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The Alfred, 161 West 61st Street

At The Northeast corner of Amsterdam Avenue   |    Lincoln Center

Carter Horsley
Reviewed 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.
 

Basking in the glory of its freestanding site, the 38-story Alfred residential condominium tower at 161 West 61st Street was one of the most visible in the Lincoln Center district when it was erected in 1987. 

This neighborhood, however, began to witness a tremendous burst of new construction around 2007 with several glassy new apartment towers sprouted nearby to the south and west and Fordham University began to redevelop its campus south of the Lincoln Ceetner for the Performing Arts to the east. 

By 2013, new construction to the east and north began to infringe upon this tower's high visibility from Lincoln Center.

The 224-unit condominium was developed by Carol Management Corporation and designed by Jung/Brannen Associates.

Bottom Line

This handsome tower with many balconies is very close to the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Fordham University, the Time-Life Center and the Hudson River.

Description

With its large, setback mansard roof, the building could have been just another Post-Modern pastiche, but the proportions and detailing here have resulted in a very pleasing composition that is both dignified and modern, nostalgic, but practical. 

A key to its success is it quite rigorous façade, rhythmically broken up by its balconies, and its rich coloring of Sienna colored brick and bronze glass atop a limestone base. 

The building has a three-story rusticated limestone base with two oculi and a two-step-up entrance with attractive light sconces and sidewalk landscaping. 

Amenities

The building has an concierge and a 24-hour doorman, a gym, a 75-foot lap pool, a racquetball court, a garden, a children’s playroom, a lounge, a live-in superintendent, and a garage.

Apartments

Apartment 3A is a two-bedroom unit with a double-height 28-foot-long living room and an office. 

Apartment 14G is a one-bedroom unit with an entry foyer that leads a dining area near the enclosed kitchen off the 27-foot-wide, corner living room with wrap-around balcony.  A 10-foot-long sitting room off the living room leads to the 15-foot-long bedroom. 

Apartment 25 B is a three-bedroom unit with an entry foyer that leads to an 11-foot-wide dining area next to an enclosed kitchen off the 22-foot-wide corner living room with wrap-around balcony. 

Penthouse A is a full-floor unit that has a 22-foot-long entrance gallery that leads to a 50-foot-wide living room with 20-foot-high floor-to-ceiling windows flanked by 21-foot-long terraces.  The apartment also has a 19-foot-long library, a 21-foot-long dining room next to an enclosed and angled 20-foot-long kitchen.  The 43-foot-long master bedroom has two corner 21-foot-long balconies and another smaller terrace and there are two other smaller balconies and two 13-foot-long terraces on the north and south sides.

Location

This site was formerly occupied by the Power Memorial Academy, a Roman Catholic high school that was housed in a building that had been built in 1893 for the New York Infant Asylum. 

In their great book, "New York 2000, Architecture and Urbanism Between The Bicentennial and the Millennium," Robert A. M. Stern, David Fishman and Jacob Tilove said that this tower was "exceptionally prominent, especially when viewed from the Lincoln Center plaza, where it loomed over the cultural complex like an unwelcome intruder  wearing a large black mansard hat."  Despite that description, the attractive tower is not an undertaker.

 

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