170 East End Avenue

Between 87th and 88th Streets

View from the northeast of demolished building on site

View from the northeast of the hospital building that was demolished for a new condo building

By Carter B. Horsley

The handsome, 14-story, red-brick, Beth Israel Hospital Singer Division building at 170 East End Avenue that overlooked Carl Schurz Park across the avenue and the charming low-rise residential buildings of Henderson Place across 87th Street was demolished in 2005 and construction started on a new 19-story, 110-unit condominium apartment building on the site that extends from 87th to 88th Streets.

The new building has a tower fronting on the avenue and two low-rise wings on the side-streets with a large garden with a waterfall between them.

The lower two floors of the complex are faced with limestone and granite and the rest are faced with limestone-colored pre-cast concrete. The center section of the tower on East Avenue above the entrance is be mostly glass.

Peter P. Marino + Associates is the architect.

View from the southeast

View from the southeast of demolished building overlooking low-rise buildings between 86th and 87th Streets

In 2004, Beth Israel sold its building and two adjacent apartment buildings on 88th Street to Skyline Developers LLC, an affiliate of Garden Homes Development, which announced its intention to "create world-class, family-oriented luxury condominiums featuring spectacular views overlooking Carl Schurz, Gracie Mansion and the East River." The sales price was reported to be about $700 a buildable square foot, one of the highest on record for a residential project.

Skyline Developers LLC is the corporate umbrella investment vehicle for much of the principal activities of Orin Wilf. Mr. Wilf is a third generation member of the Wilf organization whose business activities are commonly known as Garden Homes and Garden Commercial Properties.

Entrance

Entrance of demolished building on East End Avenue

In 1955, Harry and Joseph Wilf established Garden Homes when they began constructing single family homes in New Jersey. Since then, Garden Homes and numerous affiliated concerns and organizations have been developing single-family homes, condominiums, apartment complexes, shopping centers, office buildings and hotels. The organization continues to own and manage their own properties. While the geographic concentration of Garden Homes activity has been in New Jersey, development of residential and commercial properties has expanded to encompass New York City, New York State, California, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Florida, Arizona and Israel.

Garden Homes Development is based in Short Hills, New Jersey and has operations in 37 states.

Developer Wilf

Developer Wilf, center

Its other activities in New York City include condominium apartment conversions of properties at 280 Park South and 75 West Street. It has also converted 41 Broad Street for the Claremont Academy Preparatory School and converted 37 Wall Street to 350 rental apartments.

Rendering of lobby in new building

Rendering of lobby in new building looking to large waterfall in rear garden

The new building has a garage and a children's recreation zone that includes a toddler paint room, a computer area for preschoolers, and miniature golf, video games and billiards for older children.

The building also has a squash court and an interactive driving range.

Some of the apartments have fireplaces and balconies.

Model of new building

Model of new building

The former hospital building was erected in 1929 as Doctors' Hospital and was acquired by Beth Israel Medical Center in 1987. Beth Israel is located on Stuyvesant Square at First Avenue and 16th Street and this facility was known as Beth Israel North and Beth Israel Herbert and Nell Singer Division and housed the Insall Scott Kelly Institute for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine and the Hyman-Newman Institute for Neurology & Neurosurgery. In 2001, the medical facility had about 210 beds and more than 800 employees. Beth Israel is operated by Continuum Health Care System, a conglomerate of hospitals that also includes Roosevelt Hospital, St. Luke's Hospital, Long Island College Hospital and New York Eye & Ear Infirmary.

Nearly completed in early 2009

New building under construction, left, and nearly completed in early 2009, right

 

The building's unusual facade is quite bold with deeply-inset, multipaned windows, many balconies with glass railings, and a center section facing East End Avenue clad only in glass. Vertically, the north and south wings on the avenue are broken into three sections with different pier arrangements in limestone-colored, pre-cast concrete. The two-story base on either side of the entrance is rusticated limestone.

The building has a lot of amenities including a garage, a children's recreation zone that includes a toddler paint room, a computer area for preschoolers, and miniature golf, video games and billiards for older children.

Mr. Marino is well-known for interiors he created for Giorgio Armani, Stephen Schwarzman and David Martinez. He also designed a new Fifth Avenue store for Fendi. The large garden will have some sculptures of sheep, which Mr. Marino told a reporter was "a play on the rural and the urban."

In the spring of 2004, Orin Wilf, the developer, went to the 14th floor of the hospital building then on the site and looking out the window at the park and water views said "I will guarantee you I will buy this property." A few months later he bought the townhouses at 13-15 West 54th Street for $41 million for his company's New York offices.

View from Henderson Place

View in early 2009 from Henderson Place

At the opening of the building's sales office at 530 East 88th Street, Mr. Wilf was asked by CityRealty.com why he decided not to retain the quite attractive, pre-war facade of the former hospital building on the site. "It was handsome," he conceded, but the site, he continued, deserved something more spectacular.

Mr. Marino's design of the lobby, kitchens and bathrooms in the new building are extremely sleek and sumptuous and very, very beautiful.

The building has a very high fenestration ratio and a Mondrianesque-grid patterning.

A large waterfall in the building's garden will be visible through the lobby from East End Avenue.

For more information about 170 East End Avenue check its entry at CityRealty.com

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