Living the High Life

Admit it: aren’t you just a tad curious about what all those high-rise condo homes look like inside, up close and personal? Come snoop along with us on a special house tour featuring a handful of alluring residences in the sky.

heritage-filled haven

[Ilyasah Shabazz] Trump Plaza, New Rochelle

Author (Growing Up X), lecturer, and board member of the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial & Education Center founded in memory of her parents, Ilyasah Shabazz had been renting an apartment in New Rochelle for two years, when, in October 2007, she purchased a condo not far from her apartment for $770,000. A 1400-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath unit on the 24th floor of Trump Plaza, it features expansive views of the Long Island Sound. Shabazz was one of the first buyers in the 40-story, 181-unit building, whose amenities include an indoor swimming pool with outdoor sundeck, fitness club, playroom, and 24-hour doorman and concierge service. “When I come home, it makes me feel happy to walk in my front door,” she says.  


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Shabazz displays objets d’art collected on her travels—including copper plates from Cairo—on the wooden table located behind the off-white leather couch in her living room. Centered above the table is an original oil painting of Ugandan model Kiara Kabukuru by Los Angeles artist
Toni Scott.

The dining area is anchored by a round wood table with matching chairs from Stickley Audi in White Plains. “It was always an important tradition for my family to have a wooden dining room set,” Shabazz says. Centered above is a crystal flower chandelier. Also shown: Mount Vernon artist Milton Sherrill’s print depicting a bronze statue of an African woman hangs on the wall.



The study, Shabazz’s favorite room, features personal memorabilia including photographs of Shabazz with Maya Angelou, Mohammed Ali, and Coretta Scott King. The pair of art deco-inspired teal side chairs were a gift from her mother. Shabazz’s prayer rug from when she made Hajj—the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca—is also shown.


an engaging proposal

[Brian and Teresa Dortch] Riverview Club, Yonkers

After a year’s search, environmental compliance coordinator Brian Dortch and his then-girlfriend, shoe designer Teresa Izzo, came upon a 1970s-era rental building on the Yonkers waterfront that was being converted to condos. “We loved it right off the bat,” Dortch says. “It was like a resort on the river.” So, in May of 2008, Dortch closed on an 11th-floor, 900-square-foot, one-bedroom unit with views of the Hudson River and the Manhattan skyline from every room; he paid $389,000 for the apartment (he paid $15,000 for an indoor parking spot). While his unit was still in contract, Brian brought Teresa over and, on their future balcony, he proposed. The 260-unit, 12-floor building has a pool, 24-hour concierge, on-site valet, club room, and fitness center. But the happy couple’s favorite spot? Their balcony.

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In the living room, a leather couch sits below a pair of French café society-inspired prints. The couple particularly loves the views from this room’s balcony (not visible here). “The sunsets over the cliffs and the moonlight reflecting off the water are really beautiful,” Brian Dortch says.

An espresso-colored dining room table and chairs sit on a duplicate of the geometric area rug found in the living room.

The kitchen, outfitted with stainless-steel GE appliances, features Pedini oak cabinets, a freestanding black wood server, eggshell-colored granite countertops, porcelain tile floors, and modern track lighting.

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Newlyweds Teresa and Brian Dortch—the couple wed on May 30—seated on a black leather couch in their living room.


sheer bliss

[Caitlin and Jason] The Residences at Ritz-Carlton, White Plains

In late fall of 2007, with plans to marry the following year, Caitlin, an attorney with White Plains law firm Ciaramella & Scheir, LLP, and her then fiancé, Jason, decided to look for their first home. The following January, they purchased a 1450-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath unit on the 20th floor of the Ritz-Carlton, Westchester. The 400-residence property, which consists of two 44-story glass towers (the tallest in Westchester) offers such amenities as a 5000-square-foot spa, indoor pool, fitness center, and maid service. “We are always excited to go home because it always feels so comfortable and luxurious,” says Caitlin. “And it’s nice to have the option of walking downstairs for a drink.”


The kitchen features hardwood floors, dark wood custom cabinets, a light green glass-tile backsplash, cream-colored granite countertops, and Viking kitchen appliances. The pair of brown wood and leather stools at the center island is from Pier 1 Imports and the frosted glass and brown metal pendant lights are from Hi-Light Decorating, Inc., in Yonkers.

The living room features a chocolate-brown leather nailhead couch with built-in chaise from Montaage Furniture in Hartsdale, a glass and distressed metal coffee table, and a Thomas O’Brien rug from Safavieh Home Furnishings in Hartsdale. The glass and nickel beverage cart and beveled-glass mirror are both from Restoration Hardware. But, says Caitlin, the best feature is “the perfect center view of the sunset” from its nine-foot-high, floor-to-ceiling windows.

The couple in their dining area with its round glass table and dark wood chairs upholstered in light blue chamois from Safavieh Home Furnishings in Hartsdale.


downsizing downtown

[Sue and Elliott Solomon, MD] Westage Towers (West Building), White Plains

Sue and Elliott Solomon, MD, a retired physician and current president of health care company Health Extras, LLC, were spending increasing amounts of time in Florida—so they decided to trade in their Rye Brook home for a condo. In October 2001, they paid $385,000 for a 1480-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bath apartment (comparable units currently are on the market for $600,000-plus). Their penthouse apartment sits on the top floor of the West Building of Westage Towers, a pair of high-rises built in the 1980s and since refurbished. The Solomons moved into their new home after completing a 10-month gut renovation. “I think this is the greatest condo building in White Plains,” Sue Solomon says. “I’ve seen City Place and the Ritz, and they just don’t build them like this anymore.” Amenities include a private entrance with guardhouse, outdoor pool, and exercise room.


Elliott Solomon’s home office features Stark carpeting, grasscloth wall covering, and a newly reupholstered 40-year-old sofa. The plaid throw pillows and window treatments are by Eva’s Design and Decorating in White Plains.

The master bedroom is done in a fresh-looking grass-green and bright coral color scheme. All fabrics on the window treatments and bed, with the exception of the tufted headboard, were custom-designed by Eva’s Design and Decorating in White Plains. Other furnishings include floral-patterned Stark carpeting and, between the pair of chairs, a hexagonal accent table (circa early 1940s) from Sue Solomon’s childhood home.

“When we sit here, we feel like we’re living in a house,” says Sue Solomon of the couple’s living room. Furnishings include two peach-colored club chairs and a coral couch, an Aubusson-like floral rug by Harmony, and a floral-patterned valance and matching throw pillows from Eva’s Design and Decorating in White Plains. The brass and glass coffee table from their former home was outfitted with a new piece of glass three times larger than its previous one.


trump trumps all for one native son

[Fred Mastroianni]  Trump Tower at City Center, White Plains

Purchase native and one-time White Plains renter Fred Mastroianni, owner of Elemental Design Concepts, a furniture and design showroom in White Plains, was living in an Old Greenwich townhouse when he learned that Trump was coming to town. “Trump is like the ultimate in luxury condo living,” he says, “so it was a good reason to move back to White Plains.” He purchased a 2230-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath residence for $1,255,000, moving into it in December 2005. Located on the 28th floor of the 212-unit, 35-story high-rise, his condo features spectacular views of both the Long Island Sound and Manhattan and dark Santos mahogany wood floors throughout. The building offers indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a fitness center, and a rooftop deck with jogging trail, as well as tennis, basketball, and Bocce courts. “I like walking out my front door and being at City Center. It’s really cool having a Target as your basement,” says Mastroianni.


A dark wenge wood Caligari dining table set imported from Italy sits on a geometric-patterned rug from ABC Carpet & Home. The stunning Italian crystal chandelier features orange colored pendants. A red Philippe Starck chair sits between the dining and living areas.

The TV room features a wall of nine-foot-high, floor-to ceiling windows and a door leading to a Juliet balcony. A unique oval glass table with gear-like base from Reflex Angelo of Italy sits before an Ultrasuede couch and matching chair-and-a-half with ottoman by Maurice Villency. The black, gray, and beige Tibetan-inspired rug is from Bloomingdale’s.

Mastroianni in his contemporary-styled living room with Venetian plaster walls, a sleek chenille Mos sectional sofa, a low Asian-inspired wooden coffee table, and a cowhide rug from ABC Carpet & Home.

Photography by Michael Polito

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