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

515 Park Avenue

Between East 59th Street & East 60th Street

88
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.
 

515 Park Avenue is the tallest residential building on Park Avenue above 59th Street.

It is a slim, 43-story tower, which was completed in 2000 and was developed by the Zeckendorf General Partnership and the Whitehall Real Estate Fund.

It has only 38 apartments.

The building was designed by Frank Williams & Associates and replaced a pre-war, Italian Renaissance-palazzo style building.

Bottom Line

The limestone, cast stone and beige-brick tower is a Post-Modern design that seeks to carry on the avenue's predominantly Italian Renaissance-palazzo tradition, albeit here exploded to a huge scale, affording most apartments above the 15th floor stunning vistas in many directions.

Description

This handsome, spindly tower, which seems taller than 43 stories because it has 10-foot-high ceilings, joined the Four Seasons Hotel nearby on 57th Street between Park and Madison Avenues in giving the district north of 57th Street a new skyline.

It is set back only on the north and west sides at the 15th, 33rd and 43rd floors resulting in what Robert A. M. Stern, David Fishman and Jacob Tilove described in their excellent book, "New York 2000, Architecture and Urbanism Between The Bicentennial And The Millennium" (The Monacelli Press, 2006), as an "awkward silhouette."

"The detailing was heavy-handed, with cast-stone corners, double-height pilasters below each setback, and two cast-stone-clad mechanical equipment enclosures set atop the building. In terms of sheer space, however," the authors continued, "the interior left little to be desired....The second floor provided ten suites for use as servants' quarters, and the basement held fifteen private climate-controlled wine cellars and thirty-eight storage rooms....But for all the luxury (and sales success), the building was deemed a poor addition to Park Avenue. Paul Goldberger found 515 Park to be 'particularly ungainly'" and he found its façade "a pretentious muddle."

Despite its closeness to the Midtown Business District, the location of 515 Park Avenue is relatively quiet, but close to many famous stores, boutiques and restaurants. There is excellent public transportation nearby.

Amenities

The building has a fitness center, wine cellars, and a dining room entered from the lobby that is available for catered affairs, and a residents' only library.

The building also has private storage, a concierge and a doorman.

It is pet friendly and has no roof deck.

Apartments

Apartments have entrance foyers and twelve of the 38 apartments are duplexes.

Apartment 7A is a three-bedroom unit that has a 13-foot-long foyer that leads past an enclosed 14-foot-long kitchen to a 15-foot-square dining room that opens onto a 23-foot-long living room.

Apartment 14 has a 19-foot-long foyer that leads to a 30-foot-long living room, a 20-foot-long dining room, a 13-foot-long breakfast room with an open 16-foot-long kitchen.  The apartment has five bedrooms and a maid’s room.

Apartment 19 is a four-bedroom unit that has a 10-foot-long foyer that leads to a 29-foot-long living room next to the 20-foot-long dining room off the enclosed 19-foot-long kitchen.

History

When two other high-rises, 715 and 900 Park Avenue, broached the avenue's traditional cornice line height about a generation previously, there was considerable controversy over them and their possible deleterious impact on the famous boulevard.

There was no similar outcry, however, about this project, perhaps because it is so close to the midtown business district and also because it is close to the Ritz Tower at 57th Street that for years was the avenue's tallest residential building.

A full-service building with many amenities, this building came onto the market with excellent timing as the demand for large luxury apartments in prime locations pushed prices to record highs in the late 1990s.

The Zeckendorf organization has been one of the city's major developers for many years and in recent decades pioneered the redevelopment of many areas with important projects at Union Square and on Eighth Avenue in Midtown and at 96th Street and Broadway. A few years after they completed this project, they built 15 Central Park West that was designed in Post-Modern style by Robert A. M. Stern.

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