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
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.
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.
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 fašade 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."
"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.'"
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 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 fašade. 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, originally, 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.