SS: How long have you been at London Terrace?
SF: It’s been over 10 years since I’ve been here. I think I just started my business 6 or 8 months beforehand. I had been renting on 24th street for two years so I was already in the London Terrace mindset. Part of the reason I was interested in London Terrace was that I was working in a gallery in Chelsea in the late 90s and even then Chelsea wasn’t quite what it is now but London Terrace was something special. I knew a lot of people who had moved there and it was always this special building in New York City. So when I was moving to Chelsea I immediately thought of London Terrace, it was where I wanted to be.
SS: So you were working in the galleries in Chelsea in the 90s?
SF: Yes in the late 90’s, I started in ‘97. 10th avenue was very different-it wasn’t at all what it is now I’ve definitely seen a lot of changes in Chelsea.
SS: How many galleries were there at that time?
SF: I was working in one of four galleries. When I told people I was going to be in New York working at galleries people asked me ‘why are you going to Chelsea?’ I was like ‘I don’t know, that’s where the gallery is that I want to work at!’ everybody was very skeptical about what that meant (laughs). Soho was still the hub for art. Being in Chelsea was great for me professionally. It was just an easy to meet me in the corner of 23rd and 9th in my lobby and I would take people to galleries down the street.
SS: What are the things that really stand out to you here about London Terrace?
SF: I really wanted a pre-war building, because it was very much what I had in mind about New York; it had that old elegance, it had that old glamour. I also liked the location. You were close to downtown, you were close to midtown, you could get to uptown. It just felt very middle which was nice. I lived on the lower east side and it was just too far. I can now walk to a lot of places like Soho. It just fits well with my lifestyle in New York. It’s an easy train system. It’s just been easier in terms of location. It’s so nice when people come up to my room and say ‘Oh my god your lobby’s so beautiful. It’s nice to have people over because I know they’re going to love the building. They love the molding, they love the view. Everyone has a response that makes me feel like this spot is really special.
SS: Biggest change you’ve seen?
SF: The mecca from Soho to Chelsea. There were four and now there are, what, over 200 galleries? I go to the restaurants a lot more just in my neighborhood. The highline is a wonderful addition. On the highline when you look out, London Terrace always stands out. It’s this big brick building that doesn’t look like any other.