The most attractive new
building on the Upper West Side in decades, this 25-story, 202-unit
condominium building abounds in nice architectural touches.
Its location on the northwest
corner of Broadway at 72nd Street (in the lee of the taller Ansonia
one block north) makes it highly visible from the south and its
distinctive watertank enclosure is a wonderful Post-Modern concoction
of Egyptian motifs.
The fašade of the
building is richly colored in reds, whites and greens and sports
very handsome white grill balcony railings.
The apartment layouts are
quite spacious and many of the units have very tall ceilings.
While most other new buildings
of the period have tried to be contextual (with strong urging
from the city's zoning), this building, which was developed by
Peter L. Malkin, Arthur G. Cohen and William Zeckendorf Jr. and
partners and designed by Frank Williams & Associates and Skidmore,
Owings & Merrill has gone the extra distance and been original.
The building was completed
in 1991 and is one of the best new buildings in the city in a
It replaces a two-story
building that housed the Embassy movie theater and was formerly
a site occupied by the Hotel St. Andrew.
The building has a sundeck,
a concierge, storage space, a health club and pool and laundry
facilities every floor.
In their fine book, "The
A.I.A. Guide to New York City Architecture, Fourth Edition,"
(Three Rivers Press, 2000), Elliot Willensky and Norval White
wrote "Ramses II's mummy may return to blow up this insult
to ancient Egypt. It took two distinguished firms to consummate
this travesty." That comment is one of the very, very few
in that book that is completely off the mark. This is an excellent
project. Indeed, it may be one of the best Post-Modern buildings
in the city. The balconies and enclosed rooftop watertank in particular
The building replaced a two-story building that housed the Embassy
movie theater, that was designed by Peter Copland and Schwartz
& Gross in 1938, and was formerly a site occupied by the Hotel
St. Andrew that was designed by Andrew Craig in 1893.
In their great book, "New York 2000, Architecture and Urbanism
Between The Bicentennial and the Millennium," Robert A. M.
Stern, David Fishman and Jacob Tilove described the Alexandria
as "the most flamboyant of Broadway's new generation of apartment
They noted that developer William Zeckendorf Jr. had planned to
expand the theater on the site "to become a 1,250-seat, five-screen
complex, but the plan proved uneconomical when his attempt to
assemble the full Broadway blockfront failed."