March 17, 2013

101 East 63rd Street - HALSTON's Town House

In 1974 Halston bought the Hirsch/Turner townhouse at 101 East 63 Street. Designed by architect Paul Rudolph the project was completed in 1968 for his clients Alexander Hirsch (a real-estate lawyer) and his partner, Lewis Turner. The two men lived in the house for 6 and a half years (1968-1974). Halston lived at “101” (the knick-name he gave the house) for 15 years (1974-1989). During his glory days “101” became one of the most iconic houses of the 70s decadent-disco-glamour era. Strangely enough “101” was shot only a few times for publications (the most prominent were: LIFE Magazine by Harry Benson in 1978, House Beautiful in 1977 and images by Hiro for the New York Times accompanying Paul Goldberg's story in 1977 - Halston's Hideaway). It has always driven me crazy that no one has complied a comprehensive collection of images – you always see two or three images here and there – the house like it’s owner always covered in a sea of mystery and illusiveness. All the images shown here were taken inside “101” during the time Halston owned the townhouse. 

Photo: Harry Benson (for LIFE Magazine)
Halston seated on the ledge (second level) in the master bedroom sitting area that overlooks the living room as an open balcony. Note the three Andy Warhol silk screen canvas portraits of Halston and Liza.

Photo: Bob Colacello
Sterling St Jacques and Pat Cleveland dancing on the ledge located on the second level open loft area.

"At first you want to change everything when you move into a house like this. But the house is such a work of art you end up giving into it"
- Halston
Halston's Hideaway by Paul Goldberg, The New York Times July 24, 1977

Photo: Harry Benson
  In 1977 Halston developed for Karastan the first designer carpet collection - this is a great view of the grey wall to wall carpet he developed for Karastan which he used through-out the townhouse. He loved how it looked like ultra suede. His beloved pekingese dog he called Peke is in is lap. From the Harry Benson photo shoot for LIFE Magazine, 1978.

What Halston did for women’s fashion with his Ultrasuede shirtdress in 1972, he is now attempting to do with carpet, another of Karastan introductions with the Halston cachet, may kick off a nonstop trend. He also came up with a heavily textured “Basketweave” design that look handcrafted. Suggested retail prices range from $25 to 29.95 a square yard. The “Suede look” is available in 26 colors.
 The Evening Independent, December 16, 1977

Photo: Harry Benson
 Another image for the LIFE Magazine photo shoot. Harry Benson took this shot standing the the third floor bedroom shooting down into the living room. Note Halston is wearing his classic black, white and red. Peke sits precariously on the back edge of the chair.

Photo: Harry Benson
Halston's live-in assistant Mohammed Soumaya. Peke is now on the floor.
In 1976 the Halston brand had placed it’s signature on 17 enterprises; including bedding and towels by Fieldcrest, Hartman Luggage, scarves by Daniel La Foret, and carpets by Karastan.  By 1976 over 42,000 units of Halston’s ultrasuede dress’s had been sold – at a price of $360 each.
Lakeland Ledger,  June 3, 1976

Photo: Deborah Turbeville
A 1975 image by Deborah Tubeville for VOGUE. Elsa Peretti standing against the wall. The north side of the living room facing the bamboo garden.

Photo: Hiro for The New York Times
Image shot from the second floor loft looking north toward the bamboo garden showing the double height living room and the third floor guest bedroom at top. From the New York Times article by Paul Goldberg - Halston's Hideway published July 24, 1977

Andy Warhol's Jackie series, 1963-1968. This is a similar work showing 9 canvas Jackie's that Halston had in the third floor guest bedroom.

Photo: New York Times
The fourth floor living room. This was the top floor of the townhouse - note the skylite - the glass doors lead out to the roof top terrace that covered half of the top floor.

The pair of Andy Warhol portraits of Halston, acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen, 1977 that hung in the fourth floor living room.

Photo: Andy Warhol
A 1979 photo of Victor Hugo in Halston's bathroom on the second floor.

Photo: New York Times
Halston's bedroom located on the second floor. Note: The mirror wall backs up to the front of the townhouse on 63 Street.

Photo: Harry Benson
 Another image for the LIFE Magazine photo shoot. Halston in bed. Peke lays next to him. Note the 1978 Harper's Bazaar, the Andy Warhol Flower canvas and the mirrored - moveable headboard with handles.

Liza Minnelli on the cover of Harper's Bazaar March 1978 wearing Halston.

Andy Warhol's Flower, 1964. Acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas 12" x 12".

Photo: Ezra Stoller
Another view of the living room looking toward the bamboo garden - shot from the second floor loft. 
This was a very early image probably 1974 or 1975 the garden was still planted with tropicals - see the 1975 Deborah Tubeville photograph - it was 1976 when the bamboo was planted.
Note the hand rails on the left - these were removed in 1975.

Plans: Cocoran
The plans for 101 East 63 Street. Note these are recent plans - many closets have been added and several openings have been changed from the original layout.

Photo: Andy Warhol
A 1980 shot of Liza on the landing in the living room from Andy Warhol's 1980 series Halston at Home.

1. Halston photo by Warhol, 1980 from the Halston at Home series 
2. Warhol silkscreen canvas of Halston, 1978 
3. Halston and Liza in the first floor entry hall - (hall staircase behind them) at a 1975 party he gave for her 
4. Warhol polaroid of Victor Hugo 
5. Bianca Jagger photo by Warhol, 1980 from the Halston at Home series 
6. Halston polaroid by Warhol
Photo: Andy Warhol
Ann Miller by Andy Warhol, 1980 from the series Halston at Home.

Photo: House Beautiful
The October 1977 issue of HOUSE BEAUTIFUL ran a story about "101" focusing around entertaining. The shoot was styled by HOUSE BEAUTIFUL and they created a table setting using crystal and flatware from Tiffany's. 

The ironic twist to all this is that this is not how Halston entertained. The dining table was generally set up as a bar and buffet. The menus mainly consisted of caviar, potatoes, champagne and cocaine. “Often the potato course was passed over.”
- Halston biographer Steven Gaines.
Photo: House Beautiful
The lucite dining table designed by Paul Rudolph.

Victor had told me that I absolutely had to watch the Dinner with Halston show on channel 5 —Metromedia. This is the idea that we submitted to Larry Freeberg at Metromedia and they turned down, and now they’re doing with other people. Halston’s guests were Bianca, Joe Eula, the acupuncture doctor—Giller, Jane Holzer, Victor. It was very boring. They’d asked me to go on this show and I said no because they’d ripped off my idea.
WARHOL DIARIES Saturday, March 12th, 1977

Photo: Andy Warhol
Dr. Robert Giller and Halston in the kitchen 1980. Note the low ceilings - many of Rudolphs interiors sported this in some cases as low as 7' high. The small kitchen is located directly behind the dining area.

Andy Warhol silkscreen ink on canvas portrait of Dr. Robert Giller
Dr. Robert Giller was a renowned New York physician and medical nutritionist whose dietary ideas and vitamin plans made him popular among the New York social elite. Giller was introduced to Warhol by Halston. "His B-12 shots were the morning jump shot of choice for the Studio 54 crowd", with whom he hung out, he became part of Warhol's inner circle.

Halston and Peke sitting on the landing in the living room.

Photo: Harry Benson
Halston waving on the main staircase in the living room - holding Peke. This image was used in PEOPLE Magazines cover story about the life and death of Halston in 1990.

The exterior - still pretty much the same as it was when completed in 1968. Left: shows placement of rooms during Halston's era.

“A world of its own, inward looking and secretive is created in a relatively small volume of space in the middle of New York City. Varying intensities of light are juxtaposed and related to structures within structures. Simple materials (plaster, paint) are used, but the feeling is of great luxuriousness because of the space. The one exposed fa├žade reveals the interior arrangement of volumes by offsetting each floor and room in plan and section.”
- Paul Rudolph
Moholy-Nagy, Sibyl, and Gerhard Schwab. The Architecture of Paul Rudolph. New York: Praeger, 1970. P. 80

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