IN THE KNOW – Winter

An Art Deco Masterpiece in Manhattan

By Stephanie Horton
Provided to KLAFFS exclusively by Serendipity
Photographs by Bartek Sherman

Manhattan interior designer Alan Tanksley constructs an elegant Park Avenue pied-à-terre on the 14th floor of The Griffon, a historical building dating to 1924, for clients with a love of art and travel.

In the Shadow of The Chrysler Building at 77 Park Avenue lies a historic building known as The Griffon, originally designed in 1924 by New York architects Margon and Glaser. It stands as a reminder of Manhattan’s chic gilded age with a stunning lobby and landscaped rooftop with enviable views. But the real magic begins on the 14th floor in the art deco-inspired pied-a-terre of philanthropist couple Stan Ponte and John Metzner.

Ponte, the Senior Vice President of Sotheby’s International Realty and his husband Metzner, who works in finance, set about to create a calming retreat in which to entertain friends, escape the busy city below and grow their collection of art. They hired New York interior designer Alan Tanksley to oversee and direct a restoration of their “Classic Six” apartment to reflect the traditional, refined architecture of the building. The men knew Tanksley had the pedigree to handle the job, having worked many years as an associate of the late, distinguished designer Mark Hampton and having collaborated with leading architects such as Maya Lin, Robert Orr and Harry Elson.

Tanksley’s vision involved a revised floorplan and careful reconstruction of bordered wood floors, custom millwork, and new moldings, doors and hardware throughout the home. A special feature of the design includes full-height paneled doors with polished nickel hardware. The glamour of classic 1930s Hollywood films drove the decoration of the space, which Tanksley achieved using an ethereal, subtle color palette of silvery-grey neutrals, lots of mirror and high-gloss surfaces, and a hefty dose of mid-century modern furniture.

Ultimately, the designer’s classic style and depth of textures, combined with the owners’ family heirlooms, antiques and art collection, create a home that is simultaneously sophisticated and relaxing.

In the media room, cashmere skull pillows by Rani Arabella sit atop a sectional sofa covered in Holly Hunt’s “Matchmaker/Moonlight” fabric. A round walnut ottoman by Snug Harbor Furniture is topped in red leather, and the tree branch console table is by R.T. Facts.

The master bedroom is enveloped by a Phillip Jeffries grasscloth wallcovering. A Larry Lederman photograph hangs above a custom headboard covered in Edelman Leather. Vintage Tommi Parzinger table lamps sit atop night stands by Maria Yee Aldus, while an Eames lounge chair and ottoman are perched near the window.

The art deco-inspired living room features a Venetian glass mirror hung above a fluted marble mantel from Chesney’s, a custom wool and silk carpet by Martin Patrick Evan and a sofa by Edward Wormley.

The dining room features a BoConcept Milano table, an Arhaus banquette and chairs from Sit Down. Tall Eclipse Wall Lights by Visual Comfort and a metal studded mirror from Liza Sherman Antiques give the room a sleek feel.

In a bright corner of the media room, a Dennis Gargiulo sideboard holds a miniature set of Bauhaus furniture and a 1930s task lamp. The art deco armchairs are from High Style Deco.

Tanksley created a spa-like vibe in the master bathroom by covering the walls and floor in Calacatta marble tiles and encasing the original bathtub in Negro Marquina marble. A polished nickel faucet set by Ann Sacks adorns the pedestal sink which is original to the apartment.

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