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By Brett Malvin | Agent in New York, NY

Get Inside: The Compass Lofts

Yesterday, we had the pleasure of touring The Compass Lofts, located at 42 Ann Street in the Financial District. Hot on the heels of the duplex and triplex units we took in at Rutherford Place the other day, the homes at The Compass Lofts (of which there are only 7) showcased through floor units and one two level penthouse unit. Let us tell you, the architectural details at The Compass Lofts are practically unbeatable – but let’s back up, and talk history for a moment.

The Compass Lofts, previously known as the Keuffel & Esser Building, are located in one of New York’s most historic and architecturally prolific buildings in the city. Constructed in 1892, the building is distinguished by a terra cotta and cast iron facade with three separate design motifs, half moon distinctive windows and embellished cornices. 42 Ann was recognized by New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission in 2005; a restoration of the building began in 2006. Fast forward to 2010, and the building now boasts seven through full loft residences, each historically faithful and architecturally sound, from the oversized windows to the high barrel vaulted ceilings (these you have to see to believe!).

As of today, five of the top eight floors at The Compass Lofts are fully renovated; the duplex penthouse remains untouched, a blank slate with original exposed brick walls, the aforementioned high barrel vaulted ceilings, and not one but three terraces! Architecture enthusiasts will delight in the purposeful raw nature of the two floors in the penthouse; those with creative juices can turn this into a truly one of a kind home. This sort of unfinished space is a rarity in Manhattan, where many homes have been designed down to the last door handle thanks to a team of architects and interior designers. Even the finished spaces at The Compass Lofts give off an air of opportunity – the full floor layouts and wide open common spaces, coupled with the high barrel vaulted ceilings and the enormous windows (some are as wide as 11 feet!), make for a residence that can truly become your home.

It should be noted that finding loft spaces in the Financial District is a tough call –  most of the homes in the Wall Street area of Manhattan come courtesy of new developments, or buildings that have been completely gutted and redesigned. Often, these units, while beautiful, are a touch over-designed; the beauty of the homes at The Compass Lofts, which range from $2.45 million to $4.5 million, is in their luxurious simplicity.

Speaking of luxury, though the homes offer a myriad of design opportunities, no detail has been forgotten. A keyed elevator deposits you at your “doorstep”; once inside, you’re greeted by a great room that is awash with sunlight, which reflects off the light hardwood floors. The great room includes a fireplace in the living area, as well as a top of the line custom kitchen featuring marbleized polished porcelain counters with Liebherr refrigerators and Viking appliances. We were particularly smitten with the double oven, though the wine cooler expertly tucked into the kitchen island also won our hearts. We were also impressed with the level of detail that went into the kitchen design; the front of the island was cut away so that stools could be placed for casual dining. Family dinner, loft style.

The bathrooms were also expertly done; as were the sun-drenched bedrooms. We appreciated a separate laundry room (with plenty of space to build a folding station!), as well as the myriad of closets. You can never have too much closet space in a city that favors fashion over function, and the homes at The Compass Lofts have lots of it.

In short, we greatly enjoyed our tour at 42 Ann. We might have even been persuaded to consider the Financial District the next time we hunt for a home. We’ll be dreaming about those vaulted ceilings for weeks…

The Compass Lofts are currently represented by Deborah Lupard and Deborah DeMaria of Warburg Realty. Click here for more information.

All photos: CondoDomain photographer Caroline Tobias.

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