By Carter B. Horsley
This 28-story apartment tower is relatively
modest by the standards of "luxury" residential high-rise
construction of the past two decades, especially in the neighboring
Lincoln Center district.
Quite welcome are its large rounded corners,
a rarity still in New York. Although this tower's broad façade
is along Broadway, its "showcase" façade, not
surprisingly, faces south towards midtown. This façade
is rather complex and reminiscent of some Chicago designs by architect
Helmut Jahn. The top of the tower has some skylit windows facing
east and Central Park.
Francis Morrone has noted, in his book, "The
Architectural Guide to New York City," (a Peregrine Smith
Book, published by Gibbs Smith Publishers, Layton, Utah, 1994)
that its design "is obviously derivative of the 1931 Starrett-Lehigh
Building" between 26th and 27th Streets and 11th and 12th
Avenues and designed by Russell G. and Walter M. Cory and Yasuo
The rounded corners turn into a projecting,
non-curved, vertical element that provides more corner windows.
The center bay of this façade, which is stepped, is a bit
like a necktie cascading down between rounded shoulders. The complex
composition of this façade is also a bit like a smoothed
superstructure on an oceanliner, only without a rakish prow. While
such a metaphor is a bit stretched here, there is a subtle and
effective dynamic in play.
One might well ask, however, what do curves
have to do with the traditional cornice lines and building profiles
of older Broadway? Not much, except that one of the boulevard's
great dames is the Ansonia, a few blocks to the north with its
rounded turrets, so issues of context are rather moot.
Completed in 1987, this 162-unit tower is nicely
detailed and has the de rigueur health club and pool facility.
It was designed by Davis, Brody & Associates, one of the city's
premier residential designers who are better known for their more
sharply angled forms.