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This Hell’s Kitchen Monastery Got A Bling Makeover

Hell’s Kitchen becomes heaven’s home for whoever buys this amazing place.

By Annette Barlow November 1, 2016
Photos courtesy of Corcoran

Some buildings are designed with function in mind, some with comfort. And then are those buildings whose purpose you can never quite discern, so eccentric is their construction, so idiosyncratic their style. Cue 416 West 51st Street, a building which appears to play the role of iconic New York brownstone to perfection. That is, from the outside.

Related: Why Brownstones Remain Real Estate Royalty In Condo Crazy World

Currently on the market for $14 million, the six-bedroom Hell’s Kitchen townhouse is spread over an unprecedented six floors, and while boasting a seemingly traditional exterior, complete with historically recreated facade and renovated stoop, its interior is a genuine revelation.

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Netting a colossal 7,003 square feet of living space, the 1910 building used to be a monastery before current owner and man responsible for its monumental transformation Matthew Hansen purchased the property from the Archdiocese of New York. But back in the day, it was where monks lived, prayed, slept and trained. Hansen bought the place in 2011 when it was in total disrepair, and has since spent an undisclosed (but clearly pretty sizable) sum not only bringing the building to code, but also adding some of his own distinct flair.

I wanted it to be like Alice in Wonderland,” Hansen said. “Normal from the outside, not so normal on the inside.” ‘Not so normal’ indeed sums up this mystery house’s interiors, from the entertainment area complete with banquette seating, pool table, pinball machine and four televisions (because, of course, one television is never enough) to the astounding feat of engineering that is the cantilevered master bedroom, overhanging the property’s own private paved back yard.

And if astounding feats of engineering really get your motor running, this is the house for you. Double-height ceilings (we’re talking 22 feet) in the living room play host to a bank of windows 25 feet wide and 22 feet tall. They flood the huge, open-plan loft space with light and breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline.

In fact, so roomy and airy is this space, it’s hard to believe it’s a single-family home and not a contemporary boutique hotel. Luxurious touches sit comfortably alongside industrial notes, and the effect is, in a word, bold. The chef’s kitchen features Viking appliances and waterfall Carrera marble counter tops. The exposed concrete walls and reclaimed shiplap add texture and a utilitarian warmth. The living room is dominated by a wood-burning fireplace, which is wrapped in the building’s original—and restored—floor joists.

The piece-de-resistance, however, is not the two private terraces or the 1,750 sq. ft. of outdoor living space. It’s not even the home’s five full bathrooms and three half bathrooms. Nope, it’s the master bedroom, a stunning duplex situate over the fifth and sixth floors of the property. Featuring double-height ceilings, a mezzanine lounge with wood-burning fireplace, fully equipped wet bar, an en-suite bathroom with deep soaker tub, separate shower with a marble bench and rainfall shower head and double vanity, it’s a far cry from its previous resident’s typical living quarters.

Not that the monks would ever reject a home like this. After all, who doesn’t love pinball?

Annette Barlow

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Annette Barlow

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Annette Barlow

Annette is freelance editor, sub-editor, journalist and proofreader with a fierce love of all things feminist, food and music. She is a regular fixture on the arts, culture and feature desks at The Guardian, and her words have appeared on NME, Great British Chefs, The Fly, The Line of Best Fit and Australian Times.

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