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All images of Prince Tower Building via Sotheby's All images of Prince Tower Building via Sotheby's
The majority of New York City's loft buildings were once manufacturing and storage hubs that had to support the heavy loads of the industry/machines they hosted. Rather than use enormous beams and a forest of columns for structural support, barrel-vaulted ceilings provided a more efficient means to distribute gravity loads without cluttering the spaces with columns.
There is no one set classification for barrel-vaulted ceilings, but New York real estate defines them as vaulted ceilings with an arch and ribs serving as support. It turns out the construction method results in in some unexpected soundproofing, and now with many industrial spaces turned residences, acoustic insulation is undoubtedly a useful perk in NYC.
37-East-12th-Street-1 Barrel-vaulted ceilings can add character and depth to windowless spaces. (37 East 12th Street via Compass)
Barrel-vaulted homes typically come with loftier ceiling heights and open layouts, which let in more natural light. The vaults can be coated in light-reflecting paint or the brick portions can be left exposed. One negative aspect is that high-ceiled spaces require higher energy demands to keep the air temperate. Nevertheless, if one can overlook this caveat and the cost of buying such an apartment (a type often found in the city's most desirable neighborhoods), one can truly appreciate the character and wow factor these ceilings add to any space.
Some people admire barrel-vaulted ceilings so much that they'll pay to have one put in their homes. But in New York, it's possible to go straight to the source. This antiquated architectural feature is relatively rare but find below 12 available apartments in converted buildings with barrel-vaulted ceilings.

55-Hudson-Street-1 All images of 55 Hudson Street via Rise Media/The Corcoran Group
55-Hudson-Street-2 Kitchen
55-Hudson-Street-3 Bedroom
Rarely available corner unit in a historic cooperative is rich in prewar details like barrel-vaulted ceilings, exposed brick, cast iron columns, and hardwood flooring. The grand entry hall leads to a modern kitchen with an oversized island and state-of-the-art appliances. The sunny master suite boasts a generous walk-in closet and a bath with a dual vanity and a deep soaking tub. See floor plan and full details here.

275-West-10th-Street-1 All images of The Shephard via Compass
275-West-10th-Street-2 Kitchen
275-West-10th-Street-3 Master bedroom
Pristine penthouse in a prime downtown location boasts barrel-vaulted ceilings, massive arched windows, a grand foyer, and three unique private outdoor spaces. The custom kitchen by Smallbone of Devizes is outfitted with custom mahogany cabinetry, black granite countertops, and Miele appliances. The master suite features two walk-in closets and a bath with a hand-crafted mahogany vanity. See floor plan and full details here.

543-Broadway-1 All images of 543 Broadway via Douglas Elliman
543-Broadway-2 Kitchen
543-Broadway-3 Bedroom
No detail was overlooked in the masterful renovation of this full-floor loft in the Soho Cast Iron District. Prewar details like exposed brick walls, barrel-vaulted ceilings, double-height windows, and hardwood floors were carefully restored. Modern enhancements include upgraded plumbing, a custom chef's kitchen, spa-like baths, and a custom-crafted focal wall that opens to reveal a wet bar and a wine fridge. See floor plan and full details here.

429-Greenwich-Street-1 All images of The Dietz Lantern Building via VHT/The Corcoran Group
429-Greenwich-Street-2 Living room
429-Greenwich-Street-3 Kitchen
An extraordinary loft in a factory that once manufactured lamps for horse-drawn carriages has been beautifully updated with adjustable lighting, a Sonos sound system, central air conditioning, Citi Quiet windows, and ultra-private bedrooms. The open-plan kitchen is outfitted with high-end appliances, custom cabinetry, and a surround of bronze and burnished wood. However, none of this came at the expense of historic details like 12-foot barrel-vaulted ceilings and exposed brick walls. See floor plan and full details here.

114-East-13th-Street-1 All images of American Felt Building via Brown Harris Stevens
114-East-13th-Street-2 Living/dining area
114-East-13th-Street-3 Loft
An expansive loft with a flexible floor plan boasts soaring barrel-vaulted ceilings, exposed brick, and abundant natural light that pours through a wall of 10-foot windows facing south. The kitchen is outfitted with state-of-the-art appliances, and the oversized bath has double sinks. It is well situated just off Union Square Park in the heart of the East Village. See floor plan and full details here.

4-West-16th-Street-1 All images of 4 West 16th Street via Compass
4-West-16th-Street-2 Dining area
4-West-16th-Street-3 Library
This classic loft in the Ladies Mile Historic District boasts 11-foot barrel-vaulted ceilings, original grand columns, hardwood floors, custom built-ins, and oversized windows. The kitchen is beautifully outfitted with custom cabinetry, a hand-cut backsplash, and top-of-the-line appliances. Large French doors separate the living room from the master suite, which boasts generous closet space. See floor plan and full details here.

565-Broadway-1 A prime example of brick-vaulted ceilings at Prince Tower Building (Image via Sotheby's)
565-Broadway-2 Kitchen
565-Broadway-3 Bedroom
Many Soho lofts have been designed to imitate historic architecture, but this one is the real thing. Architectural details include exposed-brick barrel-vaulted ceilings, an open layout, and oversized windows. The kitchen has been updated with custom built-ins and top-of-the-line stainless steel appliances. See floor plan and full details here.

37-East-12th-Street-1 All images of 37 East 12th Street via Compass
37-East-12th-Street-2 Kitchen
37-East-12th-Street-3 Bedroom
This enormous townhouse masterfully combines historic authenticity with state-of-the-art finishes and technology. The living space boasts soaring barrel-vaulted ceilings, a wood-burning fireplace, original cast iron columns, and access to a private terrace. The chef's eat-in kitchen has been updated with custom cabinetry, honed marble countertops, and top-of-the-line appliances. See floor plan and full details here.

61-East-11th-Street-1 All images of 61 East 11th Street via Compass
61-East-11th-Street-2 Kitchen
61-East-11th-Street-3 Bedroom
This thoughtfully designed loft in a building dating back to 1903 combines grand industrial scale with warm, welcoming details. The living room's 11-foot barrel-vaulted ceilings, exposed brick walls, and enormous south-facing windows create a welcoming atmosphere. Further in, the master suite boasts two large wardrobe closets, three built-in dressers, a window seat, and an en suite bath with heated floors, a double vanity, and a walk-in shower. See floor plan and full details here.

640-Broadway-1 All images of 640 NOHO via 640 NOHO
640-Broadway-2 Living room
640-Broadway-3 Bedroom
The loft penthouse boasts 14-foot barrel-vaulted ceilings, oversized windows, and hardwood floors that nod to the 152-year-old building's storied history. Recent enhancements include heated floors, custom lighting, a chef's kitchen, abundant storage, smart home technology, and an infrared sauna. Environmentally friendly touches include LED lighting and a high-efficiency air filtration system. See floor plan and full details here.

Honorable Mentions
37-East-12th-Street-4 37 East 12th Street via Compass
42-Ann-Street-1 42 Ann Street via Compass

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