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Carter's View

The attractive, glass-and-metal-clad condominium apartment building at 165 Charles Street, which fronts on West Street and the Hudson River Park, is about 80 percent sold.

The building has 31 apartments and the remaining units are priced from abut $5,450,000 to $7,100,000.

It was designed by Richard Meier, who also designed two very similar, but narrower buildings just to the north at 173 and 176 Perry Street for different developers.

Alexico Management Corporation of which Izak Senbahar and Simon Elias are the principals is the developer of this building.

While the exterior design is very compatible with the two other buildings, the architect also designed the interiors of this building while apartments are the other two buildings are delivered "raw."

In an article in Architectural Record by Sam Lubell, Mr. Meier was quoted as stating that "Charles Street gives us the opportunity to further develop and evolve the design of my first two towers," adding that "It's like music. One note is nice, but as you add notes you can create something different."

The building was completed last fall and its amenities include a 55-by-19-foot lap pool with an adjacent waterfall, a 35-seat screening room, individual wine cellars each with a capacity of 260 bottles, and a revolving door entrance.

The penthouse in this building features a double-height "great room" that measures 30 feet by 44 feet six inches with wrap-around terraces.

An article in New York Spaces about this building maintained that "Bathrooms are?blizzards of white, accented by Dornbracht fixtures, a Duravit water closet, deep Japanese soaking tubs by Zuma and Meier-designed Corian sinks," adding that "True to the architect's mantra of transparency, translucent glass panels and doors in the shower allow natural light to flow either from the outdoors or from the glass-clad adjacent bedrooms - while remaining tastefully concealing."

Before these three buildings, Mr. Meier was most famous for the Bronx Developmental Center, which was recently demolished, and the Gerry Museum in California.

In a May 2, 2005 article in the New York Sun, James Gardner observed that Mr. Meier "doesn't have a vernacular bone in his body, would never be caught dead fluting a pilaster, dentilating an architrave, rusticating a base, or engaging in any of those postmodern tricks so dear to a goodly percentage of the profession."

The three buildings have attracted considerable attention and controversy as their good looks have worried some civic activists concerned that the historical fabric and asethetic of the Far West Village is being seriously challenged.
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Additional Info About the Building

Architecture Critic Carter Horsley Since 1997, Carter B. Horsley has been the editorial director of CityRealty. He began his journalistic career at The New York Times in 1961 where he spent 26 years as a reporter specializing in real estate & architectural news. In 1987, he became the architecture critic and real estate editor of The New York Post.
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