PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Dallas April 2024

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T raveling to New York City used to be all business for a Dallas collector and former art dealer. "I was in New York a lot for art shows, three to seven times a year. It was a place for work — I never thought about it as a place to live," she says. That changed in 2014 after an impromptu conversation with a stranger who stopped by her booth at an art fair. This collector and her husband had been trying to remodel their longtime house in Highland Park but were frustrated with the process. The stranger, who happened to be an architect, offered sage advice that changed the course of her life: "She told me to close the book on the renovation and move on. When something else is right, you'll know it." Soon afterwards, a friend from the Hamptons invited the collector to dinner at her Manhattan apartment on the Upper East Side. Located on the fifth floor of a stalwart brick building designed in 1929 by architect George F. Pelham, the apartment is tucked among the treetops and a mere stone's throw from galleries and museums. The interiors were magnificent. "I walked inside, and all I could say was, 'Oh, my god.' I'd been in hundreds of New Yo r k a p a r t m e n t s and had never seen one like this," she says. The grand liv- ing room radiated sophistication with a double-height cei- ling, Neoclassical marble fireplace, and 17th-century Swedish stained-glass panels, origi- nal to the building. Remembering the earlier conver- sation she'd had with the architect, she decided to go with her intuition. "I told my friend — with a straight face — that this apartment is supposed to be mine. And my friend said — with a straight face — 'Okay.'" It was a stroke of luck or fate: The apartment had been on and off the market, and her friend was willing to sell it to her if she wanted it. After a quick phone call to her surprised husband, the collector sat down at dinner with her friend and discussed the details. Everything about the apartment felt right, she says. "My husband and I were in a place in our lives where he was thinking about retirement, the kids were grown, and my business was predominantly in New York. Maybe buying an apartment was a crazy idea, but why not?" T he 1920s apartment had been updated over the decades, but the original layout and architectural details had been left intact — along with the ancient plumbing and electricity. "If you turned on your hair dryer the lights went out," she says. New York architect Alexander Peabody Stoltz was enlisted to bring the apartment into the 21st century. In addition to updating the kitchen and bathrooms, he elevated and widened the room openings to bring volume and visual flow to the apartment. "We didn't remove a single wall," she says. The collector's longtime friend, designer Emily Summers, who had done her Dallas house, also handled the Manhattan apartment's interior design. "All my clients are my best friends," Summers says. "It's fun to travel with them and work with them. What I want to do is put their personality into the Above bench, diptych by unknown artist made from architectural pieces from a building in Paris. 75

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