Art Nerd New York | Los Angeles

Murray Hill’s Gingerbread Carriage House

Alongside the traffic to the Queens-Midtown tunnel is this gingerbread of a house with an artistic past. The Flemish Revival former stable house was built in 1902 by architect Ralph Samuel Townsend to house financier George Bowdoin’s horses and coachmen. The red brick facade features busts of wreathed stone horses, as well as a bulldog which looks over from the steeped roof. After the Bowdoin family sold the adorable structure in the 1940s, the spacious stable house became a dog breeding business, a car garage, a private residence of John Pierpont Morgan Jr’s granddaughter; each tenant renovating to suit their needs.

In 1997, the Saffs bought the stable house to serve as their private residence and gallery for their impressive art collection, which included Lichtenstein, Rauschenberg and Nancy Graves. The couple also transformed the interior into a Minimalist and modern space, letting the art take center stage. In 2002 the couple decided to move, and sold the house to the suitable Gabarron Foundation, which used the carriage house to exhibit Spanish and American art works, as well as serve as a meeting place for their artists and clients. The Gabarron Foundation as since sold the place to a private client, but its ornamented facade can be enjoyed by New York flaneurs.

What: Gingerbread Carriage House
Who: Architect Ralph Samuel Townsend
Where: 149 East 38th Street

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