Skip to Content
CityRealty Logo
The Clarett Group has redesigned its very tall and slender Sky House project at 11 East 29th Street.

It is now 55 stories tall and has a setback on its north side and a total of 139 one- and two-bedroom condominium apartments.

It previously was 54 stories with no setbacks with 138 units.

The building has been designed by FX Fowle and uses air rights from the adjacent Church of the Transfiguration, known familiarly as the Little Church Around the Corner, at 1 East 29th Street.

The new tower will rise across the street from the Madison Belvedere, a 50-story, 400-unit rental tower erected a few years ago at 10 West 29th Street.

Clarett is also erecting the 36-story Plaza 57, another condo tower, on the former site of the Sutton Theater at 207 East 57th Street.

According to the architects, "to help the building blend with its lower-scale surroundings, the building was divided into three slender masses," each clad in a red-brown iron-spot brick. "The element facing 29th Street and overlooking the church is set back from the street and has an architectural expression of vertical piers?.Like a belfry or campanile, this almost-square tower soars into the sky celebrating and defining the presence of the historic landmark. The church's parish house is a new three-story structure at the base of the tower that projects forward to the sidewalk, thus extending the scale and refined architectural detail of the church compound toward the east."

The new tower will have an extremely high height-to-width ratio, perhaps somewhat like that Trump World Tower on First Avenue. While it clearly towers over the charming church complex and gardens, it is considerably thinner than Madison Belvedere at 10 West 29th Street.

The church building was erected in 1849 on what were then the outskirts of the city.

In 1870 Joseph Jefferson was rebuffed at a nearby church in arranging for the funeral of his friend, George Holland, an actor. Told that there was a little church around the corner where "they do that sort of thing," Jefferson fervently and memorably exclaimed, "God Bless the Little Church Around the Corner." In 1923, the Episcopal Actors' Guild was founded and it carries on an active program at its national headquarters in the Guild Hall and such theatrical greats as Basil Rathbone, Tallulah Bankhead, Cornelia Otis Skinner, Charlton Heston, and Rex Harrison served on its council.

The church's fourth rector, Father Orin Griesmyer, led the parish in opposing a city plan in 1962 to build a cross-town arterial highway that would have left the church stranded between the east- and west-bound lanes.
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.