Walking down Charles Street, it’s easy to get lost in the deep cultural history that surrounds you. There’s 121, the centuries-old West Village farmhouse where Goodnight Moon author Margaret Wise Brown previously lived. And the Federal-style house at 131—now a NYC landmark—that once counted Diane Arbus, who stayed in a stable on the property, as a resident. The American Railway Supply Company Building, a cobblestone’s throw away at 134, has a varied past, too.
Completed by Van Vleck & Goldsmith in 1912, the site housed the iron railing factory well into the mid ‘40s. In 1965, Walter P. Chrysler Jr. converted the building into a live-in-exhibit-space where he could show off the modern art collection—which included the likes of Henri Matisse, John Marin, and Thomas Hart Benton—that he began at the age of 14. Around the time that Chrysler sold the residence to antiques dealer Alan Greenberg, the automobile heir ended up donating most of his collection to the Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences, thus renaming it the Chrysler Museum of Art.
For almost two decades following, Jennifer Bartlett called 134 Charles Street both her studio and her home. The five-bedroom residence was where the great printmaker and painter conceived many of her most known works, painterly fusions of geometric shapes and symbols of American domesticity like houses, trees, and white picket fences. “The entire building is imbued with her artistic vision,” says Ciaran McGuigan, the founder of 134 Charles’s newest tenant: The Malin.
Just opened, The Malin West Village is the co-working brand’s third location following its debut in SoHo in 2021 and expansion to Williamsburg last year. Like its predecessors, the space was crafted to excite the eye, with bold Art Deco Calico wallpaper lining its walls, colorful Pierre Frey fabrics as decor, sexy Flos lighting from above and around, and posh furniture by Orior (McGuigan’s family brand, where he is also creative director)—all designed by the brand’s inhouse team. Instead of working in the usual cast-iron building or taking calls in a shiny, contemporary vessel, the new workspace has the intimate feeling of a home—specifically Bartlett’s.
“We went through great lengths to preserve and pay homage to the history,” continues McGuigan, who stripped back the ceilings of the two-floor, 10,000-square-foot space to expose its original beams. “We also stripped the walls to expose the brickwork, plus an industrial, yellow-painted door that we left entirely untouched.” But while its architecture is unique, the location shares design elements inherent to all three of The Malin work spaces, including custom oak millwork, vibrant textiles, and poured crystal dividers.
Of course, a variety of open-seating common spaces exists throughout the historical space, in addition to 26 designated desks, five private offices, and three conference rooms. “I love the Bartlett Library,” says McGuigan, referring to the brand’s signature quiet space where no distractions are allowed for ease of focus. “It is full of rich, warm hues and a beautiful collection of contemporary design. As the library tends to be the showstopper room in all of our locations, we were glad to name it in Jennifer Bartlett’s honor.”
And that’s not the only enduring memory of the late artist. Throughout The Malin West Village, Bartlett’s legacy lives on in original, site-specific works as well as a painted glass door that inspires guests and visitors throughout the day.