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Schinasi Mansion - June's House (+Neal's Apt) in White Collar - NO CC

by Zarathustra Posted 18th Feb 2015 at 8:10 PM - Updated 3rd Jun 2016 at 6:25 AM by Zarathustra
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One of the defining characteristics of a thoroughly urban landscape (say, Manhattan) is that space is at a premium. This is why you see the centers of cities all over the world dominated by skyscrapers and towers, with very few buildings that don't make the most possible use of the space they're sitting on. With real estate being so valuable, using a lot for something like a more conventional house is something that only the wealthiest of the city's denizens can afford. This means that, on the rare occasion when a single home is built in the urban center, it's far more likely to be a stately mansion home than anything more "normal."
This is the case with New York City's Schinasi Mansion, which in the real world sits at the corner of 351 Riverside Drive. A magnificent home in its own right, this building has also been featured in many film and TV shows, most notably in the case of this lot, the USA Network crime drama White Collar, where the home is owned by June Ellington, a wealthy Rat-Pack era widow who takes in suave con artist Neal Caffrey, allowing him to stay in her rooftop guest room as he assists the FBI as part of a work-release program he conned them into.

(Just for clarity's sake, "June's House" refers to the larger apartment on the first two floors, "Neal's Apartment" refers to the smaller apartment on the third floor.)

For this lot, I wanted to stay as true as possible to both the real-world building AND to the apartment seen in White Collar, (while still making a lot that's easily playable) so it required a bit of creativity when it comes to the layout of the lot! I was able to find basic floorplans for the actual building in New York, which I managed to stay true to (more or less) when it comes to June's house on the first two floors (the only major differences being the spiral stairway off the entryway providing access to Neal's apartment, and the lack of a 2nd-3rd floor stairway in the main stairwell)
The exterior of the lot is clad in white Vermont marble, with a wide array of decorative and structural elements worked into it. While the limitations of the game engine make it impossible to do justice to ALL of these elements, I still feel that, thanks to a creative combination of columns, cornices, sculptures, windows, and fences, I have at least managed to make this building feel a bit more architecturally significant than most other buildings you might find in your city. (I'm particularly pleased with the dormer windows, with their columns, cornices, and sculptures inset against the gable! )
The entryway to this estate is almost entirely white marble, polished to a mirror finish, providing a clean, cool, welcoming entrance to the mansion proper. (this is also where the staircase that leads up to Neal's apartment takes off- it just cuts a bit out of the reception area and the study on the 2nd floor) Moving into the living room of June's house, it's immediately evident that this house is home to residents of refined taste.
Many of the real-world shots I was able to find of the interior of Schinasi Mansion show both the living and dining areas as being largely empty. While this may make sense for a building which often serves a variety of different purposes in reality, for The Sims, I chose to model the interior (as much as possible) on shots of the well-appointed and fully furnished house seen in White Collar. This means an eclectic mix of classical, renaissance, and mid-century pieces, befitting the home of a couple known to run in the same circles as Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr.
The first floor's two most notable rooms are the living room and the dining room, both designed to be comfortable areas to sit and talk (or maybe plan a jewel heist- June doesn't judge!), but there are several other rooms worth noting as well. To the right of the entryway, a small receiving room sits, perfect for guests to stash coats in, or to engage in a little small talk before a fancy dinner pary. To the left, an airy, open billiards room- perfect for the con man who has to brush up on his pool shark skillset! Next to the stairway is the first floor library/TV room. Finally, tucked into the back left corner of the house is the kitchen and wine cellar, as well as a servant's staircase to the second floor. Not as elaborately appointed as the rest of June's house, this section is nonetheless equipped with all the latest culinary tech, so that even if the house has stood for more than 100 years, the food can still be prepared with all the latest gadgets.

Moving up to the second floor, you'll find two well-appointed bedrooms, both with handsome floor-to-ceiling marble fireplaces (I was very happy to discover the combination of fireplaces, columns, arches, and mirrors that work so well in several locations throughout this lot, you may notice). Also on this floor are two full bathrooms, both nicely decorated with white tile and marble. To the front of the house, a darkly paneled study occupies the corner of the building, while in the opposite corner stands a second library that also serves as a game room (no Rat Packer or con artist would ever dream of letting their poker face slip!) This floor also has a spacious balcony along the lefthand side of the lot, perfect for taking in the sweeping city views or watching the tides of humanity pass back and forth on the street out front.

The third floor is given over exclusively to Neal's apartment in the mansion's guest suite. While it is by most definitions a mere studio apartment, any delusions of murphy beds or under-the-counter refrigerators should be banished at once! This apartment is a spacious, sumptuously decorated home, with vintage mid-century furnishings and fine art lining the walls (though there might be some question as to whether that art is legitimate, stolen, or forged!)
The main part of this apartment can be broken into three sections. The kitchen/dining area is towards the rear of the lot, with a small (but nonetheless gourmet) kitchen along the wall, and a dining/work table set in the middle of the floor next to yet another floor-to-ceiling fireplace. An open space in the middle of the floor is ideally suited for larger projects- say, forging an Italian sculpture in order to smuggle a carbide-tipped drill and fiber-optic boroscope into a foreign consulate!
In the righthand corner towards the front of the lot is the living-room portion of the apartment. Several fine examples of mid-century seating are clustered in this area, beneath some of the latest pop art on the market (or was it?). The bookshelves here contain many texts on art, antiquities, warrant law, and perhaps one or two books that have been hollowed out to hide various bits of contraband.
The lefthand corner is the "bedroom" in this studio, with a beautifully carved mid-century tiger oak bedframe, a bedside table with an antique dresser box to hold cuff links, tie bars, collar pins, and the like, and a mirror to allow the discerning con artist to make sure that whatever look they're going for, they've hit it. (Also, since there isn't a good way to have all the LITTLE hidden doors and hiding-places in this apartment, I opted for one BIG one. There's a revolving bookcase, and hidden behind it, a highly-illegal currency press, perfect for counterfeiting a few bills to finance the next caper!)

This apartment also has a small hallway leading to a sumptuous walk-in closet (it doesn't look as good in the game as it does on the show, sadly) for storing Rat-Pack suits and 1960's skinny ties, and a marble bathroom with claw-foot tub. Also important is the balcony, accessed through the dining area of this lot, and providing stunning views of the city skyline- not bad for a former maximum-security inmate on an FBI controlled budget!

Now to the technical and gameplay aspects- June's apartment (obviously) rents for a pretty high dollar amount- $8,010 a week, to be precise. This is reachable in several careers without TOO much trouble, but if you're so inclined, a few "side jobs" of questionable legality could make this a much easier figure to meet! Neal's apartment is likewise fairly expensive- well above the $700 a month that he's budgeted in the show. The apartment rents in-game for $2,340 a week- though it would be perfectly fitting to get this rent reduced by schmoozing enough members of the community that your reputation somehow makes you more trustworthy! Overall, there is a total of $547,097 on this lot, though a good deal of that is devoted to the architectural details and sculptures. (Hey, using that many copies of the Grey Lady of SimCity really runs up the pricetag!)
This isn't a huge lot, but it does still have a lot of stuff on it, so it may run just a bit slower than most other lots you may be used to (unless you're used to MY lots, in which case this should run considerably faster! ). Still, it's pretty reasonable, and especially once you move Sims in and only see one apartment at a time, this shouldn't cause any of you too much trouble. I've also tested both apartments in a clone of this lot, and haven't seen any issues or routing errors, or things like that, so hopefully you won't either. Finally, as always, no CC of any kind went into this lot, so you don't have to worry about tracking down some obscure mesh that you don't have!

If you run into any trouble with this lot, of course I want to know, and I'll do what I can to address it. Enjoy, and be sure to keep the FBI off your Sims' trail!

Lot Size: 3x2
Lot Price (furnished): $2,340 - $8,010

Additional Credits:
The real-world Schinasi Mansion was designed by the architect William Tuthill, so credit for that aspect of the lot goes to him. Likewise, the interior of the mansion is drawn from many real-world shots (though I'm not sure who designed the interior). The smaller upper apartment is designed as a copy of the sets for Neal Caffrey's apartment in the USA Network TV show White Collar, so for that part of the lot, credit is due to USA's set designers.

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Expansion/Stuff packs required:
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Number of bedrooms: 3 Bedrooms
Custom Content Included: None
Furnishings: Fully Furnished
Special Flags: Not Applicable

Tags: #no cc, #schinasi mansion, #new york, #new york city, #nyc, #downtown, #uptown, #harlem, #white collar, #rat pack, #midcentury, #jazz, #tv, #criminal, #FBI, #USA, #neal, #june