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Tuesday, 05 February 2013 01:23

Aesthetic Era Anew

Framed by the flickering flames of gaslight sconces, textured cast-glass door panels sparkle in the twilight, their magical glow hinting at the resplendent interior within. Possessing a marvel and passion for a time that New York has long since forgotten, Michael and Margie Loeb have spent the last decade taking their six-and-a-half-story brownstone on Manhattan’s Upper East Side back to its nineteenth-century roots while making it into their own twenty-first-century home.

The Loebs, who share the 1882 Neo-Grec townhouse with their fourteen-year-old triplets, restored the residence and furnished it with nineteenth-century artwork as well as Aesthetic Movement furnishings, fixtures, and decorative accessories.

“The house had an astonishing amount of intact original detailing,” Michael says. “The first time I saw it, it took my breath away. I got as far as the dining room and said, ‘We’ve gotta have it.’”

The couple began collecting nineteenth-century American antiques when they were restoring their previous Manhattan townhouse, and this brownstone, the only private house left on the block, gave them the opportunity to edit and upgrade. “We’re fascinated by nineteenth-century decorative arts,” says Margie, “and we were eager for the interiors to be true to the spirit of that era, but this is also our home and it had to be a comfortable, practical place to live with our children.”

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