Parkside Evangeline at 18 Gramercy Park South reportedly sold for $60 million

August 5, 2010

The 17-story, red-brick Parkside Evangeline Building at 18 Gramercy Park South has been sold by The Salvation Army for $60 million to W2005Z/18 GPS Realty, according to an article today by Joey at curbed.com.

The building, which has a long frontage on Irving Place, was erected in 1927 and became a dormitory-like residence for young women in 1963 before closing in 2008, the article said, adding that "back in 2006 it was reported that the Salvation Army wanted more than $100 million for the building."

The article said that the buyer is connected with Eastgate Realty.

A November 1, 2006 article by Lauren Elkies at therealdeal.com said that the building, which provided about 300 residents with their rooms and two meals a day for under $300 a week, was up for sale "for more than $100 million."

Maid service was also included.

"Many of the current residents have already moved out and Parkside has stopped accepting new applications in preparation for the imminent sale. Though the Salvation Army has not gone public about the sale, the residents were notified of the sale several months ago," the article said.

Maya Allan, a Parkside resident and sales agent at Prudential Douglas Elliman, was quoted in the article as stating that "It's not listed anywhere; they are contacting a lot of developers directly; it's a hot place," adding that the news was not a surprise because rumors of a sale had been circulating for years.

The building is within the Gramercy Park Historic District and residents of buildings directly fronting on the private park have keys to gain access to it.

"The Parkside was designed to enshroud new arrivals in a safe, vaguely Christian environment until they married or moved on," Steven Kurutz wrote in a September 25, 2005 article in The New York Times.

"Amenities included a rooftop garden, a sewing room and an in-house social group called the Parkside Club. A brassy Southerner named Opal Pierce ran the front desk. Even as the early 60's gave way to the 'Sixties,' an Eisenhower-era atmosphere pervaded. Though the residents were grown women, alcohol was forbidden, and the policy on male visitors was only slightly more lenient: they were allowed on the ground floor but not beyond. Once, there were as many as two dozen 'girls' homes' throughout New York, but after 30 years of feminism and cohabitation between the sexes, the Parkside is among the very few survivors," the article maintaining, adding that "The place has changed remarkably little over the years, right down to the no-drink, no-men policy, and a host of other infantilizing rules governing everything from electric appliances to salad plates."

"The rooms at the Parkside are very, very small, about the size of the space in which a woman living in a Park Avenue penthouse might keep her shoes. Some doubles exist, but most units are 100-square-foot singles with modest wood furnishings: a bed, a dresser, a desk. There is a rumor that when the Salvation Army bought the place, which was formerly a hotel, it halved the old rooms and turned the closet of each new room into a bathroom," the article said.

During the week, the article continued, "there's an 11 p.m. curfew for visitors; microwaves, hot plates and candles are forbidden, and having a mini-refrigerator requires approval from the management."

In their great book, "New York 1930, Architecture and Urbanism Between The Two World Wars," (Rizzoli International Publications, 1987), Robert A. M. Stern, Gregory Gilmartin and Thomas Mellins provided the following commentary about the former Barbizon Hotel on the southeast corner of 63rd Street and Lexington Avenue:

"Murgatroyd & Ogden, whose women's club residence at 18 Gramercy Park South of 1927 had been a chaste of overblown Adam-style Georgian building, returned to the Italianesque in their romantically massed and detailed, tawny-colored 1927 Barbizon club residence for women."


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