55 Central Park West, among the first Art Deco apartment houses on the avenue, has become known as the “Ghostbusters Building.” In the 1984 movie, the building is attributed to insane architect Ivo Shandor.
Schwartz & Gross, the real architects, must be spinning in their graves. They designed an innovative brick, stone and terra cotta structure that changes color as it rises, from dark red to white. Massive fluted projections in the base and as finials at the setbacks emphasize the building’s vertical lines.
Inside, 55 CPW was fairly modest: apartments ranged from three to six rooms on lower floors. But all apartments had the innovation of a sunken living room.
Upper floors have larger apartments – including a massive 12-room duplex penthouse that sold for $35 million in 2013.
55 Central Park West Vital Statistics
- Location: 55 Central Park West at W 66th Street
- Year completed: 1930
- Architect: Schwartz & Gross
- Floors: 19
- Style: Art Deco
- New York City Landmark: 1990
- National Register of Historic Places: 1982
55 Central Park West Recommended Reading
- Wikipedia entry
- NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission designation report (Upper West Side / Central Park West Historic District, Vol. 2, pg. 5)
- The New York Times Streetscapes / 55 Central Park West; The Changing Colors of an Art Deco Landmark (July 11, 1999)
- The New York Times Coveted by Many, Lived In by Few (October 19, 2012)
- City Realty review
- Street Easy NY listing (includes floor plans)
- Prewar Passion: Schwartz & Gross
- Emporis database
- New York’s Fabulous Luxury Apartments: With Original Floor Plans from the Dakota, River House, Olympic Tower and Other Great Buildings