LATEST NEWS

Downton Abbey Director Michael Engler Puts His Penthouse On The Market For $5 Million

Despite the strong aesthetic of the show, his penthouse is surprisingly modern.

By Annette Barlow September 15, 2016
All photos courtesy of Stribling

Anyone who has spent the last five years watching Brit period drama Downton Abbey would naturally expect some of the turn-of-the-century sensibilities to have seeped into series director Michael Engler’s personal taste. Perhaps a penchant for all things feathered? A lust for polished oak? A keen eye for brocade?

Well, according to the current listing for his New York penthouse, apparently not. The duplex, located at Chelsea’s luxurious condo complex 263 Ninth Avenue, is a masterclass in understated modernist elegance; all light-flooded rooms, white walls and meticulously selected furnishings.

Related: Birth of the Cool: NYC’s Jazz Greats Lived In Some of Slickest Cribs In Town

The one-time Sex and the City director bought the apartment in 2006 with his husband, broker Steven Sumser, for $2.5 million, and the new $5 million price tag seems to reflect the extensive work the couple put into the space. They hired architect Roy McMakin of Domestic Architecture to renovate the interiors—his trademark clean, white palette marries perfectly with the bright 2,250-square-foot, 3-bedroom, 2-bath property.

static1-squarespace-com
Engler’s luxury NYC condo

On the first floor, the south-facing, open-plan living room—featuring 12-foot beamed ceilings—flows directly into the generous dining room, where an eight-seater table and industrial chandelier dominate the space. The kitchen—roomy by New York standards—nestles around the corner, and showcases a Big Leaf Maple island, complete with custom pendant lights, and a colossal 48-inch double oven Viking stove. This kitchen means business.

A den and multi-purpose guest room are also located on the first floor, while the large master suite occupies the majority of the second floor. Although the bedroom is understated and modest in much the same vein as the rest of the apartment, the bathroom can’t help but boast all the bells and whistles, with its deep soaker tub, separate shower and bath. A small kitchenette sits at the top of the stairs to the second floor, just inside the patio doors, while a sublime 1,000-square-foot south-and-west-facing terrace wraps itself around the building outside.

Labeled the “garden in the sky” by the broker (Sumser himself), vines drape themselves languorously over the seating area, where a sectional sofa sits beneath the shade of established trees and shrubs. A huge dining area can be found at the other end of the terrace, complete with a built-in grill (almost as big as the downstairs stove) and draping ivy climbing the walls.

static1-squarespace-com
Engler’s luxury NYC condo

And if that doesn’t sound idyllic enough, the building also comes with a 24-hour doorman, a full-time superintendent and a common roof deck (in case 1,000-square -feet isn’t quite enough for you). There is one period detail that Engler did sneak into his apartment, however: the solid oak floors throughout. We bet that tiptoeing to the kitchen on these creaking floorboards early morning would make anybody feel as if they time-traveled to the turn-of-the-century old-fashioned abbey.

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.

  • AGORAFY
    Stefano Boeri, the architect mastermind behind the famous plant-covered skyscrapers, is now designing Forest Cities in Liuzhou, China. #ForestCity #China https://goo.gl/PsTUwv
  • AGORAFY
    Auction is the second scheduled in a month for a One57 unit and it could set a NYC foreclosure record. #BillionairesRow #Foreclosures https://goo.gl/NZ3zqD
  • AGORAFY
    Once a couch-surfing website, Airbnb moves on to luxury properties, further disrupting hospitality industry. #Airbnb #Luxury https://goo.gl/7TpLk6
Four Countries To Retire In With $200K In Savings—And How Much Real Estate Costs There
Ever dreamed of retiring abroad? You know, affordable healthcare, better climate, more positive news—becoming an expat seems like an enticing option, especially one you no…
While Other Real Estate Platforms Start Charging Agents $3-Per-Day Exposure Fee, Agorafy Remains Accessible To All
Real Estate searching platform are always finding news ways to diversify their revenues models. Case in point—on Tuesday July 18, Streeteasy, one of New York…
Is Real Estate Crowdfunding The Fix That Urban Housing In America Really Needs?
Saving money for a down payment? One can only hope. Most millennial in their twenties or thirties are mortified that they might never be able…
Brooklyn And Queens’ Real Estate Sub-Markets Continue Their Ascent To The New Heights
So, the sales prices in Brooklyn and Queens hit record highs. Again. Just like they did in December 2016 and at the end of this…
The Economy Of Car Services And Delivery Apps Might Be Making NYC Less Eco-Friendly
Living in an eco-friendly neighborhood is a good thing. And, as it always the case with the good things, it also costs more. High rents…
Building Communities: What The U.S. Developers Should Learn From Soho China
As our world emerges into the new period of globalization and technology, some of the most important by-products of this process are buildings that have…
Five Reasons Why All Entrepreneurs Must Keep Their Eyes On China
It is hard to overestimate the importance of Chinese influence on the modern global economy. Carving out a place in Chinese market and winning over…
Airbnb Up Their Game With A New Luxury Tier Featuring Mansions And Villas
Airbnb is about to seriously up their game. First, the company started testing a new service called Select in an attempt to push accommodation listings…