Loft Peeping: Harrison Street Townhouse

Curbed and then Remodelista featured one of those cute townhouses on Harrison Street—you know, the brick ones, two of which were originally on Washington Street, back when it extended further south, then moved to Harrison in the 1970s to make way for Independence Plaza North and the Borough of Manhattan Community College.

Built in 1828, the house was owned till recently by a couple who lived there for nearly 40 years. From Remodelista: “Soon after purchasing the house, the [new] homeowner engaged Brooklyn architect Susan Yun and interior designer Penelope August—a longtime friend—to turn the rundown townhouse into a home (and while the remodel was under way, the homeowner married and now lives in the townhouse with her husband—also an artist—and their new baby).”

“We wanted to do something totally new that would match the house without seeming artificial,” the owner told Curbed. “We used as many old, recycled materials as possible and also modern elements. It looks like layers of history, as if the house progressed over time.”

Of special note:

••• “The stairs were stacked at the back of the house,” said Yun. “On the first floor, we moved the stair to the center of the house. This allowed for a good-size kitchen that has a connection to the outside.” (Curbed)

••• In the kitchen, “The countertop (plus backsplash and integrated sink) is made of cast terrazzo with polished glass chips from recycled glass bottles. The homeowner […] and the interior designer selected the individual glass colors together.” (Remodelista)

••• The four wood-burning fireplaces had to be reopened. In the master bedroom, “The fireplace surround is made of ceramic tiles, screen-printed with the homeowner’s artwork of a clock showing the passage of time.” (Remodelista)

••• “The owner—a consummate eBay shopper—found all of the door knobs and some of the light fixtures in the house. Working with August, she also purchased antique and vintage sinks, bathtubs, wallpaper, and doors.” (Curbed)

••• The rug in the living room is from Double Knot on White Street. The studio’s 1920s wallpaper is from Secondhand Rose, which used to be on Duane. (Remodelista)

••• “The exposed beams in the master bedroom are among the only original details left of the original house.” (Remodelista)

••• Check out the walk-in shower—with window—in the master bath.

••• Regarding the study, “I wanted one room in the house to look more traditional,” the owner told Curbed. The antique mantel and surround that had been purchased was stolen from the restoration studio, so they had to recreate it from photographs.

••• “The wife’s small street-level office overlooks the cellar studio space [which] the couple uses […] as a studio and exhibition space. The clients wanted to keep the stone foundation visible ‘as a relic of the age and history of the house,’ Yun says. ‘It’s useful, though, to have an all-white space for showings—so we designed a folding wall to cover the brick and create a gallery effect.'” (Remodelista)

••• Most striking is the powder room, with its eyeball sconces. “I bought these on eBay,” the owner told Curbed. “They were part of a lamp that was once in an optometrist’s shop. We weren’t sure what to do with them at first, but thought they looked cool here.”

The photographs are by Devon Banks; Curbed’s text is by Mary Joe Bowling, while Remodelista’s is by Meredith Swinehart.

Recent Loft Peeping posts:
Magnus & Nina Barnieh Blair
Raquel Cayre
Raft Loft
Art collectors at 100 Barclay
Paula Wagner & Rick Nicita



  1. Wow, beautifully done

  2. it’s nicely done for sure but it is a damn shame that there is almost nothing left from the original 1828 house. it’s not the current owners’ fault. it’s pretty obvious that when these houses were redone in the 70s almost everything on the interior and exterior was replaced. if you look at the stoops and lintels they are cookie cutter reproductions.