Like many city dwellers, when Holly and Bruce Brittain decided to start a family, they considered buying a house in the suburbs. However, they longed to stay in their convivial Harlem neighborhood conveniently located to parks, restaurants and their offices. Holly, an architect and real estate broker, identified a foreclosed building, the only remaining vacant townhouse shell within the Mount Morris Park Historic District. She proposed the project to several clients but gut renovating 5 stories plus a cellar (5500+ SF) in a shaky economy seemed too daunting. Bruce, who has a finance background, ran a back of the envelope and recognized the building's income potential. The Brittains realized an opportunity - they could self fund a larger home for themselves by incorporating two comparable sized rental apartments. In order to achieve both top quality and affordability, the couple assumed the combined roles of architect, developer and construction manager. With soaring ceilings and full height windows, the three duplex apartments are stunningly bright and airy and combine the gracious proportions of a historic townhouse with contemporary loft-like configurations. The efficient configurations optimize natural light and fresh air with large windows and continuous site lines to the outdoor living spaces. Operating costs were minimized by employing hydronic radiant floor heating, spray foam insulation and durable materials. The units are separately metered to provide flexibility for a future condo conversion.