The Ansonia in 1904, via Wiki Commons
With the 2017 World Series kicking off today, it’s amazing to think that one of the most iconic landmarks of the Upper West Side played a crucial role in shaping the outcome of the World Series back in 1919. Back then, the Ansonia was a brand new, luxury residential hotel in Manhattan–it opened in 1904 with a grand total of 1,400 rooms and 320 suites. The lavish locale quickly became popular amongst athletes; even Babe Ruth would stay there and come to treat the entire hotel like an extension of his apartment. But in 1919, baseball players and the mafia found a match in the hotel. A small group of players, and one very powerful, moneyed mafioso, came up with a deal that would throw the results of the game pitting the Chicago White Sox against the Cincinnati Reds.
Keep reading about the illicit deal
Photo of the Ansonia by Jeffrey Zeldman
Today, the Upper West Side‘s Ansonia is considered one of the city’s most iconic and prestigious addresses. With former residents ranging from Sergei Rachmaninoff, Gustav Mahler, Babe Ruth and more recently Natalie Portman, its history reaches far back. And along its more than century-old ride, it’s no surprise that it has also attracted plenty of strange activity, including playing host to what probably was the city’s first rooftop farm in 1904 and a debaucherous sex club known as Plato’s Retreat. While there’s lots of ground to cover when looking back on this 111-year-old building, we decided to tap an insider for his take on this storied structure.
Michel Madie of Michel Madie Real Estate Services has over the years become an unofficial historian of sorts to the Ansonia. Madie moved from France to New York in 1984 and almost immediately fell in love with the French-inspired building. However, being near-penniless at the time, the thought of ever taking up space in such a grand building seemed like just a dream. But as he found success in the real estate business, he focused his attention on the Ansonia. He eventually purchased an apartment and then spent decades tending to the architecture, restoring its original layouts and recreating original finishes and fixtures in the building’s many units whenever the opportunity would arise. During this time, Madie also learned a thing or two about the residence, stories which he shares with 6sqft ahead.
stories from michel this way
Here’s your chance to nab an apartment in the famous Ansonia for $12 million. The 4,500-square-foot pad is the place to entertain all your friends, boasting the tallest ceilings in the entire building, and stunning Upper West Side views from east, south, and west exposures. The space is actually a combination of three units that used to form their own wing of the building, representing the largest original layout ever designed by the building’s architect, Duboy of Graves and Duboy. Its current owner, Michel Madie, spent nine years collecting all of the units to bring the space back to its former glory.
More pics inside