Denise LeFrak Calicchio has the background and the pedigree to write about real estate. She is a scion of the LeFrak family who are part of the New York’s real estate industry. Though not directly involved with the family business she has been associated for 14 years with Sotheby’s International Realty and she is now writing about the luxury properties of New York’s richer residents. Her latest book Rooftop Gardens: The Terraces, Conservatories and Balconies of New York has been coauthored with Roberta Model Amon and is a collection of New York’s most lavish, extravagant and unique private rooftop gardens. Priced at $45 you can get a deal for $30 here
The subject of the book is real estate again but LeFrak Calicchio wanted a look from a different angle. She has focused on the custom created green spaces apartment and townhouse owners had carved out of terraces jutting out over city streets and on the tops of buildings towering as high as 76 stories up into the air. It is only possible by the people who are really passionate about terrace gardens as in some cases it turns out to be a very expensive exercise. Her network developed during her days with Sothebey’s helped her locate these extraordinary lush urban oases.
LeFrak Calicchio and Model Amon first identified 50 such locations but ultimately only 28 of these could be accommodated in the book. The owner’s identities and addresses have not been disclosed. In fact the costs involved in developing the green spaces have also been highlighted. The expenses involved must be really high as the owners get professional landscape artists to design the space and import exotic plants and create automated systems for maintenance and in some cases even rework the apartment to suit a garden configuration. The details and perfection of the gardens are simply stunning. There is an authentic Japanese tea garden and a mini Central Park complete with the expanse of grass.