In one of the more unique green building stories that we’ve come across here at gbNYC, actor/artist Carson Ferri-Grant has sold his eco-friendly penthouse at the pre-war Cornwall co-operative building at 255 West 90th Street, which dates from 1910, for $1.7 million.
While that’s interesting to us standing alone, it’s Mr. Ferri-Grant’s pedigree that caught our eye. As the Observer puts it in an article reporting the sale: “in addition to acting in such timeless titles as ‘Smiles and the Sex Bunny,’ Mr. Ferri-Grant has been an outspoken environmentalist, even creating an interactive 30′ by 40′ ‘Mother Earth’s Uterus’ complete with damaged fallopian tubes representing nuclear contamination.” The one-man exhibition was called “Nature-Nuclear” at the 1979 Jack Morris Gallery, NYC and encouraged viewers to consider alternative energy sources as a means of protecting the natural environment.
Mr. Ferri-Grant is also (apparently) known for his 1970s-era pro-environment art exhibitions and designed his apartment to reflect those concerns. The space is open and loft-like to maximize cross-breezes and venting placement of windows and doors, with a ductless central HVAC system, individually controlled heating and cooling units, and Energy Star-rated appliances. In a 2010 article discussing the project, Mr. Ferri-Grant noted that the design incorporated “some USGBC LEED-EB: OM solutions: solar lighting, skylights, dual-room translucent sharing of sunlight, and multi-temperature-rated building materials.” The three-bedroom, two-bath duplex unit includes a 2100-square-foot roof terrace where Mr. Ferri-Grant grew flowers, blueberries, and various herbs and provided a habitat for butterflies, bees, doves, and finches (pictured, top).
But as the Observer points out, the property’s listing made little mention of the its green features. And in an interview, the purchaser (a corporate lawyer) told the Observer that the space was “weird but incredible.” Mr. Ferri-Grant performed the design and construction work himself, which he completed in June of 2010 after an 8-year process pursuing co-op board and New York City Department of Buildings approvals.
Mr. Ferri-Grant originally listed the property last year for $2.995 million.