By Carter B. Horsley
This very handsome, mid-block
apartment tower was built in 2000 and quickly became a significant
new component of the west skyline of Central Park.
Designed by Beyer Blinder Belle
and Costas Kondylis, it has a nicely detailed red-brick façade
with white detailing that enhances the vistas of the Upper West
Side from Central Park as it partially blocks views of a very
large, beige-brick apartment building just to the west of it on
the same block.
The 41-story tower has 53 condominium
apartments ranging in size from two- to four-bedrooms.
The building is adjacent to
the McBurney School and it incorporates and preserves its landmarked,
Romanesque-style façade and has a limestone garden entrance.
Its apartments start at the 12th floor.
The tower was erected above
the western end of the West Side Branch of the YMCA that was designed
by Dwight James Baum in 1930. The tower's plan in 1987 met with
considerable opposition from some neighbors and some preservationists
who feared it might clash with the Romanesque and Gothic details
of the YMCA building, which was not an official city landmark.
The project was put on hold when the economy faltered but it was
revived in 1997 and opposition was less severe. The 438-foot-high
building is clad in a light red brick that nicely goes with the
South Carolina pastel brick of the YMCA building.
Surprisingly, the authors of
"New York 2000, Architecture and Urbanism Between the Bicentennial
and the Millennium" were not very enthusiastic about the
finished building, noting that "the narrow, four-bay window, stepped-back tower, with cast-stone
trim and cornices, rising to a prominent, pyramidal top concealing
the building's mechanical dquipment, was a dud, giving off an
unwelcome blankness of effect."
While the building is not a
tour de force it has an unusually cozy relationship with its angled
and tall neighboring apartment building just to the west whose
wings seem to enfold around it. Not surprisingly, of course, this
building obstructs many of the vistas of Central Park and the
midtown skyline from the other building, which has never been
very popular with some architecture observers.
The contextual relationship
with the YMCA are noteworthy as is its attempt to add another
distinctive top to the West Side skyline.
Many apartments have stunning
views to the east of Central Park.
The building offers a fitness
center, a children's playroom, a bicycle and carriage room on
the first floor, and a concierge.
The building, which has some
terraces, is very close to the Lincoln Center for the Performing
Arts and this neighborhood has excellent shopping, many restaurants
and good public transportation.