View Full Version : The Ansonia Hotel - 2109 Broadway @ West 73rd Street - by Paul E. M. Duboy

January 5th, 2003, 09:42 PM
Year: 1904

Architect: Paul E. M. Duboy

Style: Beaux Arts

Description: Probably the NYC building that closely resembles Paris. The building was home to many artists...see below for details.


January 6th, 2003, 12:23 AM
That architecture is really eye-catching. Nice Pictures! *:)

January 6th, 2003, 01:06 AM
if you think this one is pretty there is a building on 7th avenue and 58 street on the northeast corner that has to be the building with the most intricate and detailed outsides walls i have ever seen. Ive driven by it many times but never had the chance to find out its name. Anyone know what im talking about? It looks to be some kind of white stone with tons and tons of carving all over it!!!

January 6th, 2003, 01:14 AM
Although in the Beaux Arts style (I think), this building is actually not like ones in Paris, since it's approximately 2.5 times taller than similar-style buildings in France. *When I was last in Paris, I remember seeing a number of these buildings, but they were generally 6-8 stories high, while the Ansonia has 15.

January 6th, 2003, 02:43 AM
That's right.
Another difference is that most buildings in Paris are not made of bricks.

Quote: from yanni111 on 1:06 am on Jan. 6, 2003
there is a building on 7th avenue and 58 street on the northeast corner that has to be the building with the most intricate and detailed outsides walls i have ever seen. Ive driven by it many times but never had the chance to find out its name. Anyone know what im talking about?

I do.
But I don't know its name. It appears in W. Allen's Annah and her sisters.

January 6th, 2003, 12:56 PM
Most buildings in central Paris are not made with a steel frame, either.
The Ansonia is one of the best examples of the Beaux-Art style in New York. *I just saw Don't say a Word on HBO, and the Ansonia is where they live. *They round balconies even play a small part in the movie.

I know which one you're talking about on 58th street. * *It's called Alywin Court. *They recently finished renovating it after it was behind scaffolding for what seemed like years. *Check it out:


January 8th, 2003, 06:51 PM
yes dbhstockton! thats it! thanks! its almost too much detailed carving into the stone!! i wonder if those outside walls were carved by some kind of machine or by hand?

January 8th, 2003, 07:02 PM
A lot of it was either molded or cast, I think. *It's terra cotta.

June 19th, 2004, 10:35 PM
June 20, 2004


A Grande Dame With a Lively Past

Michael Madie, a resident who hopes to restore the building’s “pristine grandeur.’’

Images in a show celebrating 100 years of the Ansonia include Vincent Joyce, who has worked at the front desk for 31 years.

BABE RUTH and Arturo Toscanini called it home. Plato's Retreat and the Continental Baths, where a young Bette Midler sang, moved in decades later. But the Ansonia, the Beaux-Arts wedding cake of an apartment hotel at Broadway and 73rd Street, eventually became as notable for its contentiousness as for its celebrities. In just one of the Ansonia's lively chapters, the building was threatened with demolition in the 1970's; only after considerable efforts by residents was it saved.

One organization that supported these efforts was the Municipal Art Society, which is now presenting an exhibition called "At the Ansonia Hotel: A Broadway Landmark Turns 100.'' The show contains 30 photographs by Tom Wolff, many of which depict current residents and are accompanied by interviews. The show opens Friday at the Urban Center Galleries, 457 Madison Avenue at 51st Street, and runs through Aug. 16.

In the words of Cristina Del Sesto, who curated the show and did the interviews, the building is "the most litigious in New York'' but also a place where "the walls don't speak, they sing.''

"It's impossible to say whether the Ansonia should be more famous for its architecture or its ethos,'' she added.

And as Kent Barwick, president of the Municipal Art Society, put it, had the Ansonia been razed, "our city would have suffered far more than the loss of a Beaux-Arts masterpiece.''

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

June 22nd, 2004, 09:43 AM
I think the Ansonia also hosted the gay Continental Baths in its basement (where Bette Midler famously started her singing career). It later became the straight/swinger Plato's Retreat and was finally closed by the city in response to the AIDS crisis.

July 9th, 2006, 10:01 PM
Not really sure why this thread doesn't have any (working) photos of the building. Anyway, here it is:

http://images1.snapfish.com/34756%3C%3B66%7Ffp343%3Enu%3D3247%3E4%3A5%3E9%3A%3 B%3EWSNRCG%3D32338%3B%3B%3A575%3B9nu0mrj

July 20th, 2006, 03:18 PM
The 102-Year-Old Ansonia's Unlikely New Tenant: a Loehmann's

By GABRIELLE BIRKNER - Staff Reporter of the Sun

July 20, 2006

The ground floor of an Upper West Side apartment building known for its Beaux-Arts architecture and its celebrity tenants will soon be home to a department store known for its communal dressing rooms and its popularity with bargain-seeking bubbes. Come February, Loehmann's department store will occupy a 37,000-square-foot space in the Ansonia on Broadway, at West 73rd Street.

Ten years after it made inroads in Manhattan, with the opening of its 60,000-square-foot store in Chelsea, the 85-year-old retailer announced plans this week for a new store at 2101 Broadway, supplanting the Gristedes supermarket in the landmark building.

Loehmann's, which was founded in Brooklyn and is headquartered in the Bronx, will reportedly pay $250 a square foot in rent, though the retailer refused to confirm that price.

The company's vice president of advertising, Fred Forcellati, said Loehmann's is also looking for four more retail locations in the borough —exploring possible venues in Soho, Midtown, the Upper East Side, and elsewhere.

News of Loehmann's slated expansion coincided with the sale of the company to a Dubai-based investment house, Istithmar PJSC. The discount chain was purchased for a reported $300 million from a private equity firm, Arcapita, in Atlanta. The new owners say they plan to increase the number of Loehmann's stores from 60 to 100 during the next five years — an ambitious plan for a company that emerged from bankruptcy in 2000.

"The Upper West side is a high-traffic area, with a lot going on from a retail perspective," Mr. Forcellati said."It fits the profile of who our customer is, and it has great potential to attract tourists as well. Everything about it is right."

While most of its retail space will be in the basement, the store will also have a presence at street level, according to Mr. Forcellati. It will feature communal and private fitting rooms, and a free personal shopping service like what is available at its Beverly Hills and Chelsea stores. "The personal shopper has the inside scoop," he said. "You'll say, ‘I love Donna Karan' or ‘I love Calvin Klein,' and they can pull stuff for you."

Though under different ownership, the store will continue with its recent efforts to cultivate a more youthful image — stocking contemporary designs that are popular with younger customers. Mr. Forcellati said that in the past decade, the average age of Loehmann's shoppers has dropped at least 10 years, and is now about 35.

The author of "The Sky's the Limit: Passion and Property in Manhattan," which chronicles the history of the Ansonia, Steven Gaines, said the income derived from the Loehmann's lease will help with the upkeep of the ornate, 102-year-old building. "Loehmann's is a brand name, and it will be an anchor tenant," he said. "The Ansonia is in constant need of repair, and the more anchor tenants it has, the better."

Mr. Gaines said he did not see "tremendous irony" in Loehmann's move into the "wedding cake" building that was once home to Babe Ruth, Arturo Toscanini, and Gustav Mahler. "Tiffany or Cartier or Saks don't belong there," he said. "The Upper West Side of New York has always been an urban mix of cultures. It's never really been considered chic — even Central Park West, which is glamorous — in the same way the East Side is. Loehmann's is a perfect fit."

Retail chains Sephora and the North Face, and a Commerce Bank branch are among the Ansonia's current commercial tenants. Nearby stores include Urban Outfitters, Banana Republic, Pottery Barn, and other suburban shopping mall staples. When the new store opens next year, it will be Loehmann's 17th in the tristate area.

© 2006 The New York Sun, One SL, LLC. All rights reserved.

July 20th, 2006, 04:04 PM
Nearby stores include Urban Outfitters, Banana Republic, Pottery Barn, and other suburban shopping mall staples.


July 20th, 2006, 04:05 PM
The 102-Year-Old Ansonia's Unlikely New Tenant: a Loehmann's

... most of its retail space will be in the basement ... It will feature communal and private fitting rooms ...

Those communal and private "fitting" rooms might cause some to feel a sense of deja vu ...
In the late 1960s, Steve Ostrow opened the famous Continental Baths (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continental_Baths) in the basement of the landmark 1903 Ansonia Hotel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ansonia_Hotel)

Bob H
November 21st, 2006, 11:25 PM
Can't believe that this old building is still standing. I have posted a print of it from 1906... actually its a very old postcard print, but postcards views are some of the best available from this time period. You can see it in all its former glory on my BLOG (http://familypaper.blogspot.com/2006/11/ansonia-apartment-hotel-in-new-york.html).

November 29th, 2006, 01:04 PM
really a beautiful building.

September 9th, 2007, 08:59 PM
hey i just want to know whats up with the ansonia building , I saw it being covered in black netting. Is it being renovated?

September 9th, 2007, 10:01 PM
The owner's don't want it to escape.

September 10th, 2007, 05:54 AM
June 2007


September 10th, 2007, 09:57 AM
Ansonia Hotel

2109 Broadway (1899-04, Paul E.M. Duboy)

Date of Landmarks Designation: March 14, 1972

Landmarks Preservation Commission's Designation Report (http://javascript<b></b>:;)

DOB (http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/JobDetailsServlet?requestid=5&allisn=0001336491&allboroughname=&allnumbhous=&allstrt=): PERMIT ISSUED - ENTIRE JOB/WORK 08/16/2007

Applicant: The VSA Group

JOB DESCRIPTION: The work shall include exterior facade repairs to comply with LL 11/98 as shown on plans

Inside the Ansonia

A New York Classic

The Cooperator (http://cooperator.com/articles/1200/1/Inside-the-Ansonia/Page1.html)
By Mary K. Fons
September 2005

Of all the awe-inspiring, historically significant buildings that make the Upper West Side of Manhattan so aesthetically pleasing and popular to the masses, perhaps few are as architecturally exuberant or hold such colorful history as the Ansonia building and hotel.

Located at 2109 Broadway, the Ansonia’s ornate façade towers 18 stories above the trees at its feet, both beautiful and a little imposing. The structure is massive—the largest mixed apartment/hotel building in the city, boasting 1,400 rooms, over 300 suites and a grand total of 50,000 square feet, according to Stephen Gaines, author of The Sky’s the Limit: Passion and Property in Manhattan.

In addition to the scale and grandeur of the Ansonia building itself, the building is rich with the history of the people who have lived there and the secrets contained within its walls. But the past isn’t the only thing interesting about the building. Its present is pretty fascinating, too.

Dodgy William

William Earl Dodge “W.E.D.” Stokes, heir to the huge Ansonia copper fortune, broke ground for the Ansonia building in 1899, but prior to that, he was a flamboyant figure in New York society—though not especially popular.

Historical sources differ somewhat as to Stokes’ character. The term “despicable” comes up with some frequency, and most sources agree that Stokes was a general pain in the neck, though others more charitably refer to him as “eccentric.” He was prone to random outbursts of profanity and fired people for entertainment. He sought out and married a 15-year-old girl he knew only from a photograph in a shop window, alienated his entire family through intrigue and litigation, and seemed to care for nothing but his grand vision for the Ansonia.

The Ansonia project was one of many that Stokes embarked upon on the Upper West Side, but none before (or after) was such a huge undertaking. Stokes had no training when it came to architecture, but he gave strict instructions to the European architect he hired for the job, one Emile Paul DuBoy. DuBoy was instructed to create a masterpiece in the Beaux-Arts style, characterized by classical form, symmetry, rich ornamentation and grand scale—all elements that were high on Stokes’ list of priorities.

The building was to tower over all others in the area—and it did, though it might’ve been taller in the blueprints. Stokes stopped building after the 17th floor, claiming he “liked the view” and wanted to get on with the rest of the interior construction. There certainly was a lot of work to be done.

The Copper King’s Palace

Stokes may have lacked charm, but there was no limit to his ambition. When the building was ready to be decorated and furnished, no expense was spared and no idea was too outlandish—indeed, when it was finally finished in 1913, the Ansonia had run a staggering 800 percent over budget, costing $6 million in total.

It was said that Stokes built the Ansonia with artists in mind—especially musicians. The doorways into the apartments were wide enough for a grand piano to be moved in with ease, and walls within the building were three feet thick in some places, making them virtually soundproof. According to Gaines, “In summer, freezing brine was pumped through a series of galvanized steel flues buried in the walls…keeping the building at 70 degrees.” This was appealing to singers and musicians concerned about their voices and instruments.

According to Gaines’ book, such amenities were extravagant, but more or less logical. The real opulence came with the other extras Stokes chose. Among them was a fountain in the front lobby replete with live seals; a shopping arcade in the basement, various cafes, a Turkish bath, a palm court, and a tailor. There was a dining room that held 550, several ballrooms… and a farm on the roof. It’s true: Stokes had a vision of a self-sustaining building, a kind of rental utopia. He purchased various farm animals and constructed a mini-pasture on the roof. Each morning, a staff member would deliver fresh eggs and milk to the guests or tenants of the building.

Drama of a Different Sort

The tenant history of the Ansonia is rich, too; Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey, Arturo Toscanini and Al Adams, a notorious millionaire, all lived for a time in the building. Because the Metropolitan Opera opened right around the time the Ansonia did and wasn’t too far from it, the rooms of the hotel were constantly packed with singers, divas and hangers-on.

But the history of the Ansonia is not all glitz and glamour. During the Great Depression, the building had to close its hotel rooms and became strictly rental.

In 1945, W.E.D. Stokes’s son sold the Ansonia. The buyer was a less-than-scrupulous entrepreneur by the name of Samuel Broxmeyer, who basically ran the building into the ground until he was jailed on fraud charges and the Ansonia was sold at auction to Jake Starr, one of the building’s many lenders.

Starr was no great sweetheart either, and by the time he got hold of the Ansonia, it was a mess—the roof leaked like a sieve, the pipes and ductwork were seriously deteriorated, windows were rattling and drafty, and floors were buckled and warped.

When he found out that it would cost millions in renovations and repairs before the city would even consider granting him the certification necessary to run the Ansonia as a residential rental building, Starr opted instead to let the building molder until it was a grim, decrepit shadow of its former glory.

That did it. A weeklong protest and demonstration eventually followed; a petition drew 25,000 signatures, calling for Mayor John V. Lindsay to save the building. The finale of the week was a five-hour live performance held in the middle of 73rd Street, which was closed to traffic, starring many of the building’s tenants. A few months later, on March 15, 1972, after the intervention of Congresswoman Bella Abzug, it was done: The Ansonia Hotel became a landmark. But only the exterior of the building was protected, leaving Jake Starr to do what he wished with the inside-which was nothing. The Ansonia became a decaying shell.

The building was home to Plato’s Retreat, a straight swingers’ club that became notorious for its Disco-era goings on. In addition to that, the Continental Baths found a home at the Ansonia and a young Bette Midler got her start there, singing for the gay male clientele. Eventually, the citizens did get their way and, due to their work, the Ansonia still stands in all its glory, though if talk of Plato’s Retreat or the Continental Baths piques your interest, you’re out of luck-the city ordered both venues closed in the 1980’s in light of the growing AIDS crisis.

About that time, the ramshackle Ansonia began to attract as tenants, for indefinable reasons, all sorts of mediums, psychics, spiritualists, and fortune-tellers. A Dr. Clifford Bias began holding quasi-religious services in a chapel off the lobby on Sunday afternoons. One week, Dr. Bias was blindfolded and summoning up the dead when the great singer Geraldine Farrar appeared to deliver the message, “The Ansonia isn’t what it used to be when I was there.”

The Ansonia’s final act-so far-began with Jesse Krasnow, a bespectacled man with calm blue eyes and a round, open face. Krasnow might have had only a summary appreciation of the provenance of the Ansonia when he bought it in 1978-heading up a group of 21 investors-but over the past 25 years, he’s become enraptured with the building. It has become his great love as well as the bane of his professional career.

When he took over, Krasnow’s plan was to fix the violations that Starr had run up and then ask the city to unfreeze the rents. (He also immediately moved to get Plato’s Retreat out of the basement, paying owner Larry Levenson $1 million to go away.) Some elderly residents faced 300 percent increases. Outraged tenants accused Krasnow of doing only patchwork repairs. The leaky roof became a joke. “Every year the sap flows,” complained one tenant, “and every year Krasnow tars the roof of the Ansonia and it still leaks.” Even after Krasnow put $3.5 million into the roof, it still sometimes leaked.

Asked about this fight, Krasnow responds with a folder of photos. “This is what the place looked like,” he says. The photographs evoke the hallways of a medieval mental ward. “The halls were yellow. Dreary. Discolored linoleum, fluorescent lights, bare bulbs, and old tiles.” He shows a close-up of the ripped, patchy floor. “When you came out of the elevator, this is what you saw.”

Even as he poured money into the Ansonia-the partnership eventually took out $21 million in mortgages, all toward repairs, improvement, and a reserve fund, Krasnow says-he continued to enrage the residents. In 1980, the Ansonia Residents Association declared a rent strike. ARA members began to pay their rents into an escrow account, and they used the interest from the account to hire a lawyer to sue Krasnow. When that group seemed close to negotiating a compromise, another, more radical splinter group formed, with its own escrow account and its own lawsuit. The Ansonia Hotel became the single most litigated residence in the history of New York City. A housing-court judge was assigned full-time to the case and, over the next ten years, Krasnow found himself cast in the role of one of the city’s most villainous landlords.

In the long run, Krasnow realized the best way to make the building functional again was to buy out the tenants who were unhappiest, and in 1990, the tenants accepted a condo plan allowing them either to continue renting or to buy their apartments at a 60 percent discount. A one-bedroom would cost $125,000-way beyond the means of most Ansonia tenants. (These days, it costs about $800,000.) Today, 29 percent of the building is rent-protected, subsidized by Krasnow, who claims that he’s put almost $100 million into the building.

And now it’s his office as well: In 2003, he moved his operations from midtown into the Ansonia itself. He enjoys mingling with the residents, most of whom don’t recognize him. “The newer tenants don’t care about me,” he says, “and the older ones still have a good deal.” Krasnow keeps a curio cabinet in his office filled with Babe Ruth memorabilia. He’s spent the past 25 years trying to track down which apartment was Ruth’s, but nobody knows for sure.

Ansonia Today

Today, the Ansonia looks as imposing as it ever did, even though the spires are no longer on the top of the structure and the rooftop farm has long since been dismantled, courtesy of the Department of Health in the 1930’s. That hasn’t stopped people from seeing that Ansonia as a prime slice of New York City property.

Bernie Gelb is the director of sales at Ansonia Realty, the office that has been managing the Ansonia Building since 1992. Gelb says that availability at the Ansonia varies, but that on average, there are between two and five apartments available at any given time.

“Right now, we have three apartments on the market,” says Gelb. “Sometimes we have as many as five or six, sometimes there’s nothing at all. We do have a database that keeps track of inquiries, in the case of a waiting list.”

The Ansonia, like most buildings in New York City, has a range of options when it comes to choosing a unit. The spaces currently available range in size and price.

“For example,” says Gelb, “I have the top two floors of the south turret available right now. That duplex takes up part of the 16th and 17th floors, with a wraparound staircase and a rooftop garden. The unit was featured in Art Deco magazine in 2000 and goes for around $4 million.”

Gelb says that the other units he currently has available range from a studio ($475,000) to a 2,500 square-foot, three-bedroom, four-bath unit that the sponsor has totally renovated. “The renovation is spectacular,” says Gelb, “The moldings have all been replaced, but they are exact replicas of the original pieces.”

Renovation at the Ansonia is something that its tenants take seriously. The building is considered by New York City to be a historical landmark and is listed in the Federal Register of Historical Landmarks in Washington, D.C. Because of this status, there are certain pieces of the building that cannot be altered during renovation-namely, the windows. Gelb says that if you purchase Ansonia real estate, you can do whatever you like within the space, but not the windows. “We have to preserve the building from the outside.”

In the past, artists flocked to the Ansonia-the building was even called “The Palace for the Muses” at one time. Gelb says that artists still come to the Ansonia, but that’s not all.

“We do have artists here, like Afgani Kissan, the Russian pianist, who’s lived here for six years. We still have some opera singers and at least one well-known actress. The building converted in 1992 and it wasn’t until 1997 that sales really picked up. Since then, we’ve continued to sell to the artists, but also to doctors, lawyers, Wall-Street types, too.”

Gelb says that 75 percent of the building units are owned condos, and the remaining 25 percent are rent-stabilized apartments. When a rent-stabilized tenant leaves, the unit they occupied goes on the market for sale. Ansonia Realty handles any subletting that owners choose to participate in.

Clearly, the Ansonia doesn’t come cheap. But you’re not just in any old building, of course. Where else in New York can you find that much history in 50,000 square feet? Even if you can’t afford one of the elegant units in the Ansonia building, the next time you’re up on the Upper West Side, stop by and take a peek. No matter what happens next with the Ansonia, you can be sure it will continue to be classic New York: exciting, progressive and grand.

Mary Fons is a freelance writer and a frequent contributor to The Cooperator.

©2007 Yale Robbins, Inc.

September 10th, 2007, 10:21 AM
Excellent article Lofter.

The building was used in the Michael Douglas film "Don't Say a Word"

There were shots of him,
a) walking home with a Thansgiving turkey from Fairway.
b) leaning out from a balcony oh the Verdi Square corner of the building.
c) entering the building's main entrance in W73rd. St.

October 14th, 2007, 08:25 AM
October 10, 2007

"Biblical" Roach Infestation, Tenants Sue Ansonia

A couple renting an apartment at the legendary Ansonia building on the Upper West Side filed a lawsuit claiming their apartment is "completely uninhabitable" due to cockroach infestation (http://www.wnbc.com/news/14305161/detail.html). The lawsuit from lawyers Alan Arkin (no relation to the actor) and Suzanne Bagert details these nightmare-inducing incidents:

They crawl across the floor, on the walls, on the ceilings, on the curtains and even in the bed...Perhaps most disgustingly, cockroaches have crawled in their food and coffee maker. Killing them does very little. Recently after the cockroaches were crushed, killed and vacuumed away during the day, (they) counted 16 cockroaches in the hallway outside the apartment....The hallway outside their apartment is constantly covered with cockroaches; on any given day, there can be 20 to 30 cockroaches crawling on the walls and the doors of the apartments.The couple has even, per the NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/10/nyregion/10ansonia.html?_r=1&ref=nyregion&oref=slogin), "collected about 50 dead roaches over the last three days, storing them in a jar, and they are also keeping a log of roach sightings." They can't even turn off the lights, or else the roaches will swarm! Arkin also found a roach in his sock the other morning.

The couple is renting the apartment from family friends who charge them a rather low (for the building) $2,400 for a one-bedroom. They have tried exterminators but with limited success, hence the lawsuit against management company Sirius Realty. They blame another tenant who allegedly refuses to have her apartment treated.

lizbeth li
December 3rd, 2007, 11:38 AM
if you think this one is pretty there is a building on 7th avenue and 58 street on the northeast corner that has to be the building with the most intricate and detailed outsides walls i have ever seen. Ive driven by it many times but never had the chance to find out its name. Anyone know what im talking about? It looks to be some kind of white stone with tons and tons of carving all over it!!!

It was built in 1909 and has the most intricate Terra cotta work in the city, which was redone fairly recently. I don't think it's Beaux Artes, I'm not sure what it is -- gothic something maybe. Across from the Ansonia and a block south on Broadway there's the Dorilton, which is as nutty looking as anything around, like an overgrown mushroom.

Optimus Prime
December 3rd, 2007, 11:53 AM
Here's a great history of the Alwyn from 1997:
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9904e0dd1f3af935a35757c0a9619582 60

The style I have read most frequently about it is Gothic meets French Renaissance.

December 17th, 2007, 05:02 PM
Get this (circa 1900 [?] ) ...


Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/21925323@N03/2117335736/in/pool-curbed/) -- Uploaded on December 16, 2007 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/21925323@N03/archives/date-posted/2007/12/16/) by hizzoner1 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/21925323@N03/)

December 17th, 2007, 11:11 PM
So out of scale. Height limits of 4 stories should have been instated after this was built.

Imagine how many of NY's great buildings wouldn't exist if citizens had the same mindset of today.

December 17th, 2007, 11:16 PM
Except not too many great buildings are being stopped today.

December 17th, 2007, 11:31 PM
Maybe most great ones are not. But at least one truly great one is..... :-/


December 17th, 2007, 11:34 PM
That wasn't blocked by opposition.

December 17th, 2007, 11:44 PM
Opposition by lenders.

December 18th, 2007, 12:59 AM
Or was it opposition by the Market ... not enough folks wanted to drop a cool $30 M for an open box in the sky.

Nice to look at. Maybe not so nice to live in.

December 18th, 2007, 07:15 AM
I disagree. I think that once he builds it and people see for themselves what rendering cannot do justice then they'll shell out the 30 mil. Your own house in the sky, not an apartment or a condo but a house with a backyard and all. Which if was a prospective buyer I would find most appealing. The product will sell itself, Schiame just gotta come up with the $ to build. I would go even as a far as to say that if he has enouh funds to do it he should go for it with his own $.

How much more $ do you think Ansonia took to build when you compare it to the cost of building all the smaller homes around it. Based on the scale and flamboyance of it the man who built it took a leap of faith.

Schiame should do the same.

December 18th, 2007, 10:38 AM
But can Schiame afford to build without pre-bought units?

And would al ender give the money needed if there were no pre-boughts on a unique project such as this?

December 18th, 2007, 11:25 AM
Construction loans are called story loans - the lender wants to know all the details of the project before he will commit. So they are less standardized than mortgages. That Sciame owns the land would be a factor in his favor in determining if the project will be completed. Pre construction sales may be a requirement of the lender.

Rates are higher than for a mortgage, and at some point in the project development, the construction loan is retired and replaced by a mortgage.

It's really really hard to get a mortgage on an empty building. :)

December 18th, 2007, 12:44 PM
Here's a better example...

December 18th, 2007, 02:57 PM
^ That sure is a shame. This is Johnson's best urban building. Whale of a lot better than the Lipstick Building.

December 18th, 2007, 04:59 PM
It's really really hard to get a mortgage on an empty building. :)

I understand that. Thats why I mentioned that if he had the funds himself he should just go for it. All the hoopla and attention that this tower will get while its being built will definitely generate interest among the super rich to buy.

March 3rd, 2008, 12:16 AM

March 3rd, 2008, 12:17 AM

March 3rd, 2008, 10:36 AM
Thats a big horse.

March 3rd, 2008, 11:01 AM
A 19th Century stretch limo.

March 3rd, 2008, 05:13 PM
I wonder what's the date of the drawing, because it shows the building minus the tops of the domes.

Optimus Prime
March 3rd, 2008, 10:48 PM
Fairly recent I think. The recent pics I've seen show the building without the spires, and I can't remember for the life of me if they are there currently. I see this building quite a bit but I generally don't look all the way up.

March 4th, 2008, 12:23 AM
This building would be a lot better if they reclad it in all glass...it's wayyyy too out of date.

Obviously not serious...this is one of the best looking buildings in New York. I love the old Parisian style.

March 4th, 2008, 05:33 AM
More Ansonia



I wonder if this thread could be combined with the thread named Ansonia Building.


March 6th, 2008, 11:17 AM
I wonder if this thread could be combined with the thread named Ansonia Building.

March 6th, 2008, 04:40 PM

Thank you.

March 9th, 2008, 08:55 AM
Another good read about the Ansonia.


Verdi and The Ansonia in April 2005.


June 27th, 2008, 02:37 AM
“We do have artists here, like Afgani Kissan, the Russian pianist, who’s lived here for six years."

I think the writer of this article meant "Evgeny Kissin." There's no such Russian pianist named "Afgani Kissan." :D

June 27th, 2008, 03:40 AM
Another mistake from the same article "Inside the Ansonia" (The Cooperator By Mary K. Fons September 2005): I was very surprised that the square footage of the entire building was stated as 50,000 sq ft. But after reading the article from New York magazine, 550,000 sounds reasonable. Maybe it's not such a big mistake, but it is enough to make me wonder what the editor of "The Cooperator" is thinking. :confused:

June 27th, 2008, 09:03 AM
“We do have artists here, like Afgani Kissan ..."

I think the writer of this article meant "Evgeny Kissin."

:o Afgani <> Evgeny :o

Damned SpellCheck function :mad:

June 30th, 2008, 10:52 PM
:o Afgani <> Evgeny :o

Damned SpellCheck function :mad:

Hi lofter1 -

Thank you for posting the article!

I hope I didn't sound annoyingly critical, pointing out mistakes (when I wrote "editor," I wasn't referring to you, of course. But you probably knew that.) ;)

It's a good article & I enjoyed reading it. :D

July 1st, 2008, 12:57 AM
I took no personal offense what so ever ...

I do think that "Afgani" is the result of the computer's spellcheck.

Machines have one-track minds They don't like things going off topic any mroe than (some) mods do :cool:

July 1st, 2008, 07:03 AM
Machines have one-track minds.
Another example: http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=18384

(Or in this case, maybe it's the machine's owners.)

July 1st, 2008, 08:34 AM


July 1st, 2008, 10:25 PM
lol! That would certainly be a good last name for someone looking for attention. Very memorable. :D

July 6th, 2008, 01:56 AM
I think this building is just stunningly beautiful. Everytime I am by the area I make sure I stop by to take a gander.

The Benniest
July 6th, 2008, 09:52 PM
This hotel is wonderful and beautiful in so many ways. I had a general idea of what the Ansonia looked like when I went to NYC in March, but as we drove down Broadway and saw it, I think everyone's face on the bus was: :eek:

December 7th, 2008, 07:02 AM
I think the Ansonia also hosted the gay Continental Baths in its basement (where Bette Midler famously started her singing career). It later became the straight/swinger Plato's Retreat and was finally closed by the city in response to the AIDS crisis.

Bette Midler and Barry Manilow at the Continental Baths.



March 29th, 2009, 06:56 AM


By Sheila McClear

March 26, 2009

If The Ansonia were an opera performer—and the building’s long-term residents include many opera and musical folk due to its proximity to Broadway—she would be an old grand dame, her caked-on makeup concealing wrinkles, aches and pains—the toll that drama has taken over the years. The building is rumored to be haunted by ghosts, and it definitely is—at least by the corporeal kind.

An 18-story former grand residential hotel on 74th and Broadway, The Ansonia has stopped millions in their tracks. The stately turreted and gargoyled structure was built in 1904 and features an ornate Beaux Art wedding-cake facade topped with porthole windows and a mansard roof. They don’t make ’em like that anymore.

The old entrance to Plato's Retreat is now Ansonia Cleaners. Photo by: Andrew Schwartz

And they certainly don’t make tenants like they used to, either. Plato’s Retreat, the sex club for swinging heterosexual couples that previously operated out of The Ansonia’s basement, is the subject of the new documentary American Swing, opening March 27 at the Quad Cinema.

Plato’s was an Ansonia tenant from September 1977 until December 1980, when the club’s owners were paid a million dollars by management to please, please, leave. It’s just another weird thing on the list of weird things that have occurred in the castle-like building at 2109 Broadway

A view of the famous mattress room, from the film American Swing. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

COMPLETE (http://westsidespirit.com/?p=1796#more-1796) Article.

© 2009 Manhattan Media

July 28th, 2011, 07:10 AM
UWS Residents Declare War on Peace Sign

By Leslie Albrecht



UPPER WEST SIDE — Ansonia residents don't want to give peace a chance.

Some occupants of the ritzy building — just blocks from the Dakota Building home of John Lennon, who wrote "Give Peace a Chance" —have declared war on a neon red anti-war sign that shines from a window.

They say the glowing symbol perched on the top floor of the graceful building, on Broadway and West 73rd Street, is marring the Ansonia's beauty and ruining the skyline.

"It’s terrible," complained a 10-year resident of the Ansonia who didn't want her name used.

"It’s so unattractive. That person seems to be imposing his decorating taste on the neighborhood. The residents take a lot of pride in the architecture of the building and it detracts from the architecture. It’s all you see at night."

The unhappy tenant isn't alone. Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, who represents the Upper West Side, has fielded several angry complaints about the gleaming international sign of goodwill. She's asked the Department of Buildings to investigate whether the peace sign could be illegal.

Neighbors say the scarlet peace sign has been illuminated 24 hours a day for several months. None of the Ansonia tenants interviewed by DNAinfo knew the mystery peacenik who put up the anti-war symbol.

The Ansonia's property managers declined to comment.

The peace symbol, which is barely visible during the day but glows brightly at night, appears to be inside a plum 17th-floor apartment with a domed turret. The sign is affixed to a round window on the turret on the southeast corner of the building.

Above it is a widow's walk, one of many romantic details that make the Beaux Arts-style building, completed in 1904, one of the historic gems of the Upper West Side.

Neighbor Kathleen Murphy, who can see the peace symbol clearly from the roof of her building on West 73rd Street, says the lighted sign spoils an elegant skyline that preservationists have fought hard to safeguard from new development.

"It's such a gorgeous building," said Murphy. "The Upper West Side is about preserving what's beautiful and historic. (The sign) is jarring. I don't want to sound like a crazy Upper West Sider, but as it gets darker at night, it's ugly."

But one Ansonia resident called the peace sign "beautiful." The tenant, who also didn't want her name used for fear of angering the building's board, said it would be a "shame" to take down the peace symbol.

"I love it," she said. "I think it's so great. I want to support the person who put it up. I'm glad they did it."

Neighbors recently succeeded in getting Duane Reade to remove brightly lit signs at its new store at West 72nd Street and Broadway, a block from the Ansonia. But they could face an uphill battle removing a sign from a private residence, said attorney Robert Braverman of Braverman and Associates, which specializes in condo and coop law.

"It’s somebody’s home," Braverman said. "They can generally, as long as they’re not violating any local, state or federal law, or the condo's governing documents, decorate it as they see fit."

Some condo buildings prohibit window decorations, Braverman said. If that's the case at the Ansonia, the building's board could demand removal of the sign, then fine the tenant if they didn't comply. If that didn't work, the condo board could take the matter to court and ask a judge to order the sign removed.
The anti-peace sign contingent could have city zoning laws at least partly on their side.

While a peace symbol could be allowed on an apartment building because it's considered "non-commercial speech" protected by the First Amendment, illuminated signs aren't generally allowed in residential areas, a DOB spokeswoman said.

However, DOB is still investigating the sign at the Ansonia and hasn't made a determination about whether it's legal, the spokeswoman added.

The Ansonia has a fabled history to match its fairy-tale look. Built at the turn of the century, the luxurious 300-suite building was one of the largest apartment-hotels in the world at the time, according to the Ansonia's 1972 landmark designation report.

The building had amenities unheard of in its day — a large swimming pool, a "palm garden" overlooking the Hudson River, and a basement level with a garage, manicure and pedicure parlor, hair salon, grocery, bakery and butcher, according to a master's thesis on the building by Landmark West! board member Lori Zabar.

The building attracted celebrity tenants over the years, including Babe Ruth, composer Igor Stravinsky, writer Theodore Dreiser, and several opera stars. About 10 or 15 years ago it was reportedly the home of Angelina Jolie.

In the 1970's, the Ansonia became notorious as the site of the Continental Baths, a gay bathhouse and cabaret where Better Midler got her start. Later it housed the sex club Plato's Retreat.

In the early 1990s, the building became a condominium, and it's now a mix of rented and owned units.

Clifford Capone, a costume designer for the movies "Dog Day Afternoon" and "Serpico" who's lived in the building for 47 years, said he hadn't noticed the peace symbol.

But it didn't sound like too much of a nuisance to Capone, who said he remembered prostitutes lingering outside the Ansonia during its seedier days.

"I haven't seen it, but whatever it is, it’s better than when we had The Continental Baths here or Plato’s Retreat. I’d rather have a peace sign," Capone said.

"It seems to me if someone’s going to put a neon sign in their window, I’d rather have it be a peace sign than many other signs."