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Thread: Upper West Side Story

  1. #181

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    Newly Renovated UWS Intersection is Dangerous, Locals and Officials Say

    February 21, 2011 8:07pm

    The 96th Street subway station is shiny and new, but nearby traffic is a mess, officials say.



    The new 96th Street subway is sleek and modern, but officials say the make-over has made the intersection more dangerous. (DNAinfo/Leslie Albrecht)


    By Leslie Albrecht
    DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

    UPPER WEST SIDE — A $65 million makeover brought a sleek new entrance to the 96th Street subway station, but officials and locals say the renovation has made nearby traffic uglier, and more dangerous, than ever.

    Pedestrians cross Broadway to reach the bustling subway stop, which serves the 1 local line as well as the 2 and 3 express lines, and like most New Yorkers they stride into the crosswalk when there seems to be a break in traffic.

    But those bold walkers can't see the turn signals guiding cars, and they don't realize they're sometimes stepping into the path of cars turning left onto southbound Broadway from westbound West 96th Street.

    "The way it currently is, it's not flowing very well at all," said Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell, who represents the 69th District.


    Officials say the recently reconfigured intersection at West 96th Street and Broadway is confusing for pedestrians. (DNAinfo/Leslie Albrecht)

    O'Donnell says he is so worried about unsafe conditions at the busy crossroads that he wrote a letter earlier this month to the DOT, voicing concern about "construction, timing of turn signals and general pedestrian confusion" at the intersection. O'Donnell wants DOT to run a safety inspection at the intersection.

    The DOT could not be reached for comment Monday.

    The subway renovation, which took three years, narrowed Broadway, added turn lanes and ate up sidewalk space. In the wake of the renovation, pedestrians and drivers alike are playing fast and loose with the traffic signals.

    O'Donnell says problems at the intersection are compounded by cars racing to reach the West Side Highway via West 96th Street now that the West 95th Street highway on-ramp is closed. Parents at nearby P.S. 75, at West 96th Street and West End Avenue, say they worry, too, about the onslaught of cars.

    Police at the NYPD's 24th Precinct have also asked DOT to make safety improvements at the intersection and have even gone as far as submitting a list of suggestions, including using signs to warn people leaving the subway station from a median in the middle of Broadway to watch for turning vehicles, and prohibiting left turns onto Broadway from 96th Street.


    Officials say changes at West 96th Street and Broadway have created dangerous conditions. (DNAinfo/Leslie Albrecht)

    A traffic sergeant described the crossroads as a "thorn in his side" at a recent 24th Precinct Community Council meeting.

    One precinct member said he didn't believe there had been any serious accidents at the intersection, however, the precinct was unable to provide any data on the matter.

    Marilyn Bravemen, a local resident who lives across the street from the busy transit hub, says she loves the new elevators at the 96th Street subway.

    But she worries about pedestrians hustling across Broadway, and she's asked Community Board 7 to take action.

    "There's all kinds of potential for an accident," Braveman said. "It really needs a comprehensive solution by DOT."




  2. #182

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    Tuesday, February 22, 2011

    Niko's


    VANISHED

    Niko's Mediterranean Grill on the Upper West Side has closed after 50 years.

    They added this note to their Yelp listing: "Sun 2/13 was our last day. Forced to sell lease. Will miss you all. Please support Big Nick's on Broadway."


    Niko's Mediterranean Grill & Bistro on Broadway between West 76th and 77th.

    Thanks to blogger and JVNY reader Marty Wombacher for sending in these shots of the restaurant's goodbye sign, where Big Nick says the decision to sell the lease was "difficult and painful," but "it is time to cut back":



    See what a final meal at Niko's looked like from the blog Stuff I Ate.
    And the owners' other Upper West Side restaurant, Big Nick's pizza and burger joint, remains open--go there.



    As for what might come next to this corner, Marty offered a theory:

    "When I was looking through the windows an old woman came up and asked if I lived on the block. I told her I did years ago and was surprised that this place was closed. She said she was too. Then I jokingly said, 'Well, you can look forward to another Starbucks on the block.' She spat out, 'They put a f*****g Starbucks in there and I'll f*****g firebomb the place!'"

    http://vanishingnewyork.blogspot.com/2011/02/nikos.html
    Last edited by brianac; February 23rd, 2011 at 01:30 PM.

  3. #183

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    Natural History Museum Renovation Plans on Display Updated 15 mins ago

    February 23, 2011 1:18pm


    The AMNH's restoration plans will be revealed at Community Board 7's Preservation Committee tonight.


    The American Museum of Natural History has restoration plans for the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall. (Getty Images/Andrew Burton)

    By Leslie Albrecht
    DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

    UPPER WEST SIDE — The public will get a glimpse of plans to restore part of the American Museum of Natural History Wednesday night.

    Community Board 7's preservation committee will host a presentation by museum officials on the restoration of AMNH's Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall.

    The renovation will include improvements to visitor safety and exits, as well as restoration of architectural features, according to Community Board 7's preservation committee meeting agenda.

    The cornerstone for the museum’s first building at West 77th Street and Columbus Avenue was laid by U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant in 1874; the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall and Rotunda opened in 1936, according to the museum's website.

    A five-story high cast of a Barosaurus dinosaur, "the world's highest freestanding dinosaur display," has loomed over the Roosevelt rotunda since 1991.

    Last year the museum restored murals in the Roosevelt hall as part of an ongoing renovation project, the New York Times reported.

    Representatives of the museum could not be reached immediately for comment on Wednesday morning.

    Community Board 7's Preservation Committee meets at 6:30 p.m. at 250 W. 87th Street. Read the agenda at Community Board 7's website.





  4. #184
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    This is actually quite clever, I think. I hope it comes in different colours, though.


    The Incredible, Foldable Upper West Side Apartment!

    April 22, 2011, by Sara Polsky

















    Eric Schneider knows how to make a 450-square-foot Upper West Side studio feel spacious: spend a year in one half the size in Japan, then come home and hire architect friends to configure his UWS home. The result, designed by Normal Projects and highlighted in freshome, is so nifty we can't stop clicking through the photos. The walls fold! They also manage to create, in various configurations, a living room, kitchen, breakfast nook, desk, closet, bookshelves, bed, and guest bed. Excuse us while we go look at the photos again.

    Unfolding Apartment by Normal Projects [Freshome]
    Unfolding Apartment [Normal Projects]

    http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2011/0..._apartment.php

  5. #185
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    Row House Wrangler, Chuck Wagon Consultant

    By CHRISTOPHER GRAY


    316-326 West 85th Street


    90th Street and West End Avenue


    West End Avenue and 85th Street


    Detail of the carved ornament above the doorway


    Detail above the roofline


    West 88th Street


    83rd Street and Riverside


    Riverside Drive at 80th Street


    426 Columbus Avenue between 80th and 81st Streets


    Riverside Drive at 77th Street


    249 West End Avenue near 71st Street

    THE Landmarks Preservation Commission has proposed three sprawling West End Avenue historic districts, each a segment of the great north-south swath of the apartment house boulevard. They happen to capture a particularly picturesque little row of houses at 316-326 West 85th Street, among the earliest of the designs by the remarkable Clarence True.

    People had been complaining about the New York row house for decades, but no one did anything about it until this obscure architect burst upon the scene.

    Born in 1860, Clarence Fagan True worked in the office of the Gothicist Richard M. Upjohn until he went out on his own in 1884 with a few minor commissions, like two in Queens: a Queen Anne cottage in Flushing and a Gothic-style clubhouse for the Aerial Athletic Association in Woodside. Then, in 1890, he made a sudden and successful entry into the Manhattan market, with 22 houses in a single year on the Upper West Side.

    Of the first group, 10 in all, there is the picturesque surviving row at 301-309 West 89th Street, with peaked roofs and the sine qua non of house design since the 1860s, high stoops. A few months after receiving the 89th Street commission, True drew up a three-house row for the west side of West End Avenue, from 88th to 89th Streets, no longer standing.

    Built for the developer Richard G. Platt, these were in a pleasant Renaissance style, but instead of the usual 10- or 12-step stoop, their entrances were nearly at grade, only two or three steps up. Research by the architect and preservationist Jill Szarkowski indicates that these were the first of True’s low-stoop houses.

    Before 1850, the typical New York row house had a fairly low entrance. The high stoop was apparently introduced to more clearly separate the service areas on the street floor from the rooms for entertaining on the parlor floor. This development was received without protest, even though it meant the owners had to climb a flight of stairs to get out of the weather.

    True continued to work with the high stoop. There is one on the speculative town house he designed in early 1892 for Platt at the northeast corner of 85th and West End. But his low-stoop solution gained ground, as with the dusky red sandstone pair at 157-159 West 88th, completed later in 1892 for the developer Charles Judson.

    Judson was also the client for True’s cute little row at 316-326 West 86th Street, with overhanging tile roofs, speckled brick facades and two- to four-step-high entrances. The rusty red sandstone on the ground floor, from the Maynard quarry in western Massachusetts, is pitted and weathered like some ancient Attic monument.

    For a new practitioner, True hit the ground running: 29 houses in 1891; 34 in 1892; 33 in 1893. He designed a picturesque little oyster market on Columbus Avenue near 80th, now a Patagonia store, illustrated in the online edition of this column. Another project was an unrealized design for a fantastical, Dakota-like apartment house at West End and 86th Street.

    In early 1893 True spoke on the subject of domestic architecture with The Real Estate Record and Guide. He considered the money spent on the high stoop wasted — half the cost of the entire front — and derided the standard brownstones as “mostly bad copies of the Farnese Palace” that ought to be torn down.

    Toward the end of the 1890s True began building on his own account, turning to Flemish and Northern European sources, with stepped gables, light colors and large round corner bays, like the group still standing at the south corner of 80th and Riverside.

    True had a plan for the entire block of 92nd Street between West End and Riverside, including a row on the south side set back from the street in a soft arc, like a London crescent. But he was able to build only the gabled, dormered group standing at the northwest corner of 92nd and West End.

    What The Record and Guide called in 1899 “the best design that has ever left his boards” is the seven-house red brick group in the Flemish style at the northwest corner of 90th and West End.

    Architecture — really, real estate development — was good to Clarence True; the 1900 census records him in a Mamaroneck house with his family of five plus a butler, a cook, a coachman and a housemaid.

    His son, Roland, joined the firm around 1910, and Clarence True & Son became known for smaller projects, but nothing with the sweep and originality that the father brought to the Upper West Side in the 1890s.

    However, as Capt. Clarence True of the National Guard, he did design a model chuck wagon for his 300-man battalion of the 71st Infantry when it crossed into Mexico in pursuit of Pancho Villa in 1916. Captain True addressed the problem of feeding soldiers on the move: how to keep a cooking range going while under way, provide bread and stew immediately after stopping, preserve meat, dispose of trash.

    As he did with the Upper West Side row house, Clarence True, who died in 1928, rethought the entire concept.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/08/re.../08scapes.html

  6. #186
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    Advocate Leads Tour of 50-Year-Old Urban Renewal Fight

    A Saturday walking tour explores the impact of the city's history of bulldozing tenements on the Upper West Side.

    By Leslie Albrecht


    A rendering of Wise Towers, the public housing development built during urban renewal on the Upper West Side.
    (Courtesy of Kelley Williams)


    UPPER WEST SIDE — Kelley Williams was a teenager when the city announced its plan to bulldoze her building as part of a swath of Upper West Side tenement buildings slated to be torn down in the name of urban renewal.

    She fought back, successfully organizing tenants in her West 88th Street building to stop the demolition. A half-century later, her childhood home is now a low-income co-op building, and an example of the battles spawned during the urban renewal plan that Williams will discuss during her one-time walking tour Saturday.

    "Connecting to the history, and understanding how a building remained low-income or how we got a middle-income building constructed, will make people have a better connection to the West Side," said Williams, executive director of Strycker's Bay Neighborhood Council, which has fought to bring back people displaced by the city's urban renewal plan.


    The city's 1959 preliminary map for
    urban renewal on the Upper West Side.
    (Courtesy of Kelley Williams)


    The walking tour will visit 20 sites on the city's 1959 urban renewal plan for the Upper West Side, which spanned from West 87th Street to West 97th Street between Central Park West and the east Side of Amsterdam Avenue.

    The area was home to a mix of low-income Puerto Ricans, whites and African-Americans, and was considered blighted. Urban renewal was intended to revive the neighborhood without destroying its character, according to the 1959 plan.

    "This urban renewal was supposed to be different," Williams said. "They were going to do it in stages and be focused on not necessarily completely bulldozing a neighborhood. The goal was to maintain the ethnic and economic diversity of the neighborhood, but to improve the quality of the housing."


    The Upper West Side's Park West Village,
    once known as Manhattan Town,
    was built during urban renewal in the 1950s.
    (DNAinfo/Leslie Albrecht)


    The results were mixed, said Williams.

    At West 91st and Columbus Avenue, the tour will visit a spot known as "Site 30" where 70 families agreed to leave their homes. They were promised slots in public housing, but that housing was never built, Williams said.

    Ultimately, urban renewal paved the way for the gentrification of the Upper West Side, creating the diverse, yet wealthier neighborhood that exists today, said Williams.

    Williams said she hopes the walking tour will help people recover a sense of community that's been lost on the Upper West Side.

    The tour runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sat. May 7. It begins at the William F. Ryan Health Center at 110 West 97th Street, and ends at the northeast corner of West 87th Street and Columbus Avenue. For more information, visit the tour's Facebook page.

    http://www.dnainfo.com/20110506/uppe...#ixzz1La0J7V3T

  7. #187
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    Ornamental Urns Sawed Off Historic UWS Building

    Residents were dismayed last week when workers removed ornamental urns from the facade of 333 W. 86th Street.

    By Leslie Albrecht













    slide show

    UPPER WEST SIDE — Kennedy Fraser's apartment is near the bustling corner of West 86th Street and West End Avenue, but the urn on her terrace takes her back to a different place and time.

    The neoclassical decorative urn reminds Fraser of the type of ornament a 18-century English gentleman would have brought back from Europe after his Grand Tour and installed in his garden, she said.

    But to building management, the urn — one of about 20 that decorate the 1926 facade of Fraser's building — is a safety hazard.

    Fraser was crushed last week when a worker showed up without warning and used a circular saw to lop off two of the three urns on her 17th-floor terrace. Workers removed about five urns in all from the building, Fraser said.

    "To me, this is an act of cultural vandalism," said Fraser, who moved into the building in 1976. "The urns represent something in the cultural history of New York — a wish for beauty, elegance and culture. It's what gives life meaning, that things go back into the past. We look at these urns and they resonate with us."

    Fraser rushed out to her balcony and confronted the worker, shouting "Illegal! What are you doing?" She said the man responded simply, "Garbage." Fraser said she "flung her arms" around a third urn on her terrace to save it from being tossed out.

    Fraser and some of her neighbors confronted building management, and made enough of a fuss that building officials agreed to temporarily halt the removal of the urns, they said

    To Fraser and her neighbors, the urns are a highlight of their prewar structure. Long ago, the 22-story building was the Cambridge Hotel, a residential hotel where tenants dressed for dinner and took their meals in a restaurant with white-gloved attendants, Fraser said.

    About ten years ago, Atria Senior Living took over 333 W. 86th St. and turned it into an assisted living facility. Now the building is a mix of longtime tenants and about 150 Atria clients, an Atria spokeswoman said. She declined to say how many longtime tenants like Fraser still live in the building.

    Building managers recently hired an engineer to "evaluate and assess" the building's facade to make sure it meets building codes, Atria spokeswoman Amy Schuster said. The engineer suggested removing the urns as a safety precaution, Schuster said.

    "Obviously from a historical and architectural perspective, we want to do what's best in preserving that, but keeping everyone safe is by far the most important issue," Schuster said. "Our highest priority at all times is ensuring the safety of the people who make their homes with us."

    Fraser and her neighbor Marjorie Palmer point out that Atria touts the building's prewar architectural details in marketing materials, and even features a photo of one of the urns on its website.

    Palmer says Atria, based in Lousville, Ky., seems tone deaf to neighborhood concerns about historic preservation. Atria's West 86th Street building is one of about 800 Upper West Side structures that preservationists are hoping to landmark in a massive historic district.

    "(Removing the urns) is absolutely contrary to the spirit of what's happening in this neighborhood now, which is to preserve the beautiful architectural features," Palmer, who's lived in the building since the early 1960s, said.

    The residents' cause has won the attention of Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, who represents the Upper West Side. Rosenthal told DNAinfo she's asked the Department of Buildings to investigate whether Atria has the proper permits to remove the urns.

    The building is listed as "calendared for landmark status" on the DOB's website, which usually means it can't be touched, Rosenthal said.

    "It's a good thing that tenants and other people who care about such things are vigilant, otherwise a lot of laws would be skirted," Rosenthal said. "It's these kinds of touches that are unique to the buildings of the West Side. If they're removed, it lessens the aesthetic value of the building."

    http://www.dnainfo.com/20110518/uppe...#ixzz1MnBQ4Mny

  8. #188
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    Heathens.

  9. #189

    Default Stable Row

    Interesting analysis of this much changed area particularly, with the upcoming demise of 207 West 75th Street.
    The article is too large to be inserted here, but worth a look.

    Stable Row and the
    Geography of Parking Garages in Manhattan



    At the turn of the 20th century, horses were a primary provider of motive power and New York City was home to an estimated 74,000 horses and 4,600 stables. The Upper West Side was becoming a fashionable neighborhood of row houses and apartment buildings. Amsterdam Avenue was the area's chief service corridor, which undoubtedly reduced the avenue's desirability for residential purposes compared to the blocks to the east and west. The blocks between Broadway and Amsterdam and West 75th to West 77th streets became the home to a number of stables and the area became known colloquially as "Stable Row." (CPC 2007, Lueck 2006)

    As automobiles and trucks replaced horses, many of the Stable Row buildings became garages, were replaced by new garage buildings and/or came to house automobile-associated businesses. City directory listings mapped below show the speedy transformation of stables around Manhattan into parking garages in the first two decades of the 20th century. The 1907 directory (Trow 2007) lists 71 garages and 681 livery stables in Manhattan (58 and 534 of those addresses, respectively, remained geocodable in 2009). By 1926, almost all of the stables were gone, replaced by 394 listings for garages out of 1,355 total listings for auto-related businesses (1,068 were geocodable in 2009). By 2009, an online yellow pages site for NYC (nyc.com 2009) listed 916 unique garages (848 geocodable) in Manhattan, although barren areas may indicate that this listing has significant omissions.

    http://michaelminn.net/newyork/urban...de/stable_row/

  10. #190
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    Twins, but They Don’t Dress Alike

    By CHRISTOPHER GRAY


    The Evanston at 610 West End Avenue, top, shares a silhouette, along with many other details,
    with its cater-corner sibling, the Admaston, bottom, at 251 West 89th Street.


    THE unique development of one West Side block produced an unusual pair of near-twin buildings. But no matter how far out the windows they stretch, the residents of the Evanston, at 90th and West End, will never be able to see the facade of its mate, the Admaston, at 89th and Broadway.

    After the Civil War, big things were expected of Broadway on the Upper West Side. But exactly what things no one quite knew, and most owners held their properties off the market. Thomas W. Evans was one of these, purchasing the entire block from Broadway to West End, from 89th to 90th, in 1873. Dr. Evans, a dentist practicing in Paris, had become rich while tending to the teeth of Emperor Napoleon III.

    Dr. Evans died in 1897, and his estate did not sell the land until after the subway came up Broadway in 1904, with a stop at 91st Street. The Evans block was unusual in that it had not been divided into lots, and in 1909 the investor Robert Emmet Dowling paid $1.25 million for it.

    Because of the recent construction of the full-block Apthorp, at 79th, and the Belnord, at 86th, it seemed possible that the Evans block, too, would be the site of a giant courtyard building. But most apartment buildings were built for resale, and the buyers for a single massive structure were necessarily limited. So Dowling sold his property in five pieces, two of the corners to George F. Johnson Jr. and Leopold Kahn, who had already built large apartment houses.

    The New York Times predicted Johnson and Kahn would put up “two of the most magnificent apartment houses on the West Side,” and in 1911 they completed the Admaston, at 251 West 89th, and its fraternal twin, the Evanston, diagonally opposite, at 610 West End.

    George and Edward Blum designed both, using their trademark Secession-like styling, with hypnotic lacy runs of terra cotta, beige tapestry brick with deep-struck joints, and extensive and inventive use of iron ornament.

    The Admaston had no cornice but did have a continuous iron balcony one floor below the roof. The Evanston had a typical projecting cornice, since removed, and a striking, owl-face iron fence around the ground floor, and trapezoidal projecting balconies, still there. The buildings were joined by two other apartment houses, at 89th and West End and at the middle of the block on 89th, and a theater on 90th and Broadway, restricted to four stories in height for the following decade.

    A writer for The Times in 1911 regretted Dowling’s decision to divvy up his land, made, he said, at the expense of “working out a harmonious appearance for the entire block.”

    The Admaston has stores on Broadway. Perhaps to make up for this indignity, it has one of those sprawling West Side lobbies, easily the equivalent of a three-bedroom apartment. The five- to eight-room apartments there rented early on for $100 to $200 a month. The Evanston had much fancier apartments, including duplexes of up to 10 rooms. One was advertised in The Times for $375 a month.

    Census returns for 1920 for the Evanston show mostly clothing and dry goods executives, but there was also a musical contingent, including Julius Witmark, one of the founders of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, known as Ascap, and George Maxwell, its president.

    In 1923 Maxwell was accused in a bizarre case in which scores of anonymous letters mailed to prominent New Yorkers alleged, in what The Times called the “most vulgar and common terms,” intimate relations between Maxwell and various married women. These letters were usually sent to the husbands. Maxwell was indicted, but the case was later dropped. He remained head of Ascap.

    Over time, the West Side fell a couple of pegs on the economic and social scale, especially buildings on Broadway. In 1948 detectives working on a $75,000 jewelry burglary raided the Admaston apartment of William Bruley, and ultimately recovered a 68-carat diamond pendant. The Times took care to note that the thief’s den had a radio in every room, and that the men arrested there were watching a television.

    Although the Evanston was converted to a co-op in the 1960s, the Admaston was, like most West Side buildings, a creature of the rent-regulated economy, which meant minimal maintenance, fluorescent lights in the lobby and a day-shift doorman, if that. In the mid-1980s, the Evanston decided to redo the lobby but could not afford the restoration of the deteriorated terrazzo, and covered it with thin marble applique. While intended to exude elegance, the look was down market.

    The Admaston was converted to condos around the same time, but did not address its lobby until a decade later, when it laid similar marble over the terrazzo in its entry, and put up a canvas canopy, a sine qua non for a co-op.

    Within the last decade, the Evanston has taken up its marble squares, and restored the terrazzo, an expensive but tasteful change. The co-op also took down its awkwardly designed canvas canopy, flooding its lobby with light.

    However, this is hardly news to me. As the brother of twin sisters, I can tell you they swap clothes all the time.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/03/re...wins.html?_r=1

  11. #191
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    http://www.westsiderag.com/wp-conten...itt-subway.jpg
    (large image)

    More stunning NYC photos by Michael Huitt:

    http://michaelhuittphoto.com/blog/

  12. #192
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    Oh, I'm in love. I want this. Only $2m...maintenance ($2,912) a bit steep, though <sigh>.


    1 West 67th Street, Upper West Side





    (click to enlarge)

    Description

    The Hotel Des Artistes, 1 West 67th, is located off Central Park West. One of Manhattan's most famed and illustrious cooperatives, the Neo-Gothic-style building is legendary in its location, architecture, and residences. This one of a kind duplex loft has breathtaking Central Park and city skyline views. The spectacular living room has 22-foot ceilings, 14-foot high windows and a wood-burning fireplace. The upper level has a dramatic dining area, windowed kitchen with washer/dryer and spacious bedroom with large closets. This extraordinary apartment represents the best of the building's renowned heritage as a true work of art. The full-time staff will meet your every need. The Hotel Des Artistes has a pool, squash court, gym and roof-deck. Residents receive discounted fare at the world famous restaurant Leopard des Artistes. Pets are allowed.

    http://ny.curbed.com/marketplace/pro...side-manhattan

  13. #193

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    That building once had a Cafe in the lobby - cafe des artistes. My 'history of interiors' class was taken there by our college professor for an 'educational' field trip: located only a few blocks from campus it did not require much of a 'trip'.
    http://nymag.com/listings/restaurant/cafe-des-artistes/

  14. #194
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    Not quite as good as the originals, but still positive.


    Return of Decorative Urns Delights UWS Residents

    By Leslie Albrecht

    UPPER WEST SIDE — Massive ornamental urns that were sawed off an Upper West Side building have been replaced with lighter weight fiberglass replicas, delighting residents who decried the urns' removal, the New York Times reported.

    Residents at 333 W. 86th Street were crushed in May when workers removed several decorative urns that graced the facade of the 22-story building. Writer Kennedy Fraser, who lives on the building's 17th floor, told DNAinfo then that lopping off the urns was "an act of cultural vandalism."

    Building management said the urns' removal, first reported by DNAinfo, was necessary because the heavy masonry objects were a safety hazard that could topple to the ground and harm a passer-by.

    News of the urns' removal prompted an outcry from the preservation group West End Preservation Society and action from State Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal. She investigated whether building management had the proper permits to remove the urns and found that the urns were removed legally.

    Rosenthal helped broker a deal to replace the lopped off urns with exact copies made of lighter weight fiberglass, the Times reported. The replicas were made using molds of the original urns, a neoclassical architectural detail that harkens back to the early days of the 1926 building.

    Making the copies was costly, but worth it, said Amy Schuster, a spokeswoman for Atria Senior Living, which runs an assisted living facility inside 333 W. 86th St. "This more expensive solution was important in honoring the architectural beauty of the building," Schuster told the Times.

    The new urns were installed last week to positive reviews from both the Landmarks Preservation Commission and residents.

    "I don't know who made these replicas, but they were incredible craftsmen," Fraser told DNAinfo in an email. "They are gorgeous."

    http://www.dnainfo.com/20111116/uppe...#ixzz1dxdV7EOP

  15. #195

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    Holy sh.it! This place is awesome!


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