From Townhouse To Bauhaus
New York magazine|August 2 - 15, 2021
After years in a Greenwich Village brownstone, Alexandra Pappas wanted to live her modernist dream. To a point.
By Wendy Goodman

The Entry

The door is painted Yves Klein blue. On its left hang antique Venetian mirrors, and on its right is a Giacometti lithograph. The large black-and-white painting is by Julian Opie. The red sculpture is 1970s metal sourced at Theron Ware in Hudson. The apartment’s parquet floors were replaced with wide oak plank from Carlisle Flooring.

"I NEVER IMAGINED I would be in a postwar building,” Alexandra Pappas says. Indeed, for 18 years she rented an apartment across the hall from me in the five-story 1854 West Village brownstone where I live still; she threw wonderful parties. “I remember walking into that building on 9th Street and thinking, Oh my God, I found the place of my dreams,” she says. “I loved it there so much.”

So I was intrigued when she said she was moving a few blocks but a world away to Butterfield House, designed by Walter Gropius protégés William J. Conklin and James Rossant and built-in 1962. Constructed of beige brick with distinctive bay windows, it was lauded for how well it blended in with the historic streetscape and for the graciousness of its layouts and details (not always the case with buildings of that era). It fronts on both 12th and 13th Streets and has a large garden courtyard filled with trees. Pappas’s terrace off her living room is veiled in privacy thanks to the leafy scrim.

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