By Carter B. Horsley
This 13-story apartment building
was designed by Pickering and Walker in 1912 and closely resembles
the larger 829 Park Avenue apartment building that had been erected
the year before.
It originally had 12 duplex
units and according to a July 4, 1993 article in The New York
Times by Christopher Gray each has "a library, living room
and dining room across the front, a kitchen and three servants'
rooms in the middle and four master medrooms in the rear in the
upper part of the duplex." "Interior photographs show
a 55-foot sweep from the dining room through to the library, and
kitchens with dinosaur-sized appliances," the article continued,
added, however, that "in 1940 the shareholders gave the building
back to the principal lender, the Dry Dock Savings Bank, and the
building was emptied."
"Dry Dock," the article
continued, "brought in Edgar Ellinger, who had just drastically
cut down the large apartments in the bank's Alwyn Court apartments
on 58th Street and Seventh Avenue, and Louis S. Weeks, the bank's
consulting architect. They developed a plan to make 38 two-to
four-room apartments in place of the original 23. They introduced
push-button elevators, kitchenettes, glass-block partitions and
an outside servants' bathroom on each public hallway....In 1930,
70 percent of the tenants at 823 were in the Social Register....But
in 1950, after reconstruction, only 10 percent of 823 Park Avenue's
tenants were in the Social Register.
According to article by Steve
Cutler in The Real Deal the building "slipped into foreclosure
once again in the early 1990s for failure to pay real estate taxes."
"The Manocherian Brothers," the article continued, "purchased
the property at a city auction for $4,175 million in 1994"
and ten years later sold it Elliott Joseph of the Property Market
Group for about $61 million.
Mr. Joseph commissioned architect
Barry Rice to convert the building to 12 condominium apartments.
Mr. Elliot's company asked
the Landmarks Preservation Commission for permission to add a
floor to the building as well as to create a 20-foot-square room
on every floor at the rear of the building. The commission denied
the request for an additional floor, but approved the plan for
the extension at the rear.
An 8-bedroom, maisonette duplex
unit in the building that was subsequently offered for almost
$20 million had two fireplaces and Blue Eyes marble in the kitchens
and non-porous CaesarStone quartz.
An article by Max Abelson in
the September 18, 2008 edition of The New York Observer noted
that Ray Iwanowski paid about $13,500,000 for a full-floor apartment
with 10-foot-high ceilings and two fireplaces at 823 Park Avenue.