient. It is on this floor that we experience the master bath, or rather—a marble palace—where a stone carved, deep soak tub takes center stage. After traveling to Italy to obtain 75 slabs of Statuario marble from a single quarry, the owner was able to ensure that the delicate marble veins matched perfectly throughout the bathroom. The storage-focused theme continues, with a paneled wall that slides up to reveal a space big enough for a sizable makeup collection and any other bathroom necessities.
The third floor of the light-filled property is full of clever features for all of your entertainment needs. Outside on the canopied terrace, the gas-powered lanterns are turned on with the flick of a switch, and a fireplace provides a warm focal point. Inside, you’ll find a smaller matching kitchen showcasing the striking glass panels and finishes from the main kitchen below. But you don’t need to head outside if you want a sense of space—views abound throughout the dining room, main hallway and media room, which boasts vintage sprinkler heads attached to the brick vaulted ceilings, a feature Lehman and his team preserved from the home’s original time period.
A Sense of Timelessness
Views from the great room further ground you in SoHo’s legendary past. Before becoming a residential property, 421 Broome Street was a lumber yard and a warehouse, and even housed Andy Warhol’s printing press. The architect and owner have rightfully decided to continue the home’s legacy by ensuring that no matter where you are—on one of the many outside terraces, or inside the master suite with velvet walls—you are always reminded of a historic sense of place.