Please let me know how the food is.
Café Des Artistes Murals to Be Restored for New Restaurant
The legendary murals from the shuttered Cafe Des Artistes will get a new life at the new Leopard at Des Artistes.
By Leslie Albrecht
UPPER WEST SIDE — Fans of a legendary Upper West Side restaurant that closed last year will forever miss the food, but at least they'll soon be able to enjoy the romantic pastel canvases of nude women that have hung on its walls for decades.
When Café Des Artistes closed in August of 2009, property manager Gerard Picaso told Crain's New York that the murals could be removed if the new owners didn't want them.
But Gianfranco Sorrentino and Paula Bolla Sorrentino, the restaurateurs taking over the space at 1 W. 67th St., now say the revamped murals will be "the stars" of the decor at the new eatery, to be named The Leopard at Des Artistes.
"The restoration will [restore] the original color vibrance, fix some cracks, and repair the surfaces so they can look their best," Paula Bolla Sorrentino wrote in an e-mail.
The legendary Howard Chandler Christy murals — which depict naked young women frolicking through nature scenes — will be highlighted by a special lighting system, Sorrentino said. The restoration is set to take place in 2011.
The Sorrentinos, the owners of Il Gattopardo on West 54th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues, say they're now interviewing staff in Italy for their new restaurant off of Central Park West.
As for cuisine, The Leopard at Des Artistes will serve "Southern Italian dishes with extreme respect to the Italian culinary traditions," said Paul Bolla Sorrentino in an e-mail.
Please let me know how the food is.
^ Not me, it's a long way to go just for dinner .
On the West Side, New Condos with an Old Look
By C. J. HUGHES
The Harrison and other new West Side apartment buildings are taking design cues from landmark neighbors.
The 18-story Laureate, at 76th Street and Broadway, is scheduled
to open next year. Prices will start at $1.7 million, for a one-bedroom.
GREGG WOLPERT, the developer of a new 76-unit condominium on the Upper West Side called the Laureate, did not have to look far to come up with a style for the building. He says he merely had to glance out his bedroom window in the Apple Bank at Broadway and 73rd Street.
Directly across Broadway is the Ansonia, the lavishly ornamented Beaux-Arts apartment house whose domes, sloping roofs and long rows of brackets have bedazzled generations of passers-by.
When the Laureate, on Broadway at 76th Street, opens next spring, its facade will include elements derived from its more extravagant neighbor. Among them are grooved stone blocks, curved corners and latticework balconies.
“We wanted the look of prewar buildings,” said Mr. Wolpert, a president of the Stahl Organization, which owns or has a stake in other historic buildings in the area, including the Ansonia and the Apple Bank condos. “We are very sensitive to this look.”
In the last few years, beginning with Robert A. M. Stern’s 15 Central Park West, some new uptown condos have shunned gleaming facades in favor of something more muted.
One of those is the Harrison, designed by Mr. Stern’s firm, whose entrance is steps away from the Laureate, on 76th at Amsterdam Avenue. Indeed, the reddish stone base of the building evokes a number of Romanesque town houses around the neighborhood.
All but one of the Harrison’s 125 units have sold since 2008, said Susan M. De Franca, the president for sales of the Related Companies, which developed it, with just a seven-bedroom unit remaining, for about $10 million.
Another recent example is 535 West End Avenue, a 20-story brick-and-limestone structure completed this year by the Extell Development Company. This building, too, has a rounded corner, and metalwork in spider-web patterns on some windows. Half of its 22 condos have sold so far, according to the real estate Web site Streeteasy.com, including a five-bedroom for $8.6 million.
The interiors of the Laureate tilt toward a period look, too. Baseboards, herringbone wood floors and layouts with long halls recall apartments built in the early 20th century, said James Davidson, a partner in SLCE Architects, the firm that handled most of the design.
“We thought there was a shortage of quality facades in the neighborhood,” said Mr. Davidson, who grew up on Central Park West, adding that “it would have been an opportunity missed” if the firm had chosen large glass walls.
Moving forward 110 years, the 18-story Laureate has amenities like wine refrigerators and a soundproof music practice room. It will also have a pair of parking garages (the site’s previous use) and a Duane Reade pharmacy, which will take a 10,000-square-foot space.
There remains a two-story 12,500-square-foot berth for another retailer.
The Laureate’s sales office, to be run by Brown Harris Stevens, will not open until January, although Mr. Wolpert said 600 prospective buyers had asked to be kept informed of the building’s progress as of late October.
The least expensive apartment is a 920-square-foot one-bedroom for $1.7 million, or $1,800 a square foot. The most expensive non-penthouse is a five-bedroom with 3,300 square feet, and a view north up Broadway courtesy of that rounded corner, for $8.33 million. That works out to $2,500 a square foot. The six penthouses average $3,000 a square foot, Mr. Wolpert said.
In an area where new condos typically bring $1,200 a square foot, the Laureate’s pricing seems high, said Lawrence Schier, a broker with the Corcoran Group who frequently sells on the Upper West Side. “It looks very, very elegant from the outside, and when I see it, I’m sure it’s going to be drop-dead,” said Mr. Schier, who lives nearby. “But people will be shellshocked to learn the prices.”
On the other hand, the location, near subways and grocery stores including Trader Joe’s, Citarella and Fairway Market, will increase its appeal, said Mr. Schier, who observed that there were few new condos in the area.
One competitor is Linden78, a brown-brick edifice on 78th Street off Broadway that appears to have recovered from setbacks: In 2009 its developer, Urban Residential, had to give buyers their money back after missing construction deadlines.
Now controlled by the Capmark Financial Group, the lender, the 21-story building also has a new sales team, the Marketing Directors, which replaced the Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group. Its 32 units, which have two to five bedrooms, range in price from $1.6 million to $8.4 million, or $1,300 to $1,800 a square foot, said Jacqueline Urgo, president of the Marketing Directors.
Yet Mr. Wolpert likes the Laureate’s chances. “There are a lot of people out there, in good times or bad,” he said, “that have a lot of wealth.”
Row Houses Gone Wild
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY
Row houses by Holman Smith: the intact No. 271 and the not-so 269 and 267.
The newest thing on the block is the nine-story apartment house at No. 235, based on an Ajello design of 1912.
THEY say free-range chicken is better — how about free-range blocks? Seventy-First Street from West End to Broadway rises steeply midblock and then, like a roller coaster — wheeee! — hurtles downhill. The architecture has a certain giddy touch, joyously untempered by the good taste of contextualism so often claimed as an urban ideal.
Here modern sticks its elbow in the ribs of Victorian, red brick wrestles with white, lugubrious brownstone takes a poke at the lighter colors of the Renaissance, and, in one building, the early 20th and 21st centuries tussle. The Landmarks Preservation Commission will consider designating the hodgepodge a landmark in June.
Starting from West End, the Mutt-and-Jeff houses at 274 and 276 got their differing gables, arches, stained glass, oriels and arches from Edward Angell, who designed them in 1896. No. 276 was occupied by Robert M. Van Arsdale, a publisher of railroad trade magazines.
No. 274 has a wide, half-round rocky arch over the first-floor windows, but 276 has an impossibly chunky projecting oriel over the front door, a Victorian equivalent of the Whitney Museum’s overhang. The houses compete with each other like squabbling siblings.
Across the street, the scrumptiously intact 271 West 71st is a fragment of a row of 13 houses designed in 1886 by Holman Smith. These, too, were supposed to look different from one another, with multiple sandstone hues and painted cornices, assorted roof lines and the varied placement of large open bays. This type of row was described more than once as a “reign of terror.”
In 1887 an anonymous critic in The Real Estate Record and Guide admired the energy of the unruly row, but found that “one of these new houses would be a great relief in a brownstone block, but such an accumulation of them is rather bewildering.”
You’d never guess, but 269 was part of the same row, pretty much intact until 1983 when, after a fire, the lawyer Jenik Radon refaced it and gave it a strange double-height window, behind which is a two-story-high space. If you can get past the modern materials, it is a fitting successor to the original row.
A few lots east, the 1950 Godmothers League building pokes its streamlined, swooping nose into the block. Despite its late date, Sylvan Bien styled it in a sort of 1930s industrial moderne. The building, originally a shelter for infants, has not recovered from the replacement of the original buff brick with red by an uninformed administrator in 1993.
He said at the time, “I felt it was boring,” breezily describing it as “Beaux-Arts school, or maybe the Bauhaus."
The idiosyncrasy of the 1880s returned in 1925, with the peculiar apartment house at 251. Henry Herts designed it as a co-op, with a rough stucco facade trimmed in brick.
The terra-cotta work — two oxen-headed, winged serpents with intertwined dragon tails — is typical of Herts’s ingenuity. But the beauty part is the little roundel of leaded glass with the address picked out, once illuminated from the inside but now, according to a resident, dark.
Across the street runs a string of houses built two at a time, or so it seems. In this case the developer James A. Frame, working with the architects Thom & Wilson, put up a row of 10, made to appear as five independent pairs, from 236 to 254. Designed in 1892, they came just as the funereal brownstone model was giving way to a lighter palette, and Frame hedged his bets: some pairs are brownstone, and some are light orange brick with cream-colored trim and Renaissance detailing, something like the Century Association on West 43rd Street.
This block has an unusual triplet of Ajellos; that is, the work of the apartment house architect Gaetano Ajello, at 235, 220 and 225, all for the interrelated Paterno-Campagna family. Want a whiff of the “Old West Side” before the hedge funders arrived? Step into the lobby of 225, with its old rusting doors, cheap lighting fixture, tired linoleum, helter-skelter intercom panel. Yes, my children, that’s the way it was, way back in the Age of Rent Control.
In 1932, the private-house era of the block nearly over, No. 212 was a speakeasy, with a dance floor and separate women’s bar. Prohibition agents raided it that year, seizing 50 bottles of “alleged liquor,” as The New York Times scrupulously put it. A recent owner has festooned the architectural decoration with gold paint, a startling sight.
The newest thing on the block is the nine-story apartment house at No. 235, based on an Ajello design of 1912. And based means really based: the developer, James Rinzler, preserved the first two floors, but stripped the upper facade, plunking down a sort of Regency-ish red-brick top designed by the architect Mario Arbore. Preservationists greeted it with hoots, and it violates several commandments of the preservation bible, including “Thou shalt not change anything prewar” and “If thou must change something, thou must make it look as if it had always been there.”
Indeed, from the architectural history point of view, Mr. Arbore got the quoining wrong, the cornice wrong, the lintels wrong, the windows wrong — everything wrong, at least through the lens of preservation. But within the context of contemporary work, if you accept the strange decision to partially strip the old building, something quite unusual was done, something completely original — a remarkable, even admirable feat in the narrow-margined world of New York real estate.
Photo from Google Street View.
Streetscapes/Mulliken & Moeller, Architects; Upper West Side Designs in Brick and Terra Cotta
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY
Published: September 14, 2003
THE architectural firm of Mulliken & Moeller, little known today, produced an unusually vigorous series of brick and terra cotta Upper West Side apartment buildings, including two notable pairs -- on Amsterdam Avenue from 72nd to 73rd and Central Park West from 85th to 86th. All four early 1900's buildings have had recent restoration work that has brought attention to the long-forgotten partnership.
Harry Mulliken and Edgar Moeller were born in the early 1870's, Mulliken in Illinois and Moeller in New York, where his Prussian-born father was a fresco painter. Both graduated with the class of 1895 from Columbia University's School of Architecture, but they were at first not associated. One biographical entry says that Mulliken worked with the Chicago architect Daniel H. Burnham and then the New York architect Ernest Flagg.
In 1901, soon after Mulliken established his own practice, he filed plans for a one-story wooden tool shed on West 114th Street; it was only 15 feet wide, but it was for clients who would prove very helpful to his career: James and David Todd.
In 1902, when Moeller joined his former classmate, they were kept busy by a string of commissions from the Todds: the Bretton Hall Hotel, on the east side of Broadway from 85th to 86th Streets; the Hotel York, at the northwest corner of 36th Street and Seventh Avenue; and the Aberdeen Hotel, at 17 West 32nd Street, notable for its voluptuously modeled curved limestone entryway.
These share what was becoming Mulliken & Moeller's trademark: a vigorous contrast of flat brick and extensive, highly sculptured cream-colored terra cotta, often organized around a large central bay. Architecturally the designs were no more sophisticated than the usual speculative project, but Mulliken & Moeller so often repeated the same basic solution that their work has acquired a familiarity that gives it a stature beyond its actual accomplishment.
In 1903 the Todds gave the architects their most memorable commission, the astonishing plum-colored Lucerne, at the northwest corner of 79th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. (Some documents credit the design only to Mulliken.) The partnership's standard design was transformed by executing the terra cotta in a deep plum color and giving the brick a variegated red and purple cast, making the Lucerne a rich furnace of late sunset shades.
The Todds had a career that also left an impression on New York. James Todd arrived here in 1896 after practicing medicine in Minnesota and joined forces with his brother to build a string of buildings, culminating in their last joint work, the 1916 office building at 52 Vanderbilt Avenue, at 45th Street.
Dr. Todd next formed a partnership with other real estate operators, and put up other distinctive works, including the 1921 Cunard Building at 25 Broadway. The firm later evolved into the Todd Robertson Todd Engineering Corporation, which built the Graybar Building at Lexington Avenue near Grand Central Terminal. It was hired by the Rockefeller family to build and maintain Rockefeller Center. Christine Todd Whitman, former governor of New Jersey and former head of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, is a grandniece of the two Todd brothers.
In 1905 Mulliken & Moeller began, also for the Todds, the Severn and Van Dyck apartment buildings, on the east side of Amsterdam Avenue from 72nd to 73rd Street.
Completed in 1907, these 12-story twins helped define the triangle of Verdi Square. The architects tweaked their formula of brick contrasted with a wealth of terra cotta ornament -- in this case supplying a surfeit of terra cotta.
Over a three-story-high rusticated limestone base, the orange-tan brick is marked by heavy terra cotta quoins -- the blocklike forms that run up the corners -- as well as by balconies, windows joined by vertical bays, and curved pediments broken not only at the top, in the usual way, but at the bottom. The normal projecting cornice was lowered two floors, perhaps in an attempt to make the buildings seem smaller. Apartments rented for from $160 to $320 a month.
In the same year, Mulliken & Moeller received a commission from a different consortium of developers to build another matched pair of 12-story apartment buildings, the Central Park View and Rossleigh Court, on Central Park West from 85th to 86th Streets.
Executed in red brick with terra cotta, these are less encumbered by terra cotta ornament but repeat the dropped-cornice motif.
The apartments were characteristic of the decade's self-described luxury buildings: the most desirable apartment in Rossleigh Court was organized around a 14-by-19-foot parlor at the corner of 85th and Central Park West, with a library on one side, a dining room with an apparently nonworking fireplace on the other, and a long hall leading to three bedrooms sharing a single bath.
Included were wall safes, a central vacuum-cleaning system, rich onyx paneling in the lobbies and an automatic mail delivery system that used a small elevator to each apartment. Rents ranged from about $75 to $250 a month.
Mulliken & Moeller continued to work into the 1910's, with varied projects, including the Tudor-style Runoia apartments at 267 West 89th Street and the expansive apartment building at 530 West End Avenue, at 86th Street, which had some 17-room apartments inside its rich brown brick and Spanish Baroque terra cotta facade. Mulliken was an owner of both structures.
AFTER 1910 their practice slowed. Mulliken died in 1952, followed by Moeller in 1954.
Little is known about the personal lives of both men, although a 1921 article notes that Moeller was a member of the Norwalk Yacht Club and the St. George's Snowshoe Club of Montreal.
Over time Mulliken & Moeller's works have received rough treatment. Half the Lucerne's cornice was missing for several decades, until it was restored in 1999, although not to the original design. Many of the apartments of the Central Park View, now named Orwell House, were subdivided, and facade elements were removed from both it and Rossleigh Court. The Van Dyck and Severn accumulated a collection of storefronts to match the din of traffic roaring by along Amsterdam Avenue.
Now scaffolding is up around Orwell House and Rossleigh Court, for cleaning and miscellaneous repairs. And the Van Dyck and Severn have received top to bottom renovations that include facade cleaning, new coordinated storefronts and new lobbies, designed by the architects Adams Soffes Wood, now Soffes Wood.
Michael Laub, one of the partners who bought the Van Dyck and Severn in 1996, estimates that $4 million has been put into them, including installing new elevators and new windows and removing the dropped ceilings in the lobbies. He said that few of the apartments had been subdivided, and that the exterior appearance assures that when the apartments come on the market ''people are very anxious to rent.''
The 72nd Street location, he said, has become ''one of the best corners in Manhattan.''
Last edited by brianac; January 26th, 2011 at 06:12 PM.
Office for Metropolitan History
The Ardsley, 320 Central Park West at 92nd Street, in the early 1930s. Contrary to reports, the Depression did not halt work on it
An Oft-Told Tale
Q. I live in the Ardsley at Central Park West and 92nd Street and am the editor of our building newsletter. When I moved in in 1960, I was told that construction had “stopped at the 10th floor during the Depression.” I have tried to verify this but have had no luck. Can you suggest anything? ... Ellie Azenberg, Manhattan
A. As you imply, caution is necessary with the old “ran out of money before the building was finished” tale, inaccurately attached to many buildings. For instance, Emery Roth’s 1926 Alden, at Central Park West and 82nd Street, was designed and completed as a 15-story building. But it was reported in this very newspaper in 2000 that it was stopped at the 15th story in 1928, when the developers “ran out of money.”
The Ardsley, built by the developer Henry Kaufman, was also by Roth, who filed plans in 1930 for exactly what was completed the following year, a 19-story building with a penthouse.
However, sometimes a grain of truth is buried in even the most unlikely tale, and a rendering from the Roth archives shows almost exactly the same building, but with a five-story needlelike tower on top, which was of course not built.
The Ardsley was one of the early buildings in New York to have cantilevered corner windows, in which the steel frame permits the omission of a corner pier. In 1930, The New York Sun counted it as eighth in line, the first being the little Childs building at 604 Fifth. Thus, said The Sun, architecture is “beginning to reflect more definitely the idea of steel construction.”
Had Kaufman properly forecast demand when he began work in 1930? Probably not — many developers assumed the property market would return quickly. An advertisement in 1931 promised “Rentals that are 1931 values.” However in 1933 Kaufman lost the building in foreclosure, another shadow in the Depression’s deepening gloom.
Last edited by brianac; February 4th, 2011 at 05:52 PM.
The UWS: Now There's an App for That
February 4, 2011, by Joey Arak
UPPER WEST SIDE—You've read about the Dakota's alleged misdeeds, now see it in person! Our friends at Landmark West! have created what they think is the first neighborhood walking tour app for NYC. And it's free! Sometimes we feel like tourists on the UWS, so we're glad this guide to 35 local landmarks exists, even if we don't have an iPhone (StarTAC forever!). The Landmark West! Walking Tour is free. Download it here.
Upper West Siders Send Valentines to Beloved Landmarks
A photo project called Love Your Landmark collects images of people posing with the buildings they love.
By Leslie Albrecht
Who says Valentine's Day has to celebrate love between people?
Upper West Side preservation group Landmark West! is asking lovers to declare their feelings for the buildings in their lives with a month-long photo project called "Love Your Landmark."
Upper West Siders pose with a sign that reads "I (heart) This Landmark" in front of their most beloved buildings, then submit their photos to Landmark West!
Entries collected so far include Lincoln Center, Bethesda Terrace in Central Park and the 1904 Ansonia Hotel.
People can visit official landmarks such as The Dakota or The Ansonia, but they're also encouraged to shower their love on buildings that have personal meaning, said Cristiana Pena, director of community outreach at Landmark West!.
"It doesn't necessarily have to be a recognized New York City landmark," Pena said. "It could be the coffee shop where you go every morning to have a bite to eat."
She added, "Who knows, someone could take a picture of an interesting building or site that’s been an unknown treasure."
The results are posted on the Landmark West! blog.
If the photo includes an official city landmark, the picture will be added to Landmark West!'s buildings database, an online collection of information about the Upper West Side's historic buildings.
The Love Your Landmarks project was inspired by a similar effort by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. People posed in front of sites that were important to them holding signs that said "This place matters."
To download a "I (heart) This Landmark" sign, click here.
There goes one of my favourites.
Upper West Side Diner Forced to Close After 11 Years Updated 3 hrs ago
February 15, 2011 2:17pm
Manhattan Diner is one of several businesses at Broadway and West 77th Street that says it is closing.
Read more: http://www.dnainfo.com/20110215/uppe...#ixzz1E4NOdYg2
Manhattan Diner plans to close in a few months along with several other businesses on Broadway and West 77th Street. (DNAinfo/Leslie Albrecht)
By Leslie Albrecht
UPPER WEST SIDE — A 24-hour neighborhood diner that's served as a second home to some customers is closing after more than a decade on Broadway and West 77th Street to make way for a mysterious new development.
Sam Anastasiou, co-owner of Manhattan Diner, said he'll close up shop in between two and six months because property owner Friedland Properties wants to tear down his building.
Anastasiou said he didn't know whether he would try to move his restaurant to a new location. "I have no clue what's going to happen," Anastasiou said. "I'm in the street."
Manhattan Diner's owner says they restaurant will close in a few months to make way for new development. (DNAinfo/Leslie Albrecht)
The 11-year-old greasy spoon restaurant is one of several businesses on the east side of Broadway between West 77th and 78th streets that say they're being pushed out to make way for new development.
The block includes New Pizza Town, Laila Rowe, Cosi, Susie's Nails, World of Nuts candy shop and several other small merchants. Some, such as Laila Rowe, say they're closing by the end of February. Others say they'll stay until early spring.
Friedland Properties did not respond to several requests for comment. The Department of Buildings website doesn't list any current demolition permits for buildings on the block.
"Those guys don't care, you're just a number to them," said Manhattan Diner co-owner Sam Anastasiou.
Diner manager Asti Vouvourakis said customers were "hurt" by news of the closing. Manhattan Diner has served as a second home to many neighborhood regulars, Vouvourakis said.
"It's not only the food, it's the family," Vouvourakis said. "It keeps the neighborhood together. It makes people happy. A good diner, people feel good about it."
A slew of longtime neighborhood businesses on Broadway say they're being pushed out of their spaces to make way for new development. [DNAinfo]
This sucks. But for the building on the south corner which houses the diner, the other buildings are quite nice.
[QUOTE=Derek2k3;351941]Taken from one of the ugliest buildings in the neighborhood.
This area is magnficent.
H&H Bagels Backer Declares Bankruptcy Updated 36 mins ago
February 19, 2011 10:50am
Updated February 19, 2011 11:20am
Bad news for bagel lovers — one of the companies supporting landmark H&H Bagels filed for bankruptcy Friday,
H&H Bagel store on Broadway and 80th Street (Flickr/Scott Beale)
By Tara Kyle
MANHATTAN — Bad news for bagel lovers — one of the companies supporting Upper West Side landmark H&H Bagels filed for bankruptcy Friday, according to the New York Post.
H&H affiliate Garden Operations Realty listed a debt totaling $5.1 million, including $3.4 million in IRS debt and back taxes owed to New York and New Jersey, the Post reported.
The bankruptcy papers indicate that the crisis and a related rent fight could force a shutdown of the bagel company's Seacaucus, N.J., baking facility, according to the Post.
H&H owner Helmer Toro wrote in the filing that all this, plus a lawsuit connected to the rent dispute, resulted in a loss of capital and made it difficult for his company to acquire new financing, the Post reported.
The bankruptcy case follows a turbulent few years for the acclaimed baker.
Last year, Toro was sentenced to 50 weekends in jail following a grand larceny guilty plea in a tax evasion case. And in 2009, the tax dispute forced Toro to temporarily close both H&H's W. 80th St. and Broadway and W. 46th St. and West Side Highway shops.
Writing in the bankruptcy filing, Toro attributed his most recent woes to country's financial crisis.
"The situation was the product of the poor economy affecting the company," Toro wrote, according to the Post. "Business has been increasing as the economy improves."
Read more: http://www.dnainfo.com/20110219/chel...#ixzz1EQQIksx9