Union square

His and hers apartments, side by side in Union Square

Dorothy Globus in her loft workspace. She has several offices.
Photo: Chris Mottalini

Dorothy and Stephen Globus have been married for 49 years and lived 47 of them on the seventh floor of the old Gorham Manufacturing Company building on Broadway, just north of Union Square.

Before they moved in, the space housed, as Dorothy remembers, a Chia Pet warehouse. But there were gorgeous bay windows, a fireplace, and plenty of space to raise their two children. The couple spent their weekends browsing antique fairs and novelty stores, and their house was filled with all sorts of things. “We were doing it in parallel,” Dorothy says of their buildup. “But then he kind of turned away from that. I think it was in the 90s, when he went to Japan, he started to change his mind about wanting to be around.

Dorothy worked for the Smithsonian when it moved its design collections into the Carnegie Mansion – now home to Cooper Hewitt, where she curated exhibitions from 1972 to 1992. Later she served as museum director from FIT, then curator at the Museum of Art and Design, from which she retired in 2013. Stephen had helped start various businesses, including the Media Factory in Union Square, and had sold one in which he was involved at Panasonic, which meant spending time in Japan.

Dorothy’s attitude remains: “Marie Kondo says throw away anything you don’t like. Well, I love everything, Marie! What am I going to do?” Luckily, at 4,000 square feet, there was enough room for their separate worlds, especially after the kids left.

Its side includes the family kitchen, living room and two bedrooms, each surface can accommodate the current repository for a number of collections, including pipe nozzles, stamps, beads, buttons, keepsake buildings, a chest -pie box, dental cabinets, tiny toys, and a salvaged Corinthian column capital.

His inner horizon: Models range from a Tiffany MetLife Building silver pencil to an Empire State Building piggy bank. “The ships and docks are a cast metal toy set from British company Triang,” she says. “The modular docks were irresistible.”
Photo: Chris Mottalini

Its storage box: “It’s my Wooton desk,” Dorothy says of the late 19th century piece. It contains his collection of rubber stamps, albums, small stationery and more.
Photo: Chris Mottalini

Dorothy moved around a lot growing up, so she couldn’t accumulate much. Then she met Stephen, and they raided auction houses and vintage stores near her parents’ home in Bucks County. “It was in the 70s, and I ended up buying a little dental practice and a safe, and I have all this commercial stuff, and, I don’t know, I’ve always loved objects. I think that working at Cooper Hewitt — well, I was a summer intern at the Smithsonian first, and I spent a lot of time in warehouses all over — you know, the world’s largest collection of pickled fish , bird skins — and I like the taxonomy of how things are sorted and stored, and I also learned about conservation.

What does she think about Stephen? “I love it. When I was a kid, I lived in Japan for a few years. I love going there. I just sit quietly.

His kitchen : “Not being a cook, a sophisticated kitchen is not really a priority for me,” says Dorothy.
Photo: Chris Mottalini

The old dining table is Dorothy’s worktable filled with collage projects. A collection of pipe nozzles cast shadows on window blinds near the table.
Photo: Chris Mottalini

Dorothy’s side corner window seat was originally where a fireplace had been. “Stephen had the good idea to mirror both sides so it was an infinity bedroom,” says Dorothy. “My sister, Edie Twining designed the rug, woven in Axminster; she had the idea to place it parallel to the corner.
Photo: Chris Mottalini

I wouldn’t call myself a scholar,” says Stephen. “I’m a fan of Japan.” His work as a venture capitalist took him to Japan in the 90s, when he sold one of his companies. The trip left a lasting impression on him.

His tea room: The room created for the tea ceremony has a horigotatsu table that can be lifted from the ground with the zaisu seats.
Photo: Chris Mottalini

His side in what had been two bedrooms for their children is now what Stephen calls the Globus Ryokan, a place originally created to hold tea ceremonies that offers quiet reflection and guest quarters for visiting artists who know the ryokan lifestyle: no Western furniture for sleeping, but rather tatami mats and futons.

He researches craftsmen and discovers the Japanese carpentry company Miya Shoji, owned by Hisao Hanafusa. “I had to ask him six or seven times to come over and do it because he wanted to make sure there was a commitment. These rooms are very unique,” ​​Stephen says of his seventh floor side.” And laborious to build.” The first room to build was the one near the windows with six tatami mats and shoji screens and a bamboo ceiling that hides the mechanics. “A tea room requires certain things: a tokonome, which is a sacred alcove that needs two entrances, so I finally decided to create a tea room upstairs and make it my residence.

His Tokonoma: This alcove between the tea room and the sleeping area contains a scroll and a decorative lantern that was a headpiece for a kimono show by designer Eiko Kobayashi that Stephen sponsored.
Photo: Chris Mottalini

Stephen has converted the space he acquired on the eighth and ninth floors into his interpretation of a Japanese teahouse. He hid a Murphy bed behind a shoji screen and added a Japanese bathtub. There is also room for exhibitions and gatherings to hold events for his work with Asia Society and Japan Society.

When Stephen is asked how he feels in Dorothy’s space, he replies, “Not so comfortable. Dorothy gave me enough leeway to live; I mean, we’re old enough to have done our duty to raise children – we’re not locked into a set of rules. I respect what Dorothy did. She’s a museum person, she’s a collector; it’s not my aesthetic anymore.

His Globus Ryokan: This is the Japanese sleeping area for guest artists on Stephen’s side on the seventh floor. This space originally had a pool table.
Photo: Chris Mottalini

His tea room: Stephen Globus in his upstairs Japanese tea house, where he has exhibition space and space for tea ceremonies.
Photo: Chris Mottalini

See everything