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

15 East 69th Street

At The Northwest corner of Madison Avenue

85
Carter Horsley
Review 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.
 

The handsome, red-brick building at 15 East 69th Street occupies the Madison Avenue blockfront between 69th and 70th Streets along one of the city's most chic stretches. 

It was converted into condominium apartments from a hotel in 1999. It used to be the Westbury Hotel and its last operators were Trust House Forte. 

The 18-story building, which was erected in 1927, has 47 condominium apartments. 

Bottom Line

Sedate but elegant, this building has a superb location along the boutiques of Madison Avenue and is just a few steps from the fabulous Frick Collection and Central Park.

Description

The hotel has a three-story limestone base and limestone quoins and a couple of setbacks. 

It has a large entrance marquee on the sidestreet and another in the center of its frontage on the avenue that regularly had some of its glass broken by trucks.  

This is a very prime retail location and new retail tenants in the building initially included Sulka, Purdy and Alfred Dunhill and later Gucci took over several of the storefronts. 

Amenities

The building has a full-time doorman, a health club, a concierge, a bicycle room and a wine cellar. It also has a double-height lobby.

Apartments

Some apartments have wood-burning fireplaces and elaborate entrances. 

Apartment 4A has a 14-foot-long entrance gallery that leads to a 10-foot-wide foyer that leads to a 27-foot-long gallery that opens onto a 25-foot-wide living room with a wood-burning fireplace, a 16-foot-wide dining room with French doors on two sides, and a 15-foot-wide eat-in kitchen.  The unit has two bedrooms. 

Apartment 4D is a two-bedroom unit with a 28-foot-wide entrance hall that led to an 18-foot-wide living room and a 15-foot-wide dining room opposite an eat-in kitchen.  The apartment also had an 18-foot-long den, 11-foot-long gallery and a 14-foot-long home office. 

Apartment 6D is a two-bedroom unit that has an 11-foot-square entrance foyer that leads to a 14-foot-long gallery that leads to a 22-foot-long living room with a fireplace, a 16-foot-long enclosed dining room and a 14-foot-long enclosed kitchen with a breakfast area. 

Apartment 7C is a two-bedroom unit that has a 13-foot-long entrance foyer that leads to a long gallery to the 34-foot-long living room and the 19-foot-long dining room next to the enclosed kitchen with breakfast room. 

History

As a hotel, it had entrances both on the avenue and the sidestreet, but Chelsfield Westbury LLC, the converter, decided that retail space on the avenue was too valuable to waste on a grand entrance. 

The Westbury's only competition for many years as a deluxe hotel on the Upper East Side was the Carlyle on Madison Avenue at 76th Street and the Stanhope on Fifth Avenue at 81st Street and at the time the developers here decided to convert the property to residential uses the city's hotel market was very, very tight, but so was the residential market. 

The building had an attractive and large restaurant on Madison Avenue, The Polo Bar, which is now closed and the hotel had been popular with some extremely wealthy persons from out-of-town seeking a discreet and quiet ambiance in a great location. 

For many years, the hotel’s small second-floor ballroom was taken over for elegant wine-tastings by Luria-Colony, a liquor and wine store that used to be located further up the avenue and specialized in French burgundies such as Clos de la Roche.

Location

The block between Fifth and Madison Avenues on 70th Street contains not only The Frick Collection, the finest museum in the city, but also had some of the city's top art galleries such as Knoedler and Hirschl-Adler, all in very impressive former mansions. 

There are several good restaurants and many famous boutiques in this neighborhood and there is good bus service. A local subway station is at 67th Street and Lexington Avenue.

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