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137 Franklin Street: Review and Ratings

at The Southwest corner of Varick Street View Full Building Profile

Carter Horsley
Review of 137 Franklin Street by Carter Horsley

This very handsome, 6-story boutique condominium at 137 Franklin Street on the southwest corner of Varick Street in TriBeCa was erected in 2011 and has only three apartments.

It was developed by Brandon Miller and designed by Studio MDA, which was founded in New York in 2002 by Markus Dochantschi who previously had worked by Arata Isozaki and Fumihiko Maki in Tokyo and Zaha Hadid in London..

It is across Varick Street from the thin triangular Finn Park and diagonally across from a subway station on a traffic island just to the north of the park.

Bottom Line

This masterly small boutique residential condominium is notable for its many multi-paned windows and red-brick and black-metal façades and very few apartments.


This new building can sure teach its many old TriBeCa neighbors a thing or two about proportion, bold design and a respect for refined industrial-style architecture.

Despite its small plot, this extremely handsome building conveys a great sense of monumentality because of its jewel-like multiplicity of window panes, its bold black-metal base, its strong façade patterning between window bays, the broad arched windows on its top floor and its attractive and good-sized modern cornice.

Its entrance is beneath a hanging metal shed marquee on a cobblestone street and it also has sidewalk landscaping.

One might describe it as a Post-Modern building but it is no mere cliché of historical pastiches.  It is a very strong and very proud reinterpretation of what TriBeCa architecture should be!


Gas fireplaces and an elevator.


The four-level penthouse has four bedrooms and a 22-foot-high, 22-foot-wide dining room and 19-foot-long kitchen on its second level next to a very dramatic, glass-railed stair to the 49-foot-long entertainment area on its third level.  The elevator provides access to its 66-foot-long roof terrace with an outdoor kitchen with cabinetry, a refrigerator, and sink that can be hidden behind custom accordion doors.  The roof also provides spectacular views of the spectacular residential tower at 56 Leonard Street.

The four-bedroom duplex on the third and fourth floors has an angled, 23-foot-long living room with a gas fireplace next to its 12-foot-wide entry foyer on the top floor adjacent to its 15-foot-wide dining room and 18-foot-wide kitchen.  A staircase across from the foyer leads down to a 32-foot-long hall and three of the bedrooms.  The fourth bedroom is on the upper level.


Out of 44

Architecture Rating: 30 / 44

Out of 36

Location Rating: 30 / 36

Out of 39

Features Rating: 15 / 39


CityRealty Rating Reference

  • 30+ remarkable
  • 20-29 distinguished
  • 11-19 average
  • < 11 below average
  • 27+ remarkable
  • 18-26 distinguished
  • 9-17 average
  • < 9 below average
  • 22+ remarkable
  • 16-21 distinguished
  • 9-15 average
  • < 9 below average
  • #11 Rated co-op - Downtown
  • #2 Rated co-op - Tribeca
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Key Details
between Gold Street & Flatbush Avenue Extension
Downtown Brooklyn
Tax-abated condos with panoramic NYC views Studio - 3-bed condos starting from $1M Immediate Occupancy | Call to schedule your tour
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