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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)

101 West 78th Street

At The Northwest corner of Columbus Avenue

78
Carter Horsley
Review by Carter Horsley
Carter Horsley Carter B. Horsley, a former journalist for The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Post. Mr. Horsley is also the editorial director of CityRealty.com.
 

This very handsome, red-brick, 7-story building at 101 West 78th Street on the northwest corner at Columbus Avenue was in the process of being converted from a 44-unit rental apartment building to a residential condominium with 24 units in 2015.

The converter is Newcastle Realty Services of which Margaret Streicher Porres is president. It had bought the building in 2012 for about $85 million.

Stephen Sills is the interior designer for the conversion.

The building was erected in 1998 and for many years it was known as the Evelyn. It is in the Central Park West Historic District.

Bottom Line

This very prominent and attractive, mid-rise, Upper West Side building has two sidewalk cafes across from the rear of the American Museum of Natural History.

Description

The building had a U-shaped courtyard that is now a skylight-covered fitness center.

The conversion added a penthouse unit.

A September 26, 2014 article by C. J. Hughes in The New York Times said that the “coppery-red” building was “adorned with griffins across from the American Museum of Natural History.”

The building has a rusticated base and rusticated piers at its corners.

It has an 8-step-up canopied entrance stoop with a stone surround on the side-street and a seven-step-up graduated stoop retail entrance on the avenue where it has two sidewalk cafés, Gazala’s and Ocean.

There are curved pediments on the window surrounds in the corner piers on the second floor and angled pediments on the third and fifth floors in the corner piers.  The first floor and the top floor have arched windows and there is a narrow cornice.

History

Applicants testified before the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission July 23, 2013 that the seven-story building was originally conceived as rising to nine stories, and that a two-story addition was approved in the 1890s.   The proposal also included the installation of an access lift at the main residential entrance, which would necessitate the removal of some historic fabric. They asked permission for a two-story roof addition that would be clad in zinc with glass railings.

Preservation consultant Bill Higgins told the commission that the developers “ran out of money and in 1893 a one-story addition was approved. 
The applicants also plan to restore decorative elements at the roof level including a cornice and columns.

Architect Richard DeMarco of the firm Montroy Andersen Demarco said the additional stories would have floor-to-ceiling heights of ten feet, six inches. The first added story would have a floor area of 7,500 square feet, while the second added floor would be 2,800 square feet.

A representative of Manhattan Communty Board 7 recommended denial of the addition, calling it “overbearing and out of scale,” and objected to the planned materials. Council Member Gale Brewer echoed the Community Board’s assessment by a letter to the commission.

Commissioner Michael Goldblum said the Evelyn was a “very important building to the district,” and that the proposal was a long way from being approvable. Goldblum criticized the presentation for failing to show all sightlines from which the addition would be visible, and found the second story of the addition and the prominent bulkhead problematic. Commissioner Roberta Washington found the visibility of the proposal needed to be greatly reduced, and that the plan would probably need to discard the second story of the addition and the bulkhead. Commissioner Fred Bland suggested that a mansard roof might be a more appropriate form for an addition to the Evelyn.

Chair Robert B. Tierney concurred with the commissioners’ statements, and asked the applicants to substantially rethink the plan before returning to Landmarks with a revised proposal at a later date.

A January 12, 2015 article by Emily Frost at DNAinfo.com reported that the developer was ordered to stop construction on the conversion by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman “after illegally pushing rent-regulated tenants out without giving them a chance to buy their apartments.

 

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