Now, this is a place I would love, love, love to live… or at least visit
Architect Eric Clough teamed up with Steven B. Klinsky and Maureen Sherry to renovate their newly acquired 5th Avenue 20’s-era co-op; but they didn’t get your standard swanky cookie-cutter Central Park grazing abode. No, no, Mr. Clough created a whole little world concealed in what would appear to be “normal” furniture, walls, and decorations. A whole puzzle in fact concealed in “secrets — messages, games and treasures — that make up a Rube Goldberg maze of systems and contraptions” left for the family of six (four young children) to find and solve. Yes, the apartment even has it’s own book AND soundtrack!
What began as a simple request from Mr. Klinksy to have a poem he had written for his family be hidden in a wall somewhere in the house soon took on a life of its own as Clough became inspired to create a scavenger hunt or game embedded within the apartment. It became a very personal project for Clough, who began employing numerous other artists, designers, writers, and contraption makers to take part in the project.
The family has thoroughly enjoyed all of the hidden delights in their apartment. Especially, hoping that it’s something the next family that lives there can enjoy. It’s a lovely concept to be able to leave something behind for the next inhabitant. The building I presently live in has been around since at least the 1920’s and I’d personally be intrigued to know something about the lives of people who lived there before. When you move out of a place, it’s not uncommon for the walls to be painted, perhaps the floors redone; all of the traces of the life you led in that place erased.
My college roommate (and best friend) and I had a rather elaborately decorated apartment for two years. We had originally hoped to create it as a full-on art installation and hold shows there of some sort, but alas school got in the way to take it that far. Instead, we decorated on whim. We’d sit around, come up with some zany idea and hop to it. It was slightly famous around town (especially in our apartment complex) for the huge “hello” we had painted on the ceiling visible to anyone walking by (we knew almost every one has the tendancy to look up into an open window and see what you see, so we thought we’d say hello back *wink*). We had kind of hoped to be able to leave the place as is when we left (since people generally seemed to appreciate the place), but alas the walls of The Pomegranate Estate had to be painted back to white. I sometimes wonder if the next inhabitants have any idea what it looked like before they were there…
I can only imagine how delighted the children are by all of the hidden delights in the Klinsky-Sherry residence. I am reminded of when I was a child and would draw pictures of beautiful fantasy-esque garden-y sorts of places and tape them up in my closet; I’d wish that a magical door of sorts would open up so that *poof* I’d be there. I was also intrigued by the knots in wood. One of my friend’s had a house with this wall of wood with all of these visible knots in it, and I was somewhat convinced that if we pushed the right one, a magical door would open up and take us…somewhere (magical?). I sometimes think that I’m still looking for that magic portal.
Anyway, double thumbs up for homes that break from the norm and become a piece of art and/or intrigue of their own!
Read the New York Times article : Mystery on Fifth Avenue