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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)

Claridge's at 101 West 55th Street: Review and Ratings

Carter Horsley
Review of 101 West 55th Street 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 rental apartment building at 101 West 55th Street occupies the full western blockfront on the Avenue of the Americas between 55th and 56th Streets.

The building, which is known as Claridge’s, was erected in 1925 and designed by Carrere & Hastings. Its lobby was redesigned by Paul Rudolph in 1994.

The 15-story building is owned by Donald Zucker.  It has 162 apartments now and had 134 originally.

Bottom Line

The building, which looks like a very elegant transplant from Park Avenue or West End Avenue, has a prime midtown location close to many famous landmarks, Carnegie Hall and some of the city’s spectacular “super-talls.”


 

Description

It has a four-story, limestone base, three floors of which are rusticated.  There are some arched windows on the third floor and the limestone façade extends only to the third floor in the center of the building’s avenue frontage.

It has dark brown-brick façades with several bandcourses and it is topped by a small, nice cornice. While the building does not have too much decoration, the corners have very large masonry quoins that are very attractive and the building still has multi-paned windows.

Its side-street entrance has a large and impressive fan-shaped glass marquee.

Thermopane windows and new elevators were installed in 2001. It has some discrete air-conditioners.


 

Amenities

The building has a 24-hour doorman, a concierge, a fitness center, a garage, a landscaped courtyard, a live-in superintendent, and video security.

It does not permit pets.


 

Apartments

Some apartments have fireplaces.

There are 11 apartments a floor.

Kitchens have GE appliances. Apartments have 9-story ceilings and marble baths and some have fireplaces.

The K line on the 4th through the 15th floors is a two-bedroom unit with an entry foyer that leads to a 23-foot-long living room and a 15-foot-long dining alcove next to an enclosed, 8-foot-long kitchen.  The master bedroom is 25 feet long.

The E line on the 4th through the 15th floors is a two-bedroom unit with an octagonal, 8-foot-wide, entrance gallery that leads to a 20-foot-long living room that opens onto a 12-foot-long windowed dining room next to an enclosed 7-foot-long kitchen.

The J line on the 4th through the 15th floors is a two-bedroom unit with an angled 8-foot-long entrance gallery that leads to a 23-foot-long living room with a fireplace and an 11-foot-long open, windowed dining room next to an 8-foot-long enclosed kitchen.

The D line on the 4th through the 15th floors has a 9-foot-long entrance gallery that leads to a 20-foot-long living room with a fireplace, a 7-foot-long enclosed kitchen and a 25-foot-long bedroom.

The A line on the 4th through the 15th floors is a one-bedroom unit with a 7-foot-long entry gallery that leads to a 22-foot-long living room and a 14-foot-long enclosed kitchen.


 

History

Mr. Zucker acquired the building from Barclay’s Bank.

In the 1960’s it had been leased by the Goldman-DiLorenzo real estate interests to a British development company, London Merchants Securities Ltd., which had been a joint venture with the General Motors Corporation on the GM Building on Fifth Avenue at 59th Street.

According to a January 25, 1978 article in The New York Times by Alan Oser, the British group had an arrangement with St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue to buy a site where it had a school, but “the main problem turned out to be relocating tenants….The process of totally clearing the building took six years, during which the office-leasing market sharply declined.  When 80 tenants fought the eviction process in the Department of Rent and Housing Maintenance, the Rent Commission ruled that the property was ‘not a valid construction site’ because of office overbuilding.  Rather than challenge the finding in court and filing for court action of eviction, the developers began negotiations on an apartment project for the site.  In the end, said Mrs. Cecilia Benattar, chief American and Canadian representative of London Merchant Securities, it was necessary to settle individually with the80 holdouts. Some of them are understood to have received more than $30,000 to vacate…Ultimately, the property…went back to the original owner, who restored the apartments and re-rented them.”

Schuman, Lichtenstein, Claman & Efron was the architect for Mr.  Zucker.


 

Location

It is a few blocks north of Rockefeller Center and the former CBS Building, and is on the same block as the very tall, mixed-use skyscraper known as CitySpire and the City Center for the Performing Arts. It is just a few blocks from Central Park and Carnegie Hall.

A supermarket is across the avenue and there are many restaurants in this area as well as a Rizzoli book store, the Arts Students League and famous New York hotels like the Plaza, the St. Regis and the Peninsula.

Public transportation is excellent although there is considerable traffic.


 

Key Details