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Published on April 21st, 2018 | by Chad T.


Antonio Vendome

New York Entrepreneur and businessman Antonio Vendome also known as “Nino” Vendome finalizes the details assembling a consortium of builders, operators, managers, lenders and investors to erect a number of what came to be known as “Habitable Sculpture”, he reflects upon how he and his family came to America.

When Did you Arrive in America and What’s The Story Around Antonio?

In 1955 they arrived in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens, New York from the Campania region near Naples, Italy with four suitcases and $40. The youngest member of that family was 3 year old Antonio. The skills the family had mastered on their farm in rural St. Angelo Di Lombardi would scarcely translate to economic gain in the hectic urban malaise that was New York City after World War 2. Despite suffering severe economic hardship, the family maintained the deeply ingrained values of honesty, integrity, industry and civility.

Whats the Story From There?

Fast forward from 1955 to 2017 to the corner of Spring and Washington Streets in the Hudson Square neighborhood of Manhattan to a dazzling luxury condominium, The Urban Glass House. This elegant fourteen story residence was the last structure to be built that was designed by the seminal 20th century architect Philip Johnson and was the fruit of a collaboration between Johnson and that child from Astoria via St. Angelo Di Lombardi, Antonio “Nino” Vendome.

Tell Us About the 21 Year old Antonio Vendome Before You Were a Father to Raquel Vendome

At 21 years old in 1973, I opened my first restaurant, a storefront selling sandwiches at 324 Spring Street next to the famous Ear Inn which, at the time was named “The Green Door.”

Looking back Antonio recalls that the favorite drink of the longshoremen inhabiting the place was rye with beer chasers with the added convenience of being a full service check cashing operation. In fact, there were no tables or chairs. Just a cage in the middle of the room where you would cash your check then drink standing up. The odors mixing with Nino’s bacon, eggs and coffee at 5am on any given day included a heady blend of rye, beer and the sweat of hard working men from next door.

What Are you Doing Today in New York City?

Today Antonio Vendome is embarking on a plan to bring reality to his and Philip Johnson’s vision and Studio Vendome, one that will create a work of art in which people will live far into the future. He’s undertaking to construct the Habitable Sculpture on numerous sites domestically and globally and, in so doing, presenting Johnson’s extraordinary work as a leading global force in focusing public perception of extraordinary architecture as purposed sculpture, that is, as fine art.

Antonio “Nino” Vendome: imported from Italy, made in America!

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