simple is beautiful
New York Daily Photo: Pied-à-Aire
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Wednesday, 15 August 2007


There are many secret worlds in New York City and rooftop houses are one of them. I am sure having a private little shangri-la in the city is a fantasy that many have had, but few realize that these pied-à-aires have been actualized by a fortunate few. I was somewhat surprised to find out how little information is available on this phenomenon - one would not expect a lot in print, allowing for the fact that photographing these properties is going to be difficult without an invitation, but typically one would expect a few feature articles - I found none (I do recall an article many years ago about a rooftop cabin). The gabled structure in the photo is not strictly a rooftop house - it is an extension of an top floor apartment. It sits atop the building at 203 East 13th Street on the corner of 3rd Avenue in the East Village. The building itself was built in 1910 and converted to condominiums in 1986. In the early 90s, the owner of the top floor apartment built the cedar-shingled structure. Originally a spiral staircase led to a small rooftop room - this was torn down and replaced with the rooftop complex which includes a master bedroom and bath, a small greenhouse, a darkroom, a hot tub, outdoor decks and plantings. I wish I had closeups and interior photos of the property but alas, I could not find any ...


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