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Carter's View

The former Stanhope Hotel at 995 Fifth Avenue, which is being converted by Extell Management to residential condominiums, has erected a six-story high billboard that is a colorful and pleasant sketch of the renovated base of the building showing plantings, a canopied entrance and a doorman.

The billboard's erection follows not too long after the Plaza Hotel erected two four-story-high billboards advertising its "private residences," one with a photograph of a lavish interior room and one with a photograph of one of its views of Central Park.

Is the larger Stanhope billboard simply developer's one-up-manship? Is the sun-drenched scene it depicts a bucolic reverie? Will passersby be more inspired by the sketch or the photographs?

These are difficult questions, of course, but the Stanhope billboard did raise the curiosity of for it seems to depict a building with a rusticated limestone base whereas the building has a plain, two-story-high limestone base and a brown-brick facade. A similar but slightly different sketch on the project's website also shows a rusticated limestone base.

Robert Liff, a spokesman for Extell, told that the building is within a landmark district and its facade will be renovated, but not altered.

Unleash your creative licenses!

One's interest in hotels has been piqued not only by the partial conversion of the Plaza and the full conversion of the Stanhope but also by news reports that The Mark at 25 East 77th Street will be converted to cooperative apartments and that the Swiss? Drake New York at 440 Park Avenue will be demolished and replaced by a 70-story mixed-use tower, reports that are all the more astounding given recent reports that hotel rates are soaring.

The Stanhope, which is on the southeast corner at Fifth Avenue, recently published a floor plan of its full-floor units that was very impressive, to say the least. The plan indicated that a 42-foot-6-inch drawing room facing Fifth Avenue was flanked by a 17-foot-1-inch by 14-foot-5-inch media room on the south and by a 26-foot-4-inch by 14-foot dining room on the north. Just to the east of the dining room was a kitchen that measures 14-foot-1-inch by 20-foot-4.5-inch kitchen that opened onto a 16-foot-4-inch by 18-foot-5-inch family room. The 8,360-square-foot apartment also had a library, six bedrooms, a staff room and a master bedroom with separate sitting room and his and her bathrooms.

The Stanhope will also have some half-floor units that one the north side contain 4 bedrooms and 4,118 square feet and on the south side contain 5 bedrooms and 4,357 square feet.

The building will have 26 regular, if one can use so coarse a word, apartments and 10 smaller units that can be purchased only by purchasers of the "regular" apartments.
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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.