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.
If you think you’re in like Flynn because you’ve got the dough, you’re still far from done if you’re buying a co-op. Since co-ops account for some 75 percent of New York’s housing stock when it comes to buying, you’d better hold onto your hat. That’s because you still haven’t sat in the personal interview-hot seat with the building’s gatekeepers to not just assess your finances, but to evaluate your worth as an individual. Whether you’re a billionaire, a celebrity, of just a regular Jane with designs on one of these spaces, just keep in mind that there are a set of commandments that are never to be broken. Because when they are, there will be hell to pay.
We’ve gathered up some of the best co-op board horror stories around, with anecdotes that involve everyone from Jerry Seinfeld to Steven Spielberg to a feisty little dachshund caught up in a bait-and-switch.
Over the summer, the Times asked the question, “Who owns Helen Gurley Brown’s legacy?” The 32-year editor of Cosmopolitan passed away in 2012, leaving behind her apartment in the legendary Beresford, one of only three that has space in the building’s iconic turrets. The co-op board, of course, wanted the valuable Central Park West residence listed, but those involved with her will didn’t oblige. The board must’ve won the fight, though, because Curbed reports that the penthouse apartment has hit the market for $20 million (significantly less than the $50 million+ some were speculating). And just as you’d expect from the author of “Sex and the Single Girl,” the four-level spread is full of leopard, flowers, and pink, pink, and more pink.
Certain neighborhoods are becoming increasingly sought after by observant Jews—but in keeping with what is written in the Torah, apartment hunting can be a formidable undertaking. Observant Jews not only have to deal with New York City’s low vacancy rate but they need to find a home that, most importantly, is within walking distance to shul (synagogue) from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday and some Jewish holidays—owing to the fact that Sabbath obligations, of which there are a lot, do not allow one to drive a car. It goes against what’s written in the Torah to start or extinguish fires during the Sabbath, and, well, cars burn fuel. And by the way, this also means cooking only one, single, solitary item.
If Norman Bates were a real person we imagine he’d be rather fixated on this terrifying homage to our furry and feathery friends at The Beresford. If you ask Halstead realtor Robert Dowling about 211 Central Park West #3J, he would tell you that it’s a rare gem with soaring 10-foot ceilings, and plenty of windows. The woman in the shower… would tell you to run. Either way, we just couldn’t pass up the chance to explore this unique pad and its current owner’s interesting style. But you might want to make sure Fido leaves the room before you continue.
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.