From the Bronx to Brooklyn, architect Emery Roth (1871-1948) left an indelible mark on the architecture and cityscape of New York. Specializing in luxury apartment buildings, the advent of steel-frame construction facilitated Roth’s projection of historicist designs to new heights. While Roth is best known for prestigious projects such as his slew of residences along Central Park West, he also designed numerous middle-class homes and houses of worship. Adding to the impressiveness of his scope of work is the story behind the man.
Perhaps the most detested Midtown skyscraper by the public, this huge tower has nevertheless always been a popular building with tenants for its prime location over Grand Central Terminal and its many views up and down Park Avenue. It is also one of the world’s finest examples of the Brutalist architecture, commendable for its robust form and excellent public spaces, as well as its excellent integration into the elevated arterial roads around it.
However, there is no argument that it is also immensely bulky with a monstrous height. As shown in the photograph ahead, to its north, the building completely overshadows the Helmsley Building, an iconic product of Warren & Wetmore’s Terminal City complex. The pyramid-topped Helmsley Building once straddled the avenue with remarkable grace, and as one of the city’s very rare, “drive-through” buildings, it was the great centerpiece of Park Avenue. But by shrouding such a masterpiece in its shadows, the Pan Am Building (today the MetLife building) desecrated a major icon that will unfortunately never recover from such a contemptible slight on a prominent site.
The listing for this prewar triplex penthouse on the Upper West Side says it’s “like a house hovering twenty-two floors above Central Park,” but one look at the sprawling floor plan suggests that “mansion” might be a better word. Five bedrooms may sound ordinary, if luxurious, but countless other rooms and suites, three enormous terraces on the middle floor, a wraparound terrace on the bedroom floor and helicopter views in every direction put this iconic home atop a classic Emery Roth-designed co-op at 320 Central Park West in a class by itself—and its $20 million ask certainly reflects its status.
Architect Emery Roth was considered the master of apartment design back in his day. In the early 1900s, he masterminded an impressive number of buildings with sprawling floor plans and luxurious finishes. (That was a time when the rich still needed to be convinced to live in apartments, rather than mansions.) He finished the Whitby, at 325 West 45th Street in Midtown West, in 1923. Since then the building has been broken down into mostly small studio, one- and two-bedroom co-ops.
This is a one-bedroom in the building that still has some pre-war details, although it’s lacking the gracious floor plan that made Roth so famous. Still, it’s a central location at a decent asking price, $489,000. And the apartment is pretty darn cute.
Here’s an elegant prewar co-op at 434 East 52nd Street asking $1.749 million. The two-bedroom Beekman residence features northern and southern exposures and a stunning sunken living room. It would be interesting to see what the space would look like with less busy furniture and fewer pictures overshadowing the rich detail, but even with the distracting decor, you can see that this is a great place for a full-time residence or pied-a-terre.
For some reason, this remodeled five-story townhouse at 1145 Park Avenue couldn’t command its initial $18.9 million asking price. Now it has returned with a more appealing $14.9 million tag, and it’s hoping prospective buyers will be drawn to its carefully chosen high-end details and its bright, modern design.
What do comedian Jerry Seinfeld, singer Diana Ross, tennis player John McEnroe, actor Tony Randall and publisher Helen Gurley Brown have in common? They have all called 211 Central Park West — better known as The Beresford — home.
But The Beresford’s claim to fame isn’t its host of famous residents but rather its three majestic towers, whose design limits the number of apartments on each floor to only two or three. Opened in 1929, architect Emery Roth’s spectacular residential fortress boasts spacious rooms, soaring ceilings, a charming interior courtyard containing a fountain and a garden, and incredible views of Central Park.