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-à-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.
Photographs by Bartek Sherman