Such is the state of real estate in New York City that there is no shortage of homes of every size and stripe upon which you could drop $10 million. And though the ask may seem relatively ambitious for a single-story residence, this particular listing at 455 Central Park West doesn’t need to reach far for the adjectives required to command such an outlay (Just for starters: It looks like a fairytale castle). And while the Manhattan Valley location may be a little “far uptown” for some late-to-the party folks, its village-y vibe is getting lots of love of late, and, really, Central Park West is Central Park West.
Between the amazing architecture and fascinating–if somewhat macabre–history as the former New York City Cancer Hospital, 2,360 square feet of space including two enormous circular opposite wings, private courtyards, and a peerless menu of building amenities including a pool, spa and drive-up entry courtyard, very few boxes remain unchecked in this unquestionably unique four-bedroom condominium.
Take a look a…round
Walking down Central Park West from the north end of the park, it’s hard to miss the castle-like structure on the corner of 105th Street. The facade is dominated by great conical towers, majestic turrets, deep red brick, and a soft Belleville brownstone. A closer look reveals stained glass windows and intricate stonework, all convincing details that someone went out to build a fairy-tale castle on the perimeter of Central Park. Among the surrounding townhouses and co-op buildings, it’s a stunning piece of architecture that looks like it doesn’t quite belong. Indeed, the story of how this building, constructed at 455 Central Park West in 1887, still stands is an unlikely one that is rooted in medical history–a dark medical history, at that.
This was New York’s first cancer hospital, and the first hospital in the United States dedicated specifically to its treatment. This was a time when cancer treatment was unfamiliar to most doctors–in the back of the castle was a crematorium and smokestack that was often in use. After the hospital’s closure in 1955, it became a notorious nursing home known for mistreating its patients. When investigations caused the nursing home to close in 1974, the building was left to rot. Not until a redevelopment plan took off in 2000 was it restored into a luxury condo development. Today, despite its grim past, it remains an important piece of New York’s medical and architectural history.
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