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The Pinnacle observatoThe Woolworth Pinnacle and the Manhattan skyline (Credit Chris Coe, Optimist Consulting) The Pinnacle observatoThe Woolworth Pinnacle and the Manhattan skyline (Credit Chris Coe, Optimist Consulting)
New York's latest wave of new construction has seen developers and designers apparently striving to outdo each other in terms of building height and design, sumptuous apartment finishes, sweeping views, and over-the-top amenity suites. But for all their efforts, a rich history is one thing even the most ambitious new construction cannot provide. When done right -- and under the tutelage of architecture experts and the Landmarks Preservation Commission -- industrial and commercial buildings can see new life as some of the most highly coveted residences in the city, if not the world.

Below, we take a look at condo conversions throughout New York that have most masterfully transformed interiors into luxurious condos and amenities with no ill effects to the historic architecture on the outside. The onetime banks and office towers of Lower Manhattan proved to have excellent bones for residential living, but Midtown's offices and hotels offer some surprises, too. It remains to be seen which of the new supertalls will stand the test of time, but these buildings truly offer the chance to live in a landmark.
The following conversions offer landmark living at its finest.

Architecture by Raymond F. Almirall | Developed by Chetrit Group
17 stories | 96 units

49-Chambers-Street-01 49 Chambers Street via Evan Joseph
49-Chambers-Street-2 Great Room
49-Chambers-Street-3 Roof deck
Located across from City Hall Park, the Emigrant Savings National Bank was one of the country's largest bank buildings when construction was completed in 1912. The H-shaped layout allowed light and air to better circulate, and would also combine with its Beaux-Arts design to make it a New York City landmark.

More than 100 years later, architecture firm Woods Bagot took great pains to preserve and restore the intricate architectural details of 49 Chambers Street. The grand banking hall has been converted to retail space, and Gabellini Sheppard Associates transformed the bank offices into magnificent modern apartments with impressive ceiling heights, open chef's kitchens, luxe master suites, and sweeping views of City Hall Park and the Manhattan skyline. A luxurious amenities suite features a sprawling rooftop park with grilling, dining, and lounge areas, an indoor swimming pool, a spa area with sauna, steam room, and hammam, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a lounge, and a screening room.

2 Park Place
Architecture by Cass Gilbert | Developed by Alchemy Properties

60 stories | 33 units

2-Park-Place-1 The Woolworth Tower via Sotheby's
2-Park-Place-2 Image of The Pinnacle via Williams New York
2-Park-Place-3 Pool via Sotheby's
(credit Williams New York)
The Woolworth Tower may have lost its status as the tallest building in New York after less than 20 years, but this Neo-Gothic tower's luster as one of the city's most famous and attractive buildings has yet to diminish, if it ever will at all. First-ever Pritzker Prize laureate Philip Johnson named it as his favorite skyscraper, and many New Yorkers as well as architecture enthusiasts the world over would agree.

More than 100 years after the tower was commissioned, the five-and-dime offices were transformed into opulent apartments. All units start on the 29th floor and feature interiors by Thierry Despont. No more than two units per floor offer optimal privacy, and some lucky residents enjoy private terraces, a look at the building's famous terra cotta niches, or both. The basement pool was originally commissioned for Frank F.W. Woolworth, and additional amenities include a wine cellar and tasting room, a 29th-story lounge, and a 30th-story fitness center.

Architecture by Warren & Wetmore | Developed by JDS Development Group, Property Markets Group, and Spruce Capital Partners
91 stories | 60 units

111-West-57th-Street-04 Rendering of Steinway Hall courtesyof Hayes Davidson
111-West-57th-Street-2 Landmark Penthouse Great Room
111-West-57th-Street-3 Port cochere
111-West-57th-Street-1 All images of 111 West 57th Street via JDS Development Group
Along Billionaires' Row, many have lamented the demolition of West 57th Street's historic architecture to make way for glassy supertalls that reshape the skyline and that only the uber-wealthy can afford to live in. JDS Development Group, Property Markets Group, and Spruce Capital Partners, however, were able to skirt such criticism by incorporating the landmarked Steinway Hall, home of the iconic piano manufacturer, into the soaring new tower designed by SHoP Architects by having it serve as the arrival point. As the 28th-tallest building on the planet rose, the original building's limestone facade was restored to its former glory.

It has been said that Frederick T. Steinway hoped to establish his private residence in Steinway Hall, and we can only speculate on which impresario will move into these spectacular apartments with interiors by Studio Sofield that feature soaring ceilings and high-end finishes. All residents will be greeted by a private port-cochere and opulently finished lobby featuring original end-grain wood floors from Steinway Hall. Amenities include a double-height fitness center with terrace, 82' indoor pool with cabanas, spa area with sauna, dining room and catering kitchen, and lounge with expansive terrace.

100 Barclay Street
Architecture by Ralph Walker | Developed by Magnum Real Estate Group and CIM Group

32 stories | 158 units

100-Barclay-Street-1 All images of One Hundred Barclay via Rise Media
100-Barclay-Street-2 Living room
100-Barclay-Street-3 Private terrace
New York's first Art Deco skyscraper has alternately been known as the Barclay-Vesey Building, the New York Telephone Building, and the Verizon Building before its conversion to highly coveted Tribeca condos. In any incarnation, the bold profile, blunt setbacks, and intricate ornamentation were instrumental in its designation as a New York City landmark in 1999 and naming to the National Register of Historic Places in 2009. The original lobby, elevator areas, and murals showing advances in communication were carefully restored before the condo conversion began.

The apartments feature more than 92 unique floor plans, yet have soaring ceilings, double-hung casement windows, and high-end appliances and finishes in common. This well-staffed building's 40,000+ square feet of residential amenities gives it Tribeca's largest amenity offering and include a fitness center, lap pool, sauna and steam room, business center, club lounge, wine room, media room, game room, children's playroom, and music room.

25 Broad Street
Architecture by Clinton & Russell | Developed by LCOR

21 stories | 308 units

25-Broad-Street-1 All images of The Broad Exchange Building via LCOR
25-Broad-Street-2 Apartment interiors
25-Broad-Street-3 Roof terrace
The Broad Exchange Building's Doric columns match those of its neighbor across the street, the New York Stock Exchange. Ornate architectural details like lion's heads, Greek figures, and floral ornamentation were underscored by skyscraper building technology, and the combination conferred a sense of power and prestige to employees of Paine Webber, the investment bank and brokerage it housed. The building was gutted and renovated into rentals in 1997, and CetraRuddy and Hoffman Architects worked closely with Landmarks on the conversion to condos. The original entrance was replaced with stainless steel revolving doors, and a 20-story annex was added, but not at the expense of the timeless architecture.

The original lobby ceiling has been refurbished, but the addition of a package room and cold storage area perfectly accommodate today's buyer. Upstairs, all apartments feature spacious floor plans, soaring ceilings, generous closet space, and premium appliances and finishes. Residential amenities include a fitness center and yoga studio, game room, sports simulator, lounge, children's playroom, and roof terrace with grilling and dining areas.

Architecture by McKim, Mead & White | Developed by Peebles Corporation and Elad Group
13 stories | 160 units

108-Leonard-Street-1 All images of 108 Leonard Street via Douglas Elliman
108-Leonard-Street-2 Living room
108-Leonard-Street-3 Wine cellar and private dining room
The time has come for the Renaissance Revival-style building at 108 Leonard Street, also known as "the Clock Tower Building" or "New York's Big Ben" because of its prominent clock tower. Additional architectural features on this New York City landmark include 7,000-pound carved eagles and a grand entrance with arches and columns. When the onetime New York Insurance Company headquarters was converted to condos, HLZA and Catherine Lane meticulously restored these details along with the rest of the famous facade.

The newly created residences feature interiors by Jeffrey Beers International, thoughtful layouts, dramatic windows, bold entrance doorways, and soaring ceilings. Over 20,000 square feet of amenities include a wine cellar with private dining room and lounge, a fitness center, a lap pool, a spa and sauna area, and private indoor motor reception area.

Conversions Coming Soon

730 Fifth Avenue
Architecture by Warren & Wetmore | Developed by OKO Group

25 stories | 22 units | Opening estimated for 2020

730-Fifth-Avenue-1 Rendering via Aman Resorts

Architecture by Ralph Walker | Developed by Macklowe Properties
50 stories | 556 units | Completion estimated for late 2019

1-Wall-Street-1 One Wall Street renderings via DBOX

303 Park Avenue
Architecture by Schultze & Weaver | Developed by Anbang International (US), a subsidiary of Dajia

42 stories | 375 units | Sales launch planned for early 2020

100-East-50th-Street-1 Rendering via Noe & Associates
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