215 W 75th Street, aka Majestic Towers, is a sedate Upper West Side cooperative now – but it roared in the ’20s as a brothel and speakeasy!
According to a history originally published on the building’s now-dormant website, the structure was designed as a bordello. Celebrities and celebrated madam Polly Adler called this home. During police raids, patrons could escape via reputed “secret” staircases. (Naysayers pooh-pooh the idea, and say the stairs were just fire escapes required by the building code of the time.)
Architecturally, the building follows the traditional base-shaft-crown organization. The three-story crown is the most expressive feature, with white terra cotta decoration.
Majestic Towers became a cooperative in 1989.
215 W 75th Street Vital Statistics
- Location: 215 W 75th Street at Broadway
- Year completed: 1924
- Architect: Schwartz & Gross
- Floors: 15
- Style: Renaissance Revival
215 W 75th Street Recommended Reading
- Wikipedia entry (Schwartz & Gross)
- City Realty review
- Street Easy NY listing (includes floor plans)
- Street Easy NY: Majestic Towers history
- Phorio database
- Emporis database