Park Millennium

111 West 67th Street

View of tower from Broadway

View of tower from Broadway

By Carter B. Horsley

Park Millennium is the name of the residential condominium section of the 545-foot-high, mixed-use tower that occupies the full block bounded by Broadway, Columbus Avenue and 67th and 68th Streets.

The building was originally called Millennium Tower and was developed by Millennium Partners and completed in 1994.

It was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox, Gary Edward Handel & Associates and Schuman Lichtenstein Claman & Efron and it replaced the four-story Ansonia Post Office building that had been designed by H. J. Feldman in 1955.

View from the southwest

View of tower from southwest

It is the tallest of three major towers developed by Millennium Partners at the north end of the intersection of Broadway and Columbus Avenue just to the north of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the three buildings are known collectively as Lincoln Square.

This 47-story building was the most important mixed-use tower on the Upper West Side until the erection of the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle a decade later.

It contains a 12-screen movie theater complex including an Imax theater, a 117,000-square-foot health club, a post office, retail space, and 368 residential condominium apartments.

View of building base and cineplex

View from the southeast of building's base and cineplex at the left

The building is clad with orange, dark red and charcoal brick and aluminum and glass and while the textured masonry is not exquisite the massing of the tower is quite striking with protruding, vertical sections of the façade providing a modern gloss and flair.

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, noted that "For its bulk, the design drew a considerable amount of protest."

View from the northwest

View from northwest

"Brendan Gill, writing in The New Yorker, found it 'hard to imagine any structure less suitable for a comparatively small block in that severely congested area.' He described the 'immense structure' as 'grossly overscaled' and objected to the 'exceptionally busy 'mix of uses. Despite objections from community groups and residents, the as-of-right building went ahead as planned. The most unusual aspect of the design, according to Herbert Muschamp, who liked the building, was at the top, where 'a cantilevered steel and glass cube juts from the southeast corner; it's a bit as if the old Pepsi-Cola Building [500 Park Avenue] [Skidmore, Owings & Merrill] had blown across town and got stuck on the West Side skyline.'"

View from the southwest

View from the southwest

Mr. Stern and his co-authors said that the movie complex "was a lame attempt by Gensler & Associates to re-create the glamour of the movie houses of the 1920s, with each theater getting its own design treatment," adding that "Muschamp applauded the effort, describing the complex as 'a movie palace for the multiplex age,' with each theater name 'named for some vanished dream palace of Hollywood's golden age….There are sphinxes. Palm trees with golden trunks and feathery black fronds. Mayan temple arches. Neoclassical festoons. Pagodas. Spanish baroque wrought iron grilles. Miles of Art Deco carpeting.'"

On the Columbus Avenue side of the development's base is a very large mural entitled "Dichroic Light Field" by James Carpenter that is composed of thin blades of laminated glass and anodized aluminum that protrude about two feet from the façade.

The second major building in Millennium Partner's Lincoln Square complex was One Lincoln Square, which was completed in 1995 and deigned by Gary Edward Handel & Associates and Schuman, Lichtenstein, Claman & Efron, a 30-story tower with 143 apartments that is the most visible of the three buildings as it is at the northern end of the open spaces in front of Lincoln Center. While its design also incorporated a large red-brick masonry base at 67th Street, the tower, placed at 66th Street, had a much more modern glass and metal façade. The third building, the Grand Millennium, was also a rather modern looking 32-story apartment and retail building on the west side of Broadway between 66th and 67th Streets.

While the Millennium Tower is marred by its unattractive masonry base, all three Millennium Partners' buildings here significantly reinforced the Lincoln Center district with their expansive retail spaces that included a large Barnes & Noble bookstore at One Lincoln Square and until 2007 a huge Tower Records in the Grand Millennium. The crowds attending the movie theaters at the Millennium Tower give a constant pedestrian traffic to an area otherwise congested mostly at curtain time at Lincoln Center. Together, this area is surpassed in liveliness only by Times Square and its Theater District.

Many of the apartments at Millennium Tower have spectacular vistas to the east over Central Park. Apartments have 9-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, marble bathrooms and Eurostyle kitchens with granite counters and floors and GE appliances, washers and dryers, granite window sills, a centrally monitored alarm system. The building has a doorman. Apartments range in size from 396.1-square-foot studios to 829.6-square-foot one-bedroom units, to 1,027.3-square-foot, two-bedroom apartments to 2,405-square-foot three-bedroom apartments.

The founders of Millennium Partners are Christopher M. Jeffries, Philip E. Aarons and Philip H. Lovett.

For more information on the Park Millennium check its entry at CityRealty.com

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