Tag Archives: New York City

228 Bleecker Street

228 Bleecker Street

228 Bleecker Street is a nicely maintained example of the larger apartment buildings that replaced small dwellings in the early 1900s. Greenwich Village at that time was growing, with an influx of Italian immigrants.

The building is across the street from Our Lady of Pompeii RC Church (built 27 years later).

The tiny residential entry is on Bleecker Street, sandwiched between the building’s gustatory tenants: Trattoria Spaghetto, on the right, Molly’s Cupcakes on the left. Buon appetito!

228 Bleecker Street Vital Statistics
228 Bleecker Street Recommended Reading

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Our Lady of Pompeii

Our Lady of Pompeii

Our Lady of Pompeii Roman Catholic Church is prominently sited on Bleecker Street at Carmine Street. It replaces an earlier church that had been demolished during widening of Sixth Avenue.

Our Lady of Pompeii Vital Statistics
Our Lady of Pompeii Recommended Reading

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888 Grand Concourse

888 Grand Concourse

888 Grand Concourse has seen better days. But even in decline, the curvaceous Art Deco landmark is striking and memorable. The bold corner treatment, in particular, stands out for its concave gilt and mosaic entry.

The Emery Roth-designed apartment building stands at E 161st Street, across the “Boulevard of Dreams” from the old Bronx County Courthouse. In 2009, The New York Times called 888 “a particular stunner, a medley of curves, scallops and concave spaces executed in black granite, bronze, stainless steel, marble mosaic and gold stripes.”

Since then, the building has fallen on hard times. In 2013, the Daily News reported that the apartment house had 341 open violations and was one of the Bronx’s ten worst buildings. In February 2016 tenants staged a rent strike, and the building is in foreclosure, according to The Real Deal. The New York Real Estate news site described the building as “rat-infested.”

One can only hope that the landmark emerges from foreclosure with an owner that can rehabilitate the building.

888 Grand Concourse Vital Statistics
888 Grand Concourse Recommended Reading

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Goelet Building

Goelet Building * looks surprisingly modern for architecture more than a century old. The structure was built in two stages. The first five floors were completed in 1887. The original sixth floor was demolished in 1906 and replaced with five floors that more or less mimicked the three floors below.

The Maynicke & Franke addition blends very well with the McKim, Mead & White original. The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission notes minor differences in materials and patterns, but the final result maintains a colorful, yet elegant appearance. This is no small accomplishment; add-on floors can be disastrous. Just take a look at De Lemos & Cordes’ 1889 Armeny Building, defaced by a two-story addition in 1893.

As with their Warren Building diagonally across the street, McKim, Mead & White faced the challenge of a non-rectangular plot. They rounded the corner, to avoid the awkward corner dictated by the property line.

In his New York Times Streetscapes column, historian Christopher Gray lauds the Justin family for rescuing the Goetlet Building from decline. Zoltan Justin bought the building in 1977. He and son Jeffrey cleaned the facade, removed non-historic elements, and restored the structure to its original glory.

* Not to be confused with the 1932 Goelet Building, now known as Swiss Center Building, located at Fifth Avenue and W 49th Street.

†See Tom Miller’s post in Daytonian in Manhattan for a look at the original six-story building.

Goelet Building Vital Statistics
Goelet Building Recommended Reading

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Cable Building

Cable Building

Cable Building, at the southwestern corner of the NoHo Historic District, is the last remnant of a San Francisco-style cable car system that once served lower Manhattan. The nine-story* Beaux Arts building housed the massive steam engines and winding wheels that pulled 40-ton cables at 30 mph. Alas, the cable system was uneconomical. The last cable car ran just seven years after the first.

For architects McKim, Mead & White, this was their first all-steel-frame building. The four-story-deep basement held the machinery. Above ground, it was a doughnut of offices built around a central light court. Both of the building’s Houston Street corners are chamfered. Light orange brick and terra cotta rise above the two-story limestone arcade base.

While Broadway’s Bowling Green-to-36th Street cable cars did not survive, Cable Building did. Metropolitan Traction Company reorganized as New York Railways Company, and sold the building in 1925. For the next six decades the structure housed small businesses and manufacturers. Then in the late 1980s it went back to being an office building.

Angelika Film Center took up residence in 1989, using the four basement floors.

* The building appears to be eight stories, if you count the floors of large windows. But tiny square windows tucked under the cornice – and larger windows in the north facade – reveal an attic ninth floor.

Cable Building Vital Statistics
Cable Building Recommended Reading

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Bolivar

Bolivar

Bolivar is a Georgian-styled co-op of red brick accented with white stone and terra cotta. Its 15 stories contain mostly smaller apartments – studios and 1 BR. Some apartments were combined, though, so even 4BR units are available. One four-bedroom unit recently sold for $10.3 million, according to StreetEasy NY.

Seinfeld reportedly liked the place so much he held onto his bachelor pad even after he got married and moved two blocks away to the Beresford. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

The Bolivar has an unusual feature – a brick roof. Tenants use it as a sun deck and garden. (See photos in the Condopedia article.)

Bolivar Vital Statistics
Bolivar Recommended Reading

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65 Central Park West

65 Central Park West

65 Central Park West is one of nine Central Park West landmarks* designed by famed Emery Roth. Less dramatic than Roth’s towered San Remo, Beresford, or El Dorado, this Neo-Renaissance co-op is still impressive New York architecture.

The building’s location, across from Tavern on the Green and just a three-block walk from Lincoln Center, is idyllic.

Apartments here are currently listed at between $975,000 and $5.5 million.

* One of the Emery Roth landmarks, Mayflower Hotel (1925), was demolished in 2004 to make way for Robert A.M. Stern’s 15 CPW. Roth’s other Central Park landmarks are still standing. Besides 65 CPW they are (moving uptown): San Remo (1930), Beresford (1929), Alden (1926), 275 CPW (1930), 295 CPW (1940), El Dorado (1931), and Ardsley (1931).

65 Central Park West Vital Statistics
65 Central Park West Recommended Reading

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15 Central Park West

15 Central Park West

15 Central Park West is one of the newest, yet most famous addresses on the avenue. The asymmetrical condominium towers take up a full block. The 20-story “House” is on Central Park West; the 43-story “Tower” is on Broadway. The two are connected in a courtyard that also serves as a private driveway, to shield rich and famous tenants from paparazzi.

Privacy is prized as much as luxury (10- to 14-foot ceilings throughout) and amazing views of Central Park. The 202 apartments are arranged so that only two units share an elevator landing.

The $950 million building is sheathed entirely in limestone – unusual (and costly) for a structure of this size. Coincidentally, the limestone came from the same quarry used by another all-limestone landmark – the Empire State Building.

The towers are too new to be considered for official landmark status, but they replace the Mayflower Hotel, which very well might have had that honor. The Upper West Side-Central Park West Historic District begins across W 62nd street.

15 Central Park West Vital Statistics
15 Central Park West Recommended Reading

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311 Amsterdam Avenue

311 Amsterdam Avenue

311 Amsterdam Avenue, aka The Wachusett, was built in 1889 as flats. Architect Edward L. Angell designed the five-story brick building in Romanesque Revival style, with Queen Anne embellishments.

According to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, the structure has masonry bearing walls. (Since the advent of modern iron, steel, and concrete frames, brick is usually used only to seal and decorate the facade.)

The building was converted to condominiums in 2006.

311 Amsterdam Avenue Vital Statistics
311 Amsterdam Avenue Recommended Reading

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304 E 20 Street

304 E 20 Street

304 E 20 Street is a modest apartment building in New York’s Gramercy Park neighborhood, distinctive for heavy flat arches above the windows and for the pedimented dormers at the 8th floor.

304 E 20 Street Vital Statistics
304 E 20 Street Recommended Reading

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