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252 East 57th Street

Between Second Avenue & Third Avenue

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.
 

This very handsome, 65-story, residential tower is a project of the World Wide Group and Rose Associates.

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill is the design architect and SLCE is the architect of record.

It has 268 apartments including 95 condominium units that start on the 36th floor and 175 rental units at its base.

The 715-foot-high tower it is distinguished by its scooped-out curves on each major façade.  These curves, furthermore, tilt slightly and widen as they rise and many have light blue glass balconies with rounded sides and railings adjacent to the scooped-out curves.

David Romualdez is the interior designer.

It was scheduled for completion in 2016.

Bottom Line

A subtle and elegant high-rise design with rentals below its condos and with scooped-out curves on its major façades that is only tall rather than super-tall, a rarity for recent projects on 57th Street.

Description

A complex project that began in 2006 and went through a major redesign in late 2013.

The residential entrance on 57th Street has a glass bridge over moving water that leads to a marble-clad lobby with a green wall and a walnut paneled sitting room.

On 56th Street that is a very impressive porte-corchere with an automated parking garage and a large flaring column and radiating ceiling and attended lobby.

The original plan designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill called for a very dramatic tower of a few vertical angles rising from a low-rise base contain a Whole Foods store and two schools.  From some angles, the tower appeared to have an extremely thin and high waist.

The new design is sleeker and much simpler although the shifting placement of the scooped-out curves creates a multitude of floor plans.

The building is just to the west of the High School of Art and Design and not far from Sutton Place and the Roosevelt Island Tram and Bloomingdale's.

Amenities

The building has a doorman, a 18-foot-high lounge on the 34th floor, a gym, a spa with a 75-foot-long swimming pool, two furnished guest suites, a screening room, a billiard room, a children’s playroom, a bicycle room, a driveway, and two schools and a Whole Foods store in its base.

Apartments

Eggersmann Kitchens have white HanStone glass quartz countertops and backsplashes, Miele appliances and walnut cabinetry.  Baths have white Nanoglass walls with walnut vanities and white glasstops.

Apartment A on the 56th and 57th floors is a five-bedroom unit with about 4,970 square feet of interior space and 88 square feet of balcony space.  The 17-foot-long entry gallery leads to a 45-foot-wide living/dining room with a balcony and a large concave window and it connects with a sliding panel to a 23-foot-long kitchen and pantry.  There is also a 17-foot-wide library with a large concave window.

Apartment B on the 60th through the 62nd floors has a 21-foot-long entrance gallery that leads to a 29-foot-long living/dining room with three circular columns, a curved window wall and a small balcony with a rounded side and it is adjacent to an enclosed and windowed kitchen.  The apartment has four bedrooms with a master bedroom with two circular columns and a sitting area with a curved window wall and one of the other bedrooms has a larger curved window wall.

Apartment C on the 51st through the 53rd floors is a three-bedroom unit with about 3,050 square feet and a balcony of about 81 square feet.  It has a 17-foot-long entrance gallery that leads to a 36-foot-wide living/dining room with a balcony and a large concave window and connects with a sliding door to a 21-foot-wide kitchen with an island.

Apartment A on the 36th through the 38th floors has three bedrooms, a 16-foot-long entrance gallery that leads to a 30-foot-long living/dining room with an inwardly curved window wall adjacent to its entrance to the balcony that is curved on one side.  There are two circular columns near the windows in the living room that is adjacent to the enclosed and windowed, 23-foot-long kitchen.

Apartment C on the 36th through the 38th floors is a three-bedroom unit that has a 15-foot-long entrance gallery that leads to a 21-foot-long living/dining room with two circular columns, a small balcony with a curbed side and a pass-through, 13-foot-long kitchen that shares a large curved window wall with the living/dining room.

History

In 2006, the World Wide Group, which had been a co-developer with the Zeckendorf organization of World Wide Plaza on the former Madison Square Garden site between Eighth and Ninth avenues and 49th and 50th Streets, agreed to pay the city $325 million for a 75-year lease on this site and to raze two existing schools on it, PS 59 and the High School of Art and Design, and then build new two schools, its apartment tower with its retail base.

The city agreed to issue about $130 million in bonds to erect the schools but they would be paid back with payments by the developers.

The project was “as-of-right” as far as massing was concerned.

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