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Property of the Week: Inside a Master Craftsman’s Masterpiece

04/29/2022
2022 04 28 Guastavino Outside

You know the tiled, vaulted ceiling at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Terminal? Or the similar one in the market beneath the Queensboro Bridge?

Well, those famous ceilings (and many more) were designed by master builder Rafael Guastavino, Sr., and his son, Rafael Jr. — the latter of which happened to live in a waterfront villa on Awixa Avenue in Bay Shore.

And that home, built entirely of Gustavino tiles — and featuring rooms with ceilings and walls that look suspiciously like those above, has hit the market for $1.65 million.

Built in 1912, the five-bedroom, four-bath Mediterranean-style home features original tiles throughout, hardwood floors, central air plus a ductless cooling system, and a detached two-car garage that was once used as a proving ground for his designs.

The formal dining room may look familiar: its vaulted ceiling and windows with curved edges are reminiscent of the designs that made Guastavino famous.

2022 04 28 Guastavino Living Room

And a first-floor sitting room with a custom built-in wooden bench, gets the innovative builder’s famous treatment. There’s even a library with a fireplace.

2022 04 28 Guastavino Sitting Room

An outside porch overlooking the Great South Bay features ornate columns and another breathtaking vaulted ceiling.

2022 04 28 Guastavino Porch

The modern, eat-in kitchen includes top-of-the-line appliances, a wine fridge, tile floors, and, of course, a vaulted ceiling above the stovetop that ties it all together.

2022 04 28 Guastavino Kitchen

The 4,000-square-foot home sits atop 1.2 acres of land featuring a new, 230-foot bulkhead.

The home’s original owner came to the United States from Spain at the age of 9, and followed in his father’s famous footsteps, working on some of New York’s most famous Beau-Arts landmarks as well as other major buildings across the country.

His designs can be found at the St. Frances de Sales Roman Catholic Church in Philadelphia, the Catherdral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan, and at the former Vanderbilt Hotel on Park Avenue where Wolfgang’s Steakhouse now serves, and at the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina.

Read more and view the full listing here.