El Dorado (aka The Eldorado*) is among New York’s most fabled apartment buildings – for its celebrity residents as much as for its stunning twin-tower Art Deco architecture.
Despite (or because of?) the building’s impressive design, El Dorado (The Golden One) got off to a rocky start – foreclosure following the stock market crash. Though the apartments were luxe enough to include maid’s quarters, the building was economy-minded enough to use cast stone instead of the real thing in the three-story base. And original notations of gold leaf for the towers’ pinnacles were never executed.
After reorganization, the building successfully attracted luxury-minded tenants; in 1982 El Dorado turned co-op. Unlike other pricey New York cooperatives, El Dorado welcomes celebrities. Famous tenants and former tenants include (in no particular order) Bruce Willis, Tuesday Weld, Barney’s founder Barney Pressman, Faye Dunaway, Garrison Keillor, Michael J. Fox, U2’s Moby, Sinclair Lewis, Marilyn Monroe, Groucho Marx, and Alec Baldwin.
One celebrity the apartments could have done without was the resident of apartment 9B – you can read the gruesome details in The New York Times and New York Daily News stories!
*El Dorado is Spanish for “The Golden One,” so THE El Dorado is redundant; the official name is Americanized as The Eldorado – but the canopy on Central Park West has it El Dorado. The name is inherited from an earlier (1902) eight-story luxury apartment house on the same site, El Dorado.
El Dorado Vital Statistics
- Location: 300 Central Park West at 90th to 91st Streets
- Year completed: 1931
- Architect: Emery Roth with Margon & Holder
- Floors: 28
- Style: Art Deco
- New York City Landmark: 1990
- National Register of Historic Places: 1982
El Dorado Recommended Reading
- Wikipedia entry
- NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission designation report (Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District – pg. 49)
- City Realty review
- The New York Times Streetscapes/The Eldorado, at 90th Street; 1929 Art Deco Twin Towers on Central Park West (December 9, 2001)
- The New York Times Nightmare in Apt. 9B (July 16, 2010)
- New York Daily News EXCLUSIVE: El Dorado apartments get green light to evict transgender heiress Diane Wells (July 11, 2013)
- Emporis database