Turtle Bay and Blackwell’s Island around 1840 at the foot of what now is 49th Street, courtesy the Turtle Bay Association
The Manhattan neighborhood of Turtle Bay, a stretch of Midtown East that holds everything from skyscrapers to brownstones, has a history dating back to 1639. Modern-day New Yorkers might envision the area got its name from “hundreds of turtles sunning themselves on the rocks along the East River between 45th and 48th Streets,” as Ephemeral New York puts it. Back then, that’s where an actual bay was once located in Colonial-era Manhattan, surrounded by meadows, hills and a stream that emptied at the foot of today’s 47th Street. Some historians do think actual turtles lent to the neighborhood name, as they were plentiful in Manhattan at the time and were commonly dined on. But another reading of history suggests otherwise.
The name may have been a mistake
You wouldn’t necessarily expect an artist loft up for sale in Turtle Bay, but here’s one asking just a hair under $1 million at the Turtle Bay Towers condop complex. The open floorplan was renovated in the style of a Soho loft, according to the listing, but you get all the conveniences of being in East Midtown. After its renovation the space saw a big price jump in just a few years–it was asking $689,000 in 2012 before selling for $649,000.
Photo courtesy of the UN
Every year on October 24th, 193 countries celebrate United Nations Day, the international holiday commemorating the anniversary of the ratification of the 1945 UN Charter. Beginning in 1948, the holiday is part of a broader United Nations Week, which runs from October 20th to 26th. While the day is a global holiday, the UN and UN Day continue to be unique to New York City, home to the peacekeeping organization’s headquarters since 1952.
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, Tue, September 19, 2017
Rendering courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners / Solow / BloomImages
Along the East River just south of the United Nations, Pritzker Prize-winner Richard Meier’s 42-story, 460-foot-tall tower has officially topped out, CityRealty learned. Developed by Sheldon Solow’s East River Realty Development, the skyscraper at 685 First Avenue has an all-black, glassy facade to offer residents privacy and create a uniform appearance on the outside. Upon completion in 2018, the Turtle Bay residential tower will feature 556 rental and condominium apartments, with incredible panoramic waterfront views.
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On the eastern fringe of bustling Midtown, the (mostly) pre-war Tudor City complex was built as rentals by Fred French in the 1920s to give office workers easy access to their jobs while enjoying efficient and elegant living conditions. The buildings were converted to co-ops in the 1980s, and they’ve retained their elegance and compact efficiency. Woodstock Tower at 320 East 42nd Street is one of the most charming buildings among them, and this cheerful studio with city views, asking a pied-a-terre-friendly $375,000, is a fine example.
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Screen cap via NYT
Just down the street from the now-closed modernist treasure trove and icon that was the Four Seasons in Manhattan’s east 50s is a lesser-known architectural treasure. Philip Johnson’s 1950 Rockefeller Guest House is one of a handful of private residences the architect designed for New York City clients. The house is a designated historic and architectural landmark, but a subtle one that’s easily missed on the quiet street–as the New York Times puts it, “the house doesn’t give up its secrets easily.” Once you spot the home’s brick-and-glass facade, though, it’s hard not to be enthralled.
Find out more and take a video tour
Richard Meier’s 685 First Avenue–the starchitect’s largest and tallest building in the city to date–has begun its above-ground ascent, reports CityRealty. The 42-story, 460-foot-tall slab tower is located along the East River at 40th Street, just south of the United Nations, and has gained attention for its dark glass facade, a noticeable shift from Meier’s signature beige aesthetic. Its 408 rentals and 148 condominiums are expected to be completed by early 2019, and now that construction is “craned and above street level,” the project is well on its way.
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How much you love the location of this surprisingly-spacious-for-six-figures co-op at 155 East 49th Street just north of Turtle Bay in East Midtown might just depend on how much you like skyscrapers. Because though the spot is convenient to everything from MoMA and shopping to Grand Central Station and the subway, there are tall towers in every direction and many more, even taller, on the way. But this 10-story co-op does a pretty good job making the case for classic brick amid towers of glass and steel.
Take a look
The largest and tallest building in NYC from Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Meier is rising at 685 First Avenue, just south of the United Nations at 39th Street and First Avenue along the East River. Though developer Sheldon Solow bought the 30,000-square-foot site as part of his Turtle Bay South master plan 16 years ago, construction only kicked off in March. A couple months later, renderings were revealed of the 42-story slab tower’s dark glass facade–a departure from Meier’s typical beige designs and his first ever black building–and now the Times has shared the first interior renderings, along with new details about the residential breakdown (there will be 408 rentals and 148 condominiums) architectural specifics, and amenities.
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This charming top floor apartment is located in the townhouse at 247 East 49th Street, in Turtle Bay. It’s just a few doors down from Katharine Hepburn’s longtime New York home–she lived more than 60 years at 244 East 49th Street. If you’re willing to endure the fourth floor walkup you can also call the block your home, as well as this $4,000/month rental apartment loaded with prewar details.
Take a look around