Co-op pick of the week

A once-in-40-years opportunity with this Gramercy Park co-op

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The Ruggles' House, one block from the exclusive Gramercy Park, has played host to many pioneers: The co-op building started its life in 1913 as an industrial loft, and housed the headquarters of progressive organizations like the American League for Peace and Democracy and the American Student Union. Today, it's home to spacious loft apartments—only two per floor, meaning generous square footage—and this two-bedroom just came onto the market for the first time in 40 years. Listed by Douglas Elliman for $3.2 million, it's a bit pricier than other nearby options, but the interior's Japanese aesthetic makes the apartment unique and eye-catching. 

The sunken living and dining room makes for a cavernous main area, well-lit by a 47-foot wall of north-facing windows. The views onto 19th Street are rivalled by the interior design, which was modeled after a Japanese courtyard and includes maple floors and sliding doors known as shoji, which open onto the slightly elevated kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms. This aesthetic, coupled with the prewar details of the pillars, exposed brick, and ceiling beams, makes the space truly striking—and perhaps too striking for some. 

At first glance, the kitchen doesn't look like one: The usual gleaming countertops and shiny stainless steel of new developments are nowhere to be found, replaced by warmer tones. There's room for a breakfast nook, and what looks like lots of storage. 

The rustic aura continues in the bedrooms, both of which are tucked into corners off the living area and include large closets. This one, with its wall of exposed brick, built-in bookshelves, and castle-like, heavy dark wood door, has the feel of a hideaway. 

The two bathrooms, not pictured, appear to share a tub and shower; additional storage can be found in the apartment's foyer, and the listing notes that there is a washer and dryer in the unit. The building itself doesn't offer access to the private Gramercy Park, but a landscaped rooftop deck may make up for it. There's no doorman, but a keyed elevator allows for privacy and security. 


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