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The Woolworth Tower Residences lobby (Douglas Elliman); Thierry Despont (Flickr - Restaurant & Bar Design Awards) The Woolworth Tower Residences lobby (Douglas Elliman); Thierry Despont (Flickr - Restaurant & Bar Design Awards)
Earlier this week, The Real Deal announced that acclaimed architect Thierry Despont has died at the age of 75. Shortly after Mr. Despont established his Manhattan office in 1980, he was tapped to work on the restoration of the Statue of Liberty. This was the first entrant in a rich portfolio of restoration projects that included the Ritz Hotel in Paris, the Ralph Lauren flagship in London, and the interiors of the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. In New York City alone, his resume includes the renovation of the Cartier Mansion, the renovation of the Lambs Club into the Chatwal Hotel, and the transformation of the Battery Maritime Building into private members club Casa Cipriani.

Mr. Despont was also highly celebrated for his residential work and interior design. Not only did he famously design the houses of Bill Gates, Calvin Klein, and Mickey Drexler, to name but a few, but he had a hand in the interiors, amenities, and sometimes both at the city’s most luxurious apartment buildings.

2-Park-Place-01 The Woolworth Tower Residences (Sotheby's International Realty)
Apartment with large windows surrounded by terra cotta detailing
Basement-level pool with lounges
When the top 30 stories of the iconic Woolworth Building were transformed into luxury apartments, developer Kenneth Horn, president of Alchemy Properties, said, “Thierry Despont was the only one who got it.” Indeed, all the apartments designed by Mr. Despont combine prewar influences with modern needs, featuring high ceilings, oversized windows framed by terra cotta facade detailing, oak herringbone floors, a graceful flow between the custom Molteni kitchens and the dining/living spaces, and windowed primary baths sheathed in Calacatta Caldia marble.

Mr. Despont also had an active hand in the building’s amenities, which bring the building’s rich history into the present day. The coffered ceiling in the residential lobby was restored and relocated from Frank W. Woolworth’s private office, and the reimagined lap pool was originally commissioned by Mr. Woolworth. New amenities include a 30th-floor fitness center, The Gilbert Lounge and game room, and a wine storage and tasting room.

53-West-53rd-Street-01 53W53 (Douglas Elliman)
Kitchen with center island and floor-to-ceiling windows
Primary bath with Verona limestone
Mr. Despont has said of the Billionaires’ Row-adjacent supertall, “We struck the right balance between functional, well-defined spaces and the beauty of the structure.” Indeed, the unique structure of the Jean Nouvel-designed tower allowed Mr. Despont to create spacious, elegant floor plans. Interiors feature fully bespoke kitchens with Molteni cabinetry and polished statuary marble countertops, not to mention primary baths designed with Verona marble accents to serve as spa-like sanctuaries.

220-Central-Park-South-01 220 Central Park South (The Corcoran Group)
Living room with Central Park vistas
220 Central Park South has garnered considerable attention for its tasteful limestone architecture by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, but Mr. Stern is not the only design luminary linked to this Billionaires’ Row project: Interiors by Mr. Despont were designed to make the most of the panoramic views of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline. He also designed the building's amenities, which include a gracious porte cochere entrance that beautifully sets the tone for the privacy and luxury of the apartments above.

1 Central Park South
20 availabilities from $900,000

1-Central-Park-South-01 The Palm Court (Compass)
In addition to a prestigious address, owners of condos at The Plaza enjoy access to the hotel’s services, amenities, shops, and restaurants. Among them is The Palm Court, which Mr. Despont revamped and restored in 2014. He drew inspiration from the original hotel and its surroundings: The stained glass dome is highly reminiscent of the original, which dated back to 1907, and the nearby Central Park inspired ceiling-high palm trees and abundant greenery throughout.

815-Fifth-Avenue-01 Fasano Fifth Avenue (Douglas Elliman)
Formal dining area with window and access to kitchen
Primary bedroom with custom light fixture and views of Central Park
New construction is few and far between on the east side of Central Park, which did a number to gin up excitement for 815 Fifth Avenue. However, the new building’s fluted limestone facade pays respectful tribute to the prewar architecture surrounding it. The private members club houses seven studio suites and four duplex apartments, all of which feature views of Central Park as well as interiors by Mr. Despont that are enhanced with bespoke furnishings and artwork. Amenities include seasonal dining at Fasano Caffe, courtyard garden, fitness center with dry saunas, and services like in-room dining and spa treatments, laundry, dry cleaning, personal training, and personal training.

35 East 76th Street
3 availabilities from $888,000

35-East-76th-Street-01 Bemelmans Bar (The Corcoran Group)
Residents of The Carlyle Hotel enjoy access to the Upper East Side landmark’s services, amenities, and restaurants. These include local mainstay Bemelmans Bar, which Mr. Despont restored at the beginning of the 21st century. The updated setting is rich in Art Deco-inspired touches and high-end finishes like a 24-karat gold leaf ceiling, black granite bar, nickel-trimmed black glass tabletops, and chocolate brown leather banquettes. However, none of this came at the expense of the rare murals by Ludwig Bemelman. (P.S. Mr. Despont also designed the hotel’s Empire Suite on the 28th through 29th floors, which features views of Central Park, two sitting areas, two king-size beds, a queen-size pullout sofa, four and a half baths, and the hotel’s custom artwork, finishings, and toiletries. Price upon request.)

182 Franklin Street
Available for $19,500,000

182-Franklin-Street-01 182 Franklin Street, #TH (Douglas Elliman)
Entrance gallery with staircase
Living room with oversized window
Formal dining room
Chef's kitchen
Primary bedroom
Art studio
Less than half a mile from the coffee roasting plant that Mr. Despont turned into a single-family residence for fashion executive Mickey Drexler, the celebrated architect brought his appreciation for architecture history to his own residence. His house dates back to 1915, a time when Tribeca was more famous for food businesses than hot restaurants, and counted two cheese companies among its past tenants. Following Mr. Despont’s renovation, the house includes an art studio where he liked to paint and sculpt at the end of the day. It also features a fifth-floor Great Room, eat-in kitchen and dining room, full-floor primary suite with marble bath and sauna, and three secondary bedrooms with en suite baths. The townhouse was listed for $25,000,000 in October 2021, but reduced to $19,499,999 in February 2023.

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