Tuesday, May 6, 2014


A photo from 1912 shows what those alcoves within some intact brownstone rooms might have been used for in the past.  This particular townhouse is located at 162 West 132nd Street and one can see that the desk area of a home office fits nicely into the nook.  There are not a lot of these intact rooms left uptown and we have actually only seen them in some Brooklyn homes more recently.  Does anyone still have this sort of alcove layout existing still within their townhouse?

Archival image courtesy the Museum of the City of New York


  1. I like it. I wish my home office/library could be that size. I also like the molding and chandelier medallion in the ceiling. Its a very simple design and works really well. I'm planning on doing my living room over and putting up a similar "simple" design on the ceiling.

  2. Any idea whose office this was? As there is an image of what looks like Columbia's Low Library over the desk in the nook, and an architectural element in the form of a lion on the right hand side.

    1. I am curious about the tilted table with chair by the door, not sure what that was for but it may give an indication of the profession of the occupant.

  3. To answer your question directly- Yes, we have an alcove exactly like this in the dining room of our home and we configured it very similarly. Our house was virtually a shell SRO, but luckily the original layout was relatively in tact and we kept it as is. I admit I wasn't sure what the purpose of the alcove was (I presumed that it was for food service- sort of like a remote serving area since the kitchen was downstairs. We made it into office space, but put doors on it so it can be closed off when the dining room is being used for dining.

  4. Love these old interior photos, the window treatment is net curtain which offers both privacy and natural light. I assume the occupant has an appreciation of architecture with the framed photographs of buildings.