Tag Archives: uws

Septuagesimo Uno

It may not qualify as New York City’s smallest park, but I’ll bet it’s the only park with a Latin name (which means 71).

Septuagesimo Uno is among the “vest pocket parks” created during the Mayor John V. “Fun City” Lindsay administration. (The mayor is, unfortunately, better known for poor handling of a snowstorm cleanup.) A sign on the park’s front (and only) gate tells all.

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Ansonia Hotel

The Ansonia Hotel was built as a luxury residential hotel in 1904; today it’s a condominium with a quirky history and a commanding presence on Broadway at 73rd Street (just north of the Amsterdam Avenue crossover).

The developer, William Earle Dodge Stokes, filled the Ansonia Hotel with architectural innovations: it was steel framed, the first air-conditioned hotel, and had a lobby fountain – with live seals. What’s more, there was a short-lived roof-top “farm” that provided fresh eggs and milk! The architect, Paul E. M. Duboy, also designed sculptures for the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument (90th Street/Riverside Drive).

Architecturally, the Ansonia is classed as Beaux Arts style, with huge terra cotta decorations, Parisian-style Mansard roof and corner turret-towers. The building has New York City landmark status and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Of historical note, the building was once home to Continental Baths (gay baths where Bette Midler and Barry Manilow performed) and later (in the same space), swingers’ club Plato’s Retreat. Babe Ruth, Arturo Toscanini, Igor Stravinksy, and Enrico Caruso were among the Ansonia’s celebrated residents. And, while it’s of absolutely no architectural content, don’t miss “Movies, books, scandals, and stars” in the Wikipedia entry!

The building was converted to condominium in 1992.

Ansonia Hotel Vital Statistics
  • Location: 2101 Broadway between W 73rd and W 74th Streets
  • Year completed: 1904
  • Architect: Paul E. M. Duboy
  • Floors: 17
  • Style: Beaux Arts
  • New York City Landmark: 1972
  • National Register of Historic Places: 1980
Ansonia Hotel Suggested Reading

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Apthorp Apartments

Apthorp Apartments takes up the entire block from 78th to 79th Streets, Broadway to West End Avenue. It is divided into four sub-buildings around a central courtyard. Built in 1906-1908 by Viscount William Waldorf Astor, who later moved to a castle in England (“America is not a fit place for a gentleman to live”).

The building went condo in 2008 with apartments averaging $6.5 million. (A number of legal issues cropped up, but that’s another story.) The conversion modernized the building to include techy touches like Cat5E (computer network) and FiOS wiring.

Apthorp has New York City landmark status and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Apthorp Apartments Vital Statistics
  • Location: 2209 Broadway (whole block from Broadway to West End Avenue, W 78th to W 79th Streets)
  • Year completed: 1908
  • Architect: Clinton & Russell
  • Floors: 12
  • Style: Renaissance Revival
  • New York City Landmark: 1969
  • National Register of Historic Places: 1978
Apthorp Apartments Suggested Reading

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The Pythian

The Pythian is historic, and eye candy – but “hidden” in its mid-block location. It’s definitely worth the detour if you’re in the neighborhood of Broadway at W 70th Street.

The Pythian (condominiums), originally Pythian Temple, was built for the Knights of Pythias on West 70th Street between Columbus Avenue and Broadway, in 1927.

Pythian Temple was designed by Thomas W. Lamb in the Egyptian Revival style with bright, colorful glazed terra cotta at street level; even grander decoration graced the building’s top floors.

As the Knights of Pythias declined in popularity, its building found other uses. Decca Records had a studio here in the ’40s and ’50s; the New York Institute of Technology bought the building for its main campus in 1958.

In 1983 the structure was converted to condominium apartments. In the process, the formerly windowless floors of the middle section (all but the topmost setback) were glazed over. (See the Times’ slideshow to view the original facade.) Also see architect David Gura’s portfolio page for the project, with before/after and cutaway views.

The Pythian’s most famous (former) resident was Stefani Germanotta – aka Lady Gaga.

The Pythian Vital Statistics
  • Location: 135 W 70th Street between Broadway and Columbus Avenue
  • Year completed: 1927
  • Architect: Thomas W. Lamb (original); David Gura (1986 conversion)
  • Floors: 8
  • Style: Egyptian Revival
  • New York City Landmark: 1990 (part of Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District)
The Pythian Suggested Reading

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The Dorilton

Although the Dorilton apartments (co-op) doesn’t take up the entire block, it certainly seems that way, towering over the intersection of Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue and 71st Street. Designed by the firm of Janes & Leo in the Beaux Arts style, the structure was completed in 1902 and remains an impressive piece of New York architecture.

The Dorilton’s ornate facade is best seen from Broadway/Amsterdam Avenue, though the nine-story arched entrance is on 71st Street.

The Dorilton is a New York City landmark and listed in the National register of Historic Places. The building has attracted many architectural critiques – see the sample below.

The Dorilton Vital Statistics
  • Location: 171 W 71st Street at Broadway
  • Year completed: 1902
  • Architect: Janes & Leo
  • Floors: 12
  • Style: Beaux Arts
  • New York City Landmark: 1974
  • National Register of Historic Places: 1983
The Dorilton Suggested Reading

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The Evelyn Apartments

The Evelyn Apartments, West 78th Street at Columbus Avenue, was designed by Emile Gruwe and built in 1886. Described in the “AIA Guide to New York City” as “A big, bold symphony in reds….”, there was a brief battle over preservation of the building’s terra cotta angels. No doubt about it: This is architecture that makes even New Yorkers pause.

On the Columbus Avenue side, a couple of nightclubs have had illustrious runs here: P & G Bar, and Evelyn Lounge. Across the street, a more famous landmark: The American Museum of Natural History.

Evelyn Apartments Vital Statistics
  • Location: 380 Columbus Avenue at W78th Street
  • Year completed: 1886
  • Architect: Emile Gruwe
  • Floors: 6
  • Style: Renaissance Revival
  • New York City Landmark: 1990 (Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District)
Evelyn Apartments Suggested Reading
  • The New York Times article
  • NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission designation report (page 93) (This is part of the 4-volume report for the Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District)

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Upper West Side – Broadway and Vicinity

Broadway from 71st Street (where it crosses Amsterdam Avenue) north to the low 90s is rich in architectural landmarks, from block-size giants to mere townhouses. West End Avenue, Amsterdam Avenue and Columbus Avenue have their share of New York classics, as well.

Here are 96 images taken from a rambling walk through the Upper West Side, from 96th Street down to 71st Street.

This section includes some notable landmarks that each have their own photo galleries: The Ansonia, Apthorp Apartments, The Dorilton, The Evelyn, and The Pythian.

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The Lucerne Hotel is distinctive for its bold color as well as its bold Beaux Arts style and uptown location.

Opened in 1904 as the Hotel Lucerne, the building was converted to a condominium (not to be confused with Lucerne Apartments on East 79th Street). It’s a hotel again – with the name reversed to Lucerne Hotel.

During a 1999/2000 restoration, the owners replaced a missing cornice (on the Amsterdam Avenue facade) and refinished the terra cotta.

Lucerne Vital Statistics
Lucerne Recommended Reading

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The Braender

The Braender is one of the more interesting apartment buildings of Central Park West’s far northern blocks – Manhattan Valley. The 10-story structure was restored in 2006. Among other repairs, huge terra cotta ornaments were replaced with lighter replicas. A couple of the originals are now displayed at ground level, in the building’s courtyard, where they can’t fall and hurt someone.

The building hasn’t had stunning architectural reviews – it’s a quirky mix of styles that’s hard to categorize – but it does get noticed. Originally the building had about 50 apartments (according to The New York Times Streetscapes column); those have been subdivided into the current 88.

Braender Vital Statistics
Braender Recommended Reading

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Amidon is an attractive seven-story Renaissance Revival apartment building with finely detailed yellow-orange roman brick – ambitious for its time and neighborhood – now enlivened by a sculptor in residence.

The building is part of the newly (June 2012) expanded Riverside-West End Historic District. Most of the Amidon’s facade is original – historic, in preservation-speak – except that the storefronts have been replaced and the cornice was removed. And oh, the whimsical grotesques that flank the main entry were sculpted by G. Augustine Lynas, an Amidon resident.

(Mr. Lynas has other work in the neighborhood – an elaborate sandbox, cast in sand-colored concrete, is the centerpiece of a children’s playground in Riverside Park, between W 82nd and W 83rd Streets. You can see more at www.SandSong.com.)

Amidon Vital Statistics
Amidon Recommended Reading

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