NOBLESSE ESTATE - IN AND OUT OF THE CITY
Photo Left: Downstairs entry up to Gia's loft
She lives on the fifth floor of the Upper East Side walk-up that has been
converted to be the Noblesse family home. Her other family members reside in the
other three floors, the bottom floor being a common area where they entertain
guests and have their lavish parties. Bohemian is what you would call Gia’s
place. Nothing Cinderella romantic about it, no lacey curtains or abundance of
florals, though it is unmistakably feminine.
You enter through a large industrial door which slides open from left to right,
through a small hallway, past a pair of double doors and into a bohemian heaven. There is color everywhere,
tantalizing the senses in rich reds, purples, golds and blacks. Carpets are
non-existent and rugs are rare ... the majority of the floor is left bare as it
is a beautiful dark wood. The furniture throughout varies from simple, modern
and understated to magnificent, beautiful, and very old. Since Gia does not
enjoy artificial light, candles are everywhere from standing candelabras to
votives to tapers. Though there are a few installed lights that are hidden from
view and can be dimmed to the appropriate brightness. There are plants and
flowers throughout the many rooms though Gia’s personal joy is on the rooftop
which can be accessed through a small spiral staircase in the far corner of her
The first room you enter is the living area, dominated by a large L-shaped couch
littered with pillows of every shape, size and color. Smaller sofas, romanesaque
lounges, settees and more are also in the room. Amidst the colored walls are
various paintings from French adverts for Absinthe to Waterhouse and Tadema paintings the
artists did expressly for her. Tapestries hang here and there as do a variety of
half shelves. In back of the couches on the far wall are wall to wall shelving
holding rows upon rows of books, mementos, trinkets, sculptures, and pictures of
her family and friends both past and present. This wall also holds Gia’s stereo
and sound system as well as her collection of CDs which varies from Techno to
World Music to Jazz. She loves music like she loves to dance. Of
course there are a couple of dozen invisible speakers throughout the loft for
surround sound and when she wants her life to be filled with sound…and possibly
annoy those living below her. The bar stands nearby, a memento from the days of
her time at the real Moulin Rouge. It also stands near the small round table
where she sometimes serves dinner for a small group of friends. If she really
wants to be a hostess she will use the rooms downstairs. The many windows are
covered by layer upon layer of gauzy curtains that match the colors of the rest
of them room. Though each layer is quite transparent, when together they provide
quite a covering if ever needed.
The kitchen is only half seen by the living room through a half moon archway
above a small countertop. Four stools stand on the living room side for a
countertop meal. When she does not want to see into the kitchen or privacy when
she has company, it is closed off by East Indian scarves. Of course you can
enter the kitchen by a swinging door to the far right. The kitchen itself is
large as Gia loves to cook for those who can still appreciate fine cuisine and
whom she can live vicariously through. On the far fall between the windows is a
massive apothecary’s desk filled with every herb imaginable. The appliances
themselves are the most modern things in the entire household being all steel
and the latest in style and technology.
Through another archway back in the living area is another hallway, this leading
to Gia’s office, bedroom and studio. The first room to your right is Gia’s
studio. This L-shaped room is separated into two different areas, a place where
she practices her magic and a place where she dances and practices yoga. The
main area of the room is her dance studio/workout room. The atmosphere is
definitely East Indian. A medium sized fountain is at the far right wall,
dominating most of the space. Its shape is of a wall, with grooves cut
throughout so that the sound is not like a waterfall, but of gently cascading
water that is barely noticeable. A dancer’s bar covers the far wall while
mirrors dominate the majority of the wall opposite. Through a small doorway,
which is heavily warded is where Gia practices her magic. There are no windows
and there is just enough space for her to do what she needs.
If you continue walking down the hallway, the next room to your right is Gia’s
office. The room is simple in nature, the furniture comfortable and appropriate.
One wall is filled with books, ledgers and folders, while another has a high def
television which happens to be hooked up to many hidden security surveillances
around the Noblesse holdings. A laptop sits on her desk as does a phone, a palm
pilot which she never seems to use, and a printer/copier/scanner/fax. From this
room Gia, controls her little empire from keeping tabs on the Council Chairs, to
her clan to her businesses in the city, North America and the World.
The final room is at the end of the hallway to your left and is by far the
largest room in the entire place. The first part of the room is a sitting area
of sorts. A settee sits near the only fireplace in the household along with a
couple of antique chairs that are unmistakably Greek and Roman in their design.
A small bar is on the wall opposite as are a few bookshelves. It is separated
from the rest of the room by sheer white curtains which are usually tied back.
To get to the bedroom itself, one must ascend the five steps that lead to the
main area of the bedroom. A massive bed dominates the room, surrounded by sheer
bed curtains on all sides that hang from the ceiling. The bed is round in its
shape and is covered in pillows. The sheets are crimson satin, the bedspread a
white brocade. There are few paintings in the room and what half shelves there
are happen to be covered with candles. Four standing candelabras are in each
corner of the room, them alone providing sufficient light when lit. To get to
the closet and bathroom one must descend another set of steps. The closet is
large of course as Gia is quite fashion conscious. The bathroom is large as
well, Gia having recreated a roman bath of sorts. The bathtub itself, if you can
call it that could hold at least half a dozen people, though it seems to be just
enough for Gia and her lover at the time. The water enters the bath by a
waterfall of sorts. There is no decoration in the room, though there doesn’t
need to be any, for above the bath is a huge mosaic of a painting done by John
William Godward called ‘lazy’. A shower is in one corner as are the other
amenities a bathroom usually holds.
Finally, back in the area where the fireplace sits, is a small spiral staircase
which leads to the roof. Here is where Gia spends most of her time and where
Aisling’s quarters happen to be. The majority of the roof is an exquisite
garden, her Eden in New York and she relaxes by tending to it. The other part of
the roof is a beautiful little bungalow of sorts where Aisling resides. She can
either go to the loft by way of the staircase or by the lift as other members of
the household can come up here, though they rarely do as it is Gia’s domain.
And there you have it, the Queen of the Chimaera’s home.
They are as timeless as the home they
live in and like the estate they have many secrets. Amid 24 glorious acres on
the North Shore’s fabled Gold Coast is a unique expression of high Renaissance
Italian-style architecture which the Noblesse family now calls home. Constructed
in 1915, the property once accommodated the St. Franciscan Order before Marius
purchased it and sent a family of retainers to be its caretakers while they
lived in the city.
(Photo Left: North Wing of the Estate and the Gardens)
Marius had the estate commissioned somewhat like an Italian Renaissance style
palazzo with 30 rooms decorated by an international team of artists and
craftsmen. Though it is not their permanent residence, it is one that they have
grows to love when they need to get out of the city.
Museum-quality architectural accoutrements, travertine marble, hand-carved high relief panels,
elaborate plaster carved Pompeian-style ceilings, domed marble rotunda, painted
panels from an Italian palace, 10 fireplaces, and French empire glass are all
things you will find inside.
(Photo Right: The Great Hall)
When you first enter their home you will see the Great
Hall. From here you can reach each of the three wings. The west wing holds
Gitanne and Darian's chambers and are exclusively theirs save those they wish to
have near them. The east wing belongs to the rest of the family and the north
wing holds many of the offices and more secluded realms the family likes to
have. Each room has its own personality from the Versailles tribute of the
sitting room to the Gothic design of the conclave room.