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Thread: The Windermere - 400-406 West 57th Street at Ninth Avenue - by Theophilus G. Smith

  1. #166


    Sounds like there is a lot of work involved. Probably would have been better to knock the damn thing down and put up something new and tall.

  2. #167
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    East Midtown


    yeah, because historic and irreplaceable beauty are so overrated.

  3. #168


    better to knock the damn thing down and put up something new and tall.
    aside from the fact that it's landmarked, if they did tear it down they wouldn't be allowed to replace it with a building that is taller,
    or even as tall as this one is- the current zoning would not allow it.

  4. #169


    It is a beauty worth restoring imo. Developer can at least get 20 percent back in Federal Historic rehab credits if they know what they are doing.

  5. #170
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    Notorious Hell's Kitchen Landmark Takes Step Towards Restoration

    A once elegant apartment complex with an ugly history has turned a new corner on the road to restoration.

    By Tara Kyle

    Ornamentation atop the Windermere's north facing side on 57th Street. HELL'S KITCHEN — A once elegant apartment complex with an ugly history has turned a new corner on the road to restoration.

    The latest owner of the Windermere, a landmarked, 130-year-old Queen Anne style apartment complex located at the intersection of 57th Street and Ninth Avenue, has parted ways with nonprofit partner Project Find.

    New Jersey-based developer Mark Tress, who bought the Windermere in 2009, plans to open a boutique hotel on site.

    But, because the Windermere is located within the boundaries of the Special Clinton District, any rehabilitation must also include affordable housing units, which Project Find was in charge of.

    The nonprofit and Tress could not reach an agreement on building plans, including offering residents an exclusive entrance and elevator, Project Find executive director David Gilcrest said at a meeting of Community Board 4 this week.

    Now, the developer will work with the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty.

    No-one should expect the Windermere, uninhabited for the past few years and still covered by boards and scaffolding, to reopen any time soon. Negotiations for new plans will likely stretch through the year, City Councilwoman Gale Brewer told CB4 members.

    In its heyday, the Windermere housed a glitzy mix of tenants including actor Steve McQueen. The building also played an important role in the 1890s when it was one of a small number of residences catering to single, self-supporting women, according to Landmarks Preservation Commission documents.

    In darker times, beginning in the early 1980s, it hosted one of the city's worst cases of tenant harassment. CB4 land use committee chair Joe Restuccia, who served on the board at the time, recalled cases of tenants who would leave for work in the morning and come home to find cement blocking their apartment entrances — with their belongings still inside.

    One former Windermere manager came to a CB4 meeting with a gun peaking out of the shoulder of his jacket, Restuccia recalled. On another occasion, management took chainsaws to building beams, forcing some tenants to move out abruptly following an FDNY order to vacate.

    "People were picked off one by one," Restuccia said of the tenure of owner Alan Weissman, whose building managers served jail time. Weissman sold to Japan-based Toa Construction Inc. in 1986.

    The building fell into disrepair, and the city ultimately penalized Toa with a $1.1 million fee for failing to maintain the property, landmarked in 2005. The Japan-based company also paid $2.6 million to a group of tenants who sued after an FDNY order to vacate in 2007.

    Once Tress' restoration is complete, the hotel is expected to be relatively inexpensive and serve a predominantly European clientele — something closer to the pod-style Yotel than the neighboring Hudson Hotel, CB4 members and Brewer said.

  6. #171


    Anyone have any updates on the Windermere? I used to live a block from it hoped to see it restored (the facade) some day. No news since early 2011 from what I can see.

  7. #172
    Senior Swanky Peteynyc1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Hell's Kitchen


    I walk by there often and I have not seen any activity in a long time.

  8. #173

  9. #174


    SO INCREDIBLY EXCITED that renovation is FINALLY underway here. I've been in NYC for five years and this building has been a hulking decrepit monstrosity for all of them; the renovation is going to improve this corner so drastically I can't even begin to comprehend what it'll look like.

    My most memorable time walking by this was when there was the homeless man who had his TV in front. He had to have been there for over a year, but I do believe the TV was functional.

  10. #175
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Nairobi Hilton


    Probably an outlet in a lamp post. I used to see that quite a bit in L. A.

  11. #176
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    This is on the LPC Public Hearing Calendar for 10/08:

    Block 1066, lot 32–
    400-406 West 57th Street, aka 869 9th Avenue and 871-877 9th Avenue -
    The Windermere-Individual Landmark
    An Eclectic style apartment complex consisting of three buildings designed by Theophilus G. Smith and built in 1880-81. Application is to request that the Landmarks Preservation Commission issue a report to the City Planning Commission relating to an application for a Modification of Use pursuant to Section 74-711 of the Zoning Resolution.
    Zoned C1-5/Clinton/ C1-8 Community District 4

  12. #177
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Nairobi Hilton


    Does this mean adding a restaurant?

  13. #178


    I do hope there are no surprises and they can save the facade as it is and this doesn't turn into a tear down.

  14. #179


    DNA Info

    Neglected Hell's Kitchen Landmark to Be Converted Into Boutique Hotel

    By Mathew Katz on November 11, 2013 9:36am | Updated 3 hrs ago


    HELL'S KITCHEN — A long-neglected Hell's Kitchen landmark — which was covered in scaffolding for decades and had become home to squatters and vagrants in recent years — is getting an overhaul to become a boutique hotel, its owners announced.

    The Windermere, a landmarked Queen Anne-style building at West 57th Street and Ninth Avenue, is set to be transformed into a 175-room upscale hotel with an outdoor rooftop space, according to owner Mark Tress, who purchased the property in 2009.
    In addition to the hotel rooms, Tress also plans to build permanent affordable housing, which would take up 28 percent of the building, plus retail spaces on the ground floor, the developer said.
    "We find the proposed work for the most part praiseworthy and welcome, especially after the building’s long history of neglect and decay," Community Board 4 wrote in a largely positive letter to the Landmarks Preservation Commission after a meeting last week.
    However, CB4 objected to the ninth-floor rooftop extension, and hoped that a handicapped access platform would be changed so it blended into the building.
    The plan will require approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission, along with the Department of City Planning and the Buildings Department.
    The Windermere has a rocky history. Built in the 1880s and converted to an artists' residence in 1895, it eventually was converted to single rooms and smaller apartments in the 1970s. In the 1980s, the managers of the building were convicted of harassing tenants and sent to jail, according to Community Board 4.
    The next owner, Toa Construction, took over the building in 1986, but let the building fall into disrepair, leading the city's to file a judgment against Toa for "willful neglect of a landmark" and collect more than $1 million in penalties, CB4 said. The five remaining tenants left the building in 2009. After that, locals said squatters took over the building.
    Many neighbors were happy for the restoration of the property, but some expressed concern that the new hotel could be a party-filled hotspot.
    "For 30 years, it's been an awful thing to pass and it's time that something goes forward," said Serhij Hoshowsky, 66, who's lived next door for 35 years.
    "I think putting amenities on the rooftop, a party room, or having outdoor space that is accessible to guests that are going to use this boutique hotel is the wrong way to go."
    Michael Sillerman, an attorney for the project, said that the design of the building may change based on community input.
    "We're going to explore ways to redesign and address those concerns," he said after hearing from worried neighbors at the CB4 meeting last Wednesday night. "We recognize there are quality-of-life concerns...and we want to be a good neighbor."
    Steven Golden, who manages 408 W. 57th St. next door to the landmark, said he hopes the project moves forward, but in the right way.
    "Our biggest concern in security and noise," he said. "We're supporting the development of the site — cleaning up that corner would be a great benefit to our building and the immediate community."

  15. #180


    I hope they follow through on this. It's a real gem that has been neglected for far too long.

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