A Home Run in Carnegie Hill

This stylish, half floor co-op was the longtime home of legendary sportswriter Roger Angell, who resided there for more than half a century.

Imagine the fun and fancy literary parties a Baseball Hall of Fame sportswriter could throw in his home of over 50 years.

As an editor at The New Yorker, Roger Angell’s authors included the likes of John Updike, Ann Beattie, and James Thurber. And if he just included family it would be a pretty swell affair indeed. His mother, Katharine Sergeant Angell White, was hired by New Yorker founder Harold Ross in 1925, six months after he launched the magazine, and she went on to have an illustrious 35-year career there as a writer and editor. His stepfather was New Yorker essayist and Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little author E.B. White. His father, Ernest, was a semi-pro baseball pitcher and later the national chair of the ACLU.

With multiple seating areas and lots of spots to set down a drink while chatting up New York literati, the 31-foot-long double living room of the three-bedroom, three-bath apartment is made for entertaining. Its two enormous west-facing windows, one of which is arched, look out over Madison Avenue. A renovation could bring the adjacent library/bedroom into the mix, to create an enormous loft-like space for even bigger parties.

In fact, a smart reno could bring lots of modern updates. The staff room tucked behind the windowed eat-in kitchen could be made into a quite private home office, or knock down a wall or two to create a big new family kitchen. A corner bedroom off the foyer would make a sweet library or media room.

Angell, who lived to 101, bought the grand half-floor co-op in the landmarked Beaux-Arts classic at 1261 Madison Avenue (between East 90th and 91st streets) in 1972. This is the first time in more than 50 years that the stylish home has been listed for sale.

It features many original 1901 architectural and design details, including high beamed ceilings, two decorative fireplaces, extensive millwork, wide hallways, ample closet space, elegant moldings, oak hardwood floors, and oversized windows that flood the interiors with bright natural light. Along with the Madison Avenue frontage, the fifth-floor apartment offers northeastern views of the Brick Church steeple and surrounding townhouse gardens.

The elegant seven-story building, which was constructed by Buchman & Fox and once overlooked the grounds of Andrew Carnegie’s mansion, features a rusticated two-story limestone base and a mansard roof. Amenities include a live-in super, a central laundry room (washer/dryers are also OK in the apartments), a bike room, and private storage.

And let’s not forget all that this great Carnegie Hill location has to offer. For joggers and walkers, you’re just a block from the Engineers Gate that leads into the track that rings the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. Many of the city’s best museums are within easy walking distance, along with excellent restaurants and boutique — as well as mom-and-pop — shopping at neighborhood stores.

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