Historic renovations yield the rarest multimillion-dollar homes

There is a certain cache, a kind of exaggerated swagger, associated with ownership of a multi-million dollar home. Of course, anyone who can afford such a high price tag can own a multi-million dollar home. However, only a few people can own the next higher tier: a multimillion dollar home with a historical backstory.

Several of the country’s most storied and striking architectural jewels, each with unique historical legacies, are being reborn as unique multimillion-dollar residences. Here is a short tour of these wonderful historical treasures.

The Archer Residences

When the term “antebellum” is used on Boston’s Beacon Hill, the conflict referred to is the Revolutionary War. By that standard, The Archer Residences structure is relatively new, “only” about a century old, yet steeped in the tradition of old Boston. Reborn as the first full-service white-gloved condominium in the historic enclave, The Archer Residences exudes a charm that’s entirely appropriate for this neighborhood of cobblestone streets and Federal-style townhomes. The building’s appeal is evident in the fact that a $10 million penthouse went under contract during the pandemic.

“The Archer presented a unique opportunity to create a rare new living experience in one of Boston’s most historic neighborhoods,” said Kevin Caulfield of Compass, who oversees sales of the Archer. “The building combines classic and contemporary living with its restored red brick facade, complemented by incredible original architectural features such as high ceilings and oversized windows and brand new finishes. . . Facilities, private outdoor space and spacious homes [make] The Archer is a unique offering for Beacon Hill.”

Centuries Square

Imagine living in the same building that was once known as the Century Plaza Hotel, an inn known for housing Hollywood royalty and American presidents, starting with LBJ. After a $2.5 billion makeover orchestrated by Next Century Partners, Century Plaza has been reimagined as Fairmont Century Plaza, featuring a 400-room flagship hotel, 268 mega-luxury condominium homes, and a full suite of premium amenities.

“The Century Plaza Hotel is a Los Angeles institution that has hosted awards ceremonies, astronauts, Hollywood royalty and U.S. presidents,” said Michael Rosenfeld, CEO of Next Century Partners. “[It’s] an icon and we are excited to usher in a new era of modern luxury living, where residents will have access to unparalleled services and amenities.”

Four Seasons New Orleans

Once the Big Easy’s World Trade Center tower, this National Register of Historic Places-registered landmark has been artfully revived and renamed Four Seasons New Orleans Hotel & Private Residences.

Now home to Crescent City’s first five-star hotel and branded apartments, Four Seasons New Orleans has surpassed every record for home prices in the city. Remaining homes carry price tags ranging from $2 to $10 million.

A Wall Street

One of Downtown Manhattan’s – and even America’s – most treasured Art Deco representations, this one-time symbol of financial fortitude is being reinterpreted as a modern lifestyle destination. Outstanding developer Harry Macklowe is undertaking an intricate, complex and costly renovation of the Ralph Walker-designed limestone tower, which once housed the Irving Trust and later the Bank of New York, into a 566-family condominium. Sales will start later this year.

555 West End Avenue

Designed by William A. Boring, the Beaux Arts Building is a circa 1908 landmark that housed a private school before its Renaissance as the most notable condominium on New York’s Upper West Side. The 13 unique houses – many former classrooms – have huge windows that flood the interior with natural light, and ceilings that are 12 to 20 meters high. Among the houses are The Library and the Solarium Penthouse, the latter cut from the one-time gymnasium on the roof of the school.

Aman New York

Built in 1921 by Warren & Wetmore, the architects of Grand Central Station, this is the second city hotel of the mega-luxury hospitality company Aman, after Aman Tokyo. It will offer 83 rooms, with just 22 residences – all maintained by Aman – in his loftier stories. Each house has a wood-burning fireplace, while several have a private pool set against the architectural misadventures of the original building.

Half of the homes with one to six bedrooms have been sold; they include the $180 million Crown Penthouse at the top of the building.

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