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The Royale in Lenox Hill: Review and Ratings | CityRealty

95
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.
 

The impressive, 40-story, 205-unit condominium tower known as the Royale at 188 East 64th Street is one of the anchors of the revitalized Third Avenue that took shape before the stock market crash of 1987. 

Completed in 1986, it was developed by Ian Bruce Eichner, Robert Michaelson and Martin Gang. 

This soaring edifice is quite dramatic and sports a handsome entrance on 64th Street and a “folly pergola” in a plaza on 63rd Street. 

The design architects were Alfredo De Vido Architects and Schuman, Lichtenstein, Claman & Efron was also involved. 

Voorsanger & Mills designed the lobby spaces and Quennell-Rothschild Associates was the landscape architect.

Bottom Line

This slender and very tall tower is one of the more distinctive high-rises along Third Avenue with many angled balconies, corner windows, a “candle-snuffer” top, and a bright pink granite pergola in one of its plazas. It has many excellent views.

Description

This freestanding tower reminds one of an asparagus stalk as the top half is more elaborate than the lower half and the crown almost comes to a point. 

Certainly, this building and a couple of its neighbors sprouted a new skyline for the avenue, which in this period took on a very gentrified "boulevard" air as several of the towers, including this one, were setback from the street, creating a sense of more openness. 

Its substantial 63rd Street plaza, however, is rather quizzical with its rough-cut stone, plantless pergola that bears no relation to the tower, nor to just about anything else. The pergola, in fact, appears to be merely a folly and follies are desperately welcome in New York, especially on the Upper East Side where there are few. Still, this is neither beautiful nor interesting, just puzzling, and as such detracts considerably from the project’s overall impact. 

The building’s massing and proportions are excellent, although the angled rooftop enclosure is surprisingly industrial and disappointing, not in form, but materials. 

The building's entrance on 64th Street is a bit understated given the eccentricity of the pergola on the other side of the building and the soaring quality of the tower, which has a great many angled balconies that give sharp definition to its form. 

Amenities

The building has a full-time doorman and a concierge, a garage, a fitness center, a landscaped park with a pergola, a children’s playroom, a residents’ lounge with a kitchen and bar and washers and dryers on every floor. 

While this building has no sundeck, it has striking vistas from many apartments and a superb location.  It also allows pets.

 

Apartments

Some apartments have angled walls and wood-burning fireplaces and oversized windows. 

Kitchens have granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. 

Baths have marble walls, Jacuzzi bathtubs, separate glass and marble shower stalls and double sinks. 

Apartment 905 has a 17-foot-long living room with a pass-through kitchen, a 10-foot-long sleeping alcove and a balcony. 

Apartment 1001 is a one-bedroom unit that has a 19-foot-long living room with a pass-through kitchen, an angled window and a balcony. 

Apartment 2406 is a two-bedroom unit that has a wide foyer that leads to a 22-foot-long living room with a balcony and an enclosed 12-foot-long windowed kitchen. 

Apartment 3004 is a two-bedroom unit what has a wide foyer that leads to a 25-foot-long angled living room with an angled balcony and a 13-foot-long enclosed, windowed kitchen. 

Apartment 3904 is a two-bedroom duplex that has a 15-foot-wide foyer that opens onto a 32-foot-long, double-eight living dining room with a 10-foot-long dining area next to a 12-foot-long eat-in-kitchen and a 13-foot-long den/bedroom on the lower level and a 14-foot-long study/media room with a home office next to a master bedroom on the upper level. 

Apartment 2706 is a three-bedroom unit that has a 16-foot-long entry foyer that leads to a 22-foot-long living room on one side and a 15-foot-dining room on the other side with an open kitchen.  The unit also has a 23-foot-long library and four small angled balconies. 

Apartment 2506 is a four-bedroom unit that has a 14-foot-long entry foyer that leads to a 24-foot-long living room with bar and a 16-foot-dining room next to an enclosed kitchen on the one side and a 28-foot-long library/media room on the other.  The apartment also has a circular hot tub next to the 21-foot-long master bedroom and five small angled balconies. 

History

Developer Eichner built this tower two years after he finished the Kingsley, designed by Stephen B. Jacobs & Associates at 400 East 70th Street.  According to “New York 2000, Architecture and Urbanism Between the Bicentennial and the Millennium,” authors Robert A. M. Stern, David Fishman and Jacob Tilove, “in both instances, before hiring an architect, Eichner enlisted marketing consultant Gilbert Charles Beylen to determine exactly what kind of building affluent New Yorkers would prefer,” adding that “Yet for all the talent brought to bar on it, the Royale was hardly an artistic success, despite the chamfered balconies and generous expanses of glass.”

 

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