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520 Park Avenue
Mid-block on 60th Street between Park and Madison avenues
520 Park Avenue from the east

520 Park Avenue

By Carter B. Horsley

The tallest residential building on Park Avenue when it was erected, this slim, 43-story tower opened in 2000 and was developed by the Zeckendorf General Partnership and the Whitehall Real Estate Fund. has only 38 apartments.

Most of the apartments above the 15th floor have stunning vistas in many directions.

520 Park Avenue from the north

520 Park Avenue is on the right

The building, whose quoins extend the full height of the tower, replaced a pre-war, Italian Renaissance-palazzo-style building designed by Ernest Greene in 1910 as a cooperative with 18 apartments that were subsequently subdivided into 24. That building was eventually acquired by the Jewish Agency that sought state permission to evict tenants including the Syrian Consultate and the Syrian Mission to the United Nations after which the agency, an umbrella organization, occupied the building along with the World Zionist Organization and the Weitzman Institute.

That building was designed by Frank Williams & Associates.

520 Park Avenue from the east

View from the east

The limestone, cast stone and beige-brick tower is a Post-Modern design that seeks to carry on the avenue's predominantly Italian Renaissance-palazzo tradition, albeit here exploded to a huge scale.

Before World War II, only two towers broached the avenue's traditional cornice line height of about 15 stories: the Ritz Tower on the northeast corner at 57th Street and the Delmonico Hotel on the northwest corner at 59th Street.

When three other post-war high-rises of much inferior quality- 715, 900 and 1065 Park Avenue - in the 1970s there was considerable controversy over them and their possible deleterious impact on the famous boulevard. There was no similar outcry, however, about this project, perhaps because it is so close to the midtown business district and also because it is close to the Ritz Tower that for years was the avenue's tallest residential building.

View of the top

View of the top

This handsome, spindly tower, which seems taller than 43 stories because it has 10-foot-high ceilings, joins the Four Seasons Hotel nearby on 57th Street between Park and Madison Avenues in giving the district north of 57th Street a new skyline.

It is set back only on the north and west sides at the 15th, 33rd and 43rd floors resulting in what Robert A. M. Stern, David Fishman and Jacob Tilove described in their excellent book, "New York 2000, Architecture and Urbanism Between The Bicentennial And The Millennium" (The Monacelli Press, 2006), as an "awkward silhouette."

"The detailing was heavy-handed, with cast-stone corners, double-height pilasters below each setback, and two cast-stone-clad mechanical equipment enclosures set atop the building. In terms of sheer space, however," the authors continued, "the interior left little to be desired....The second floor provided ten suites for use as servants' quarters, and the basement held fifteen private climate-controlled wine cellars and thirty-eight storage rooms....But for all the luxury (and sales success), the building was deemed a poor addition to Park Avenue. Paul Goldberger found 515 Park to be 'particularly ungainly'" and he found its facade "a pretentious muddle."

A full-service building with many amenities, this building came onto the market with excellent timing as the demand for large luxury apartments in prime locations pushed prices to record highs in the late 1990s. Many of the apartments sold for $15 million and up.

Apartments have entrance foyers and twelve of the 38 apartments are duplexes. The building has a fitness center, wine cellars, and a dining room entered from the lobby that is available for catered affairs, and a residents' only library.

  about "Gotham's glitziest balconies" Beginning on the 40th floor, they will grace a simplex penthouse, the five

duplexes and the tower’s highly publicized $130 million triplex.


"These balconies, which measure a nice 42 by 7 feet, will be located on the north side of the limestone-clad building.
1They’ll look over Central Park, the Upper East Side Historic District, and even give a glimpse of the George Washington Bridge about eight miles away.

“There’s room for a large dining table and seating arrangement,” says Arthur Zeckendorf, co-chairman of Zeckendorf Development, which is developing the project with partners Park Sixty LLC and Global Holdings.

"They’ll also be separated by 26 feet at each level, so another balcony’s base won’t obstruct the view from below. “You’re not going to see it,” Zeckendorf adds.

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"These outdoor spaces, which Stern designed in concert with Zeckendorf Development, will be accessed from the units’ kitchen and dining spaces through double doors. They’ll also come floored with limestone and surrounded by railings made of glass and metal....The duplexes alone — beyond their balconies — measure an expansive 9,138 square feet, featuring grand entry foyers with 27-foot-high ceilings."

The Zeckendorf organization has been one of the city's major developers for many years and in recent decades pioneered the redevelopment of many areas with important projects at Union Square and on Eighth Avenue in Midtown and at 96th Street and Broadway.

View from the northeast

View from the northeast

An  June 8, 2016 article at Yimby.com by Reid Wilson indicated that "The 781-foot-tall tower will encompass 251,892 square feet, and its condominium units should average an opulent 5,394 square feet apiece.

Another, later article at Yimby.com reported that
"Amenities will include a salon along with a garden and pool, according to the building’s website. The project’s Schedule A also lists a wine cellar, space for 21 bicycles, a meeting room and screening room, a fitness center, and a children’s play room." The building has a doorman, a concierge, a 25-foot-high lobby with coffered ceilings and two limestone fireplaces, a two-story, 8,000-square-foot health club with a swimming pool with coffered ceilings and trellised walls, bicycle storage, wine storage, resident storage, a library.

Lobby

Lobby


Master bedrooms have two full baths.  The building’s website contains a rendering of a free-standing bathtub with a headrest near a large and tall bay window.
The 8-bedroom triplex penthouse has a top floor with a 36-foot wide salon with grand staircase, a 24-foot-wide sitting room ad a 53-foot-wide terrace.

Six-bedroom duplexes on the 38th, 40th, 42nd, 44th, 46th and 50th floors have elliptical, double-height galleries with grand staircases that lead to 36-foot-long living rooms with two bay windows, 21-foot-long corner libraries with a bay window, 23-foot-long dining rooms, 31-foot-long kitchens and 21-foot-long corner family rooms.

Four-bedroom units on the 14th through the 20th floors have 28-foot-long galleries that lead to 27-foot-long corner living rooms with two bay windows adjacent to 18-foot-square dining rooms, 16-foot-square kitchens ad 15-foot-long corner family/breakfast rooms.

Three-bedroom units on the 21st through the 36th floors have 27-foot-long galleries that lead  to 29-foot-long corner living rooms with two bay windows, 16-foot-wide libraries, 16-foot-wide dining room, 16-foot-wide kitchens and 16-foot-wide, corner family rooms.

It was developed by Zeckendorf Development, Global Holdings of which Eyal Over is a principal and Park Sixty LLC, of which Raphael and Ezra Nasser are principals.  Global Holdings was also a partner with Zeckendorf at 15 Central Park West, 18 Gramercy Park South and 50 United Nations Plaza.

Robert A. M. Stern, whose other projects include 15 Central Park West and 220 Central Park South, is the architect.

The building is also known as 45 East 60th Street.  Christ Church on the northwest corner of Park Avenue at 60th Street sold its air rights to this project and is also known as 520 Park Avenue.

The building obtained a $450 million construction loan from the Children’s Investment Fund in London.

The developers purchased 70,000 square feet of air rights from Christ Church, a United Methodist church, on the northwest corner of Park Avenue and 60th Street for $40 million and the right to cantilever over much of the Grolier Club on 60th Street between Park and Madison avenues.

The June 12, 1910 edition of The New York Times published a rendering of a very handsome, 12-story apartment building at 520 Park Avenue on the northwest corner at 60th Street designed by W. A. Boring.

A March 26, 1929 article in The New York Times reported that Anthony Campagna purchased from Frederick Brown the westerly block front between 60th and 61st streets on Park Avenue consisted of the12-story apartment building and the adjoining 9-story building on the southwest corner of 61st Street that housed the Brearley School that was then about to move to a new location near Carl Schurz Park on the Upper East Side.







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