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Thread: Nearing Completion-Metropolitan/Post Toscana-UES NYC

  1. #1

    Default Nearing Completion-Metropolitan/Post Toscana-UES NYC

    Metropolitan Apts.-Philip Johnson, Alan Ritchie, 32 floors. 90th and Lex.
    Very retro, streamlined moderne, looks good up close.
    The horizontal window bands will eventually be accented with polished aluminum.
    The mech. box on the roof will also get aluminum brightworks.

    Cantilever seen over rear tenement.

    Post-Toscana-Ismael Leyva. 36 floors. First and 89th. Looks even worse than the rendering. Very cheap exterior materials, very expensive units.

    Elektra-A stunningly bad residential that went up at the same time next to the Toscana. The developer should be shot yet the prices are high and it's almost sold out.

    96th & Lex-Don't know the name or stats (looks to be 25 floors) but a residential just finished cladding. Works well on the corner, solid yet not exciting design.

    47 E. 91st-Ten floors. Not notable except this was to be the site for a 30 floor tower, then a 20 floor, then a 14 floor and this is the end result. All due to Nimby's on the block led by resident Woody Allen. The building will only have seven full-floor apartments. It was constructed over a one story Citibank branch from the 1920's that the nimby's insisted on saving (even though it is nothing special IMO.)

    And here is Woody's duplex in case you want to complain. He owns both these townhouses.

    A strange (70's?) piggyback on 86th St.

  2. #2
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Manhattan - South Village


    Good update, Enzo. I've been watching the Metropolitan Apts. go up, they're looking good.

  3. #3


    very nice update

  4. #4


    November 21, 2003


    Cold Call Leads to Philip Johnson Project on East Side


    It is safe to assume that few designs for luxury high rises start with a cold call, but that is how Roy Stillman and Martin Levine, developers of a new 32-story condominium at East 90th Street and Third Avenue, first reached Philip Johnson and his partner, Alan Ritchie.

    Shortly after Mr. Stillman and Mr. Levine acquired the 8,017-square-foot site, at 181 East 90th Street and occupying half a block on Third Avenue, they decided to call the 97-year-old Mr. Johnson, dialing information to get his phone number.

    "It took us two calls, but we got through to him and heard an old, frail voice on the phone," Mr. Stillman recalled. " `Mr. Johnson,' we asked, `is that you?' " Indeed it was.

    Persuading the architects to undertake the project was not even a tough sell. "I had never met them," Mr. Ritchie said, "but their enthusiasm and concern for architecture rather than just being developers whetted our appetite. Hearing architecture discussed early on in a project that is not a museum or church, I said to Mr. Johnson that we should get to know them."

    Although Mr. Johnson is increasingly fragile, Mr. Ritchie said, "he was involved in the early stages and continued to be informed about what was going on."

    The architects were not starting from scratch. The site had been assembled, and since it was to be developed within zoning regulations for the area, the project needed no special approvals. The air rights that would allow the developers to transfer unused height authorizations from other buildings had been bought from their owners.

    The shape of the building, called the Metropolitan, had been worked out by the firm of Schuman Lichtenstein Claman Efron Architects, which designed the apartment interiors. "When they came to us, they already had the zoning and massing of the building approved, but we created the facade and changed some shapes," Mr. Ritchie said. "We also had control of the interior public spaces, lobby, corridors and elevators."

    Among the building's more distinctive characteristics is the way it cantilevers 21 feet over one adjoining building on East 90th Street and 15 feet over another that extends along Third Avenue to 91st Street. Because zoning restrictions require a setback at 60 to 80 feet high and that half the structure be below 150 feet high, "we decided to build fat instead of tall," Mr. Stillman said.

    Fat and curvy, in fact. In addition to the cantilevers, which hover over but do not touch the neighboring structures, the building has seven semicircular bays where glass-enclosed living rooms are set.

    But the interiors came first, Mr. Levine said. "We always knew that this was a family neighborhood, and we needed family-size apartments," he said.

    Mr. Claman, whose firm was the architect of record, said, "We determined that these apartments would be like prewar units, with large foyers and rooms larger than what can be found in the rental market. The two-bedrooms here are in excess of 1,250 square feet, compared to new rental buildings we are doing that are approximately 950 square feet. So they are about 30 percent bigger."

    One-bedroom apartments of 1,255 square feet are $750,000 to $925,000. Two-bedroom units of 1,423 to 2,077 square feet are $1.1 million to $1.950 million; three-bedrooms, at 1,948 to 2,319 square feet, are $1.930 million to $3.7 million; and four-bedrooms, all of them 2,234 square feet, are $2.295 million to $2.475 million. There are also three terraced penthouses, which are $4.7 million and $7.5 million, respectively.

    The $120 million project is the first collaboration between Mr. Stillman and Mr. Levine.

    In addition to the de rigueur touches for condos commanding these kinds of prices, like marble bathrooms and sophisticated telecommunications systems, the building has some unusual touches. Kitchen cabinets are by the craftsman Wendell Castle.

    The master bath is a tub within a tub that permits the water to overflow, pass through a filter and recirculate. "And look at this," Mr. Stillman said proudly, slamming his shoe into a glass cabinet. It made not the slightest crack.

    Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

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