Landmark West

Landmark West An architecture & culture non-profit doing education, research & advocacy on the Upper West Side.

It's  ! That means it's the most generous day of the year, when neighbors and friends like you support the organizations...
11/28/2023

It's ! That means it's the most generous day of the year, when neighbors and friends like you support the organizations and causes that mean the most to you. We rely on your support at Landmark West! to sustain our work, from our youth education program (always free for public schools) to our research into buildings (check out our ongoing Broadway series) and, of course, our advocacy work to help ensure the neighborhood's history and character is honored. Please consider becoming a member today, or even renewing or increasing your current support! Head to https://www.landmarkwest.org/membership/ to learn more.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Landmark West! This year, we are thankful for all our wonderful neighbors and membe...
11/23/2023

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Landmark West! This year, we are thankful for all our wonderful neighbors and members who support our education, research, and advocacy work all year round. Wherever you are this year, we hope you have a restful day.

Happy  ! What better way to celebrate than with this lush autumnal display on West 68th Street? This 1896 Renaissance Re...
11/16/2023

Happy ! What better way to celebrate than with this lush autumnal display on West 68th Street? This 1896 Renaissance Revival brownstone was designed by George F. Pelham, and is still a gem of this tree-lined block.

Event alert! Join us tomorrow, November 15th, at 5 pm on Zoom for "Cornelius Vanderbilt and the Lady Brokers!" In 1868, ...
11/14/2023

Event alert! Join us tomorrow, November 15th, at 5 pm on Zoom for "Cornelius Vanderbilt and the Lady Brokers!"

In 1868, a spirit’s guiding hand led two sisters to New York City, to a home on beautiful Washington Square--an address reserved for the elite of the Gilded Age. Behind its doors lived the richest man in America, Cornelius Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt sized up the ladies, Victoria Woodhull and Tennie Claflin, as sophisticated and savvy and, perhaps surprisingly for someone of his social circle, took them under his wing. Woodhull tended his spiritual needs, which included communing with his dead mother. Claflin attended to other desires. In return, Vanderbilt tutored his new friends in the ways of Wall Street.

Thus began a relationship that lasted until Vanderbilt died nine years later – and even followed him into the grave. With their patron’s support, the sisters opened a brokerage firm on Broad Street, becoming the “Lady Brokers.” Next, Vanderbilt funded their journal, Woodhull & Clafin’s Weekly. And with that foundation, both sisters began political careers, with Woodhull revolutionizing the women’s suffrage movement and running for president of the United States.

In what is clearly a tale that must be heard straight from the author of A Dirty Year: S*x, Suffrage, and Scandal in Gilded Age New York, Bill Greer traces for us the tumultuous relationship between the sisters and their patron, a relationship that launched Woodhull on her path to becoming “the best known woman in America” and “the most remarkable woman of the age.” And who, along the way, generated one of the greatest s*x scandals in Gilded Age history.

Tickets are FREE for LW! members! Find them here: https://landmarkwest.ticketspice.com/vanderbilt-and-the-lady-brokers-

EVENT! Thursday, 9th November. The sinking of the "unsinkable" R.M.S. Titanic on April 14, 1912, during her maiden voyag...
11/07/2023

EVENT! Thursday, 9th November.

The sinking of the "unsinkable" R.M.S. Titanic on April 14, 1912, during her maiden voyage, was one of the most dramatic events of the 20th century.

Despite being lost for over a century, in 1985 the Titanic was finally discovered in the North Atlantic and in 1998 a 20-ton hull fragment was brought up from the wreck site.

EverGreene Architectural Arts spearheaded the conservation efforts of the Big Piece and Kelly Caldwell, Director of Conservation, delivers the fascinating photos and details of this incredible conservation journey, including stabilization and treatments for a 17-ton hull fragment. She'll also share many artifacts recovered during the eight separate research and recovery expeditions.

🎟️This Thursday, Landmark West invites you on a "deep dive" of the remarkable undertaking that returned to the modern world an incredible piece of the legendary Titanic. Click the link in our bio for tickets!

P.S. Non-members: Remember to use your promo code for 50% off if you attended a recent event!

11/02/2023

Dive deep to explore the historic Big Piece of the legendary RMS Titanic with Kelly Caldwell, Director of Conservation, at the Landmark West virtual talk on Thursday, 11/9, via ZOOM at 6:00 PM ET.

This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the recovery of the Big Piece—a remarkable undertaking that returned a piece of the legendary Titanic to the modern world. Kelly will share the fascinating photos and details of this incredible conservation journey, including stabilization and treatments of the 17-ton hull fragment and many of the artifacts recovered during eight separate research and recovery expeditions conducted between 1987 and 2010.

Register today for your ticket here: https://landmarkwest.ticketspice.com/raising-titanic

October is officially over! Thank you so much for following along with our annual series highlighting the stories of dem...
11/01/2023

October is officially over! Thank you so much for following along with our annual series highlighting the stories of demolished and haunted buildings on the Upper West Side. If you enjoyed the journey with us and want to support our year-round research, education, and advocacy work, consider becoming a member today. Click the link to learn more, and stay spooky! https://www.landmarkwest.org/membership/

No one does Halloween better than West 69th Street on the  ! Join us for a spooky walk, and happy trick or treating toni...
10/31/2023

No one does Halloween better than West 69th Street on the ! Join us for a spooky walk, and happy trick or treating tonight!

The 31st marks an ending–the conclusion of our annual necrology visit, and what could be spookier than the living dead? ...
10/31/2023

The 31st marks an ending–the conclusion of our annual necrology visit, and what could be spookier than the living dead? 246 West 80th Street better known as the Broadway Studio Building is actually two structures disguised as one. The southern half (accessed from Broadway) was dedicated to musicians and the northern half (accessed from west 80th Street) was for visual artists. While the Virgil School of Music took the south, artist William Merritt Chase, who founded the Chase School of Art in 1896 moved it here in 1904.

The school of fine arts would come to teach Interior Architecture and Decoration following the addition of instructor Frank Alvah Parsons who would also add design theory and even costume design to the curriculum in his various roles including director of the school. Parsons would continue to direct what was then known as the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts until his death in 1930. To honor his legacy, the school was renamed Parsons School of Design in 1936 and the school remained in the northern portion until the upper floors of the buildings were linked in 1942 for the Robert Louis Stevenson School. The School would fizzle out in scandal a decade later but the artist legacy would endure.

Arts related tenants from the Kuklicke-Stark Academy of Jewelry Art and even a gallery, but all that is coming to an end. Building co-owners Friedland Properties have been decanting tenants and plan to raze this 118-year old store and studio building for something much bigger.

Photo credit to the Office for Metropolitan History (www.MetroHistory.com) They have an amazing selection of historic photos of buildings across the city available on their website- be sure to check them out!

Thank you for joining us all October long for spooky stories of demolished buildings, haunted houses, and Upper West Side ghosts of every kind. Happy Halloween!

Tomorrow is Halloween, and today we have perhaps the greatest fright yet. An edifice by Leopold Eidlitz and Henry Kilbur...
10/30/2023

Tomorrow is Halloween, and today we have perhaps the greatest fright yet. An edifice by Leopold Eidlitz and Henry Kilburn sits in a scary limbo. Begun with an original chapel in 1886 and completed with a church six years later, West Park Presbyterian Church at 86th and Amsterdam has served as a beacon for 132 years and as an individual landmark for the past 12.

Over the years, the church known as “the millionaire’s gateway to heaven” dwindled to a handful of congregants who claim that their sanctuary, the finest extant example of Richardsonian Romanesque Revival remaining in New York City has created a hardship for them. Insisting that the facade is about to crumble and citing decades of deferred maintenance the congregation made a deal with the New York Presbytery to sell the building to a developer. They have applied to the LPC to remove the building’s landmark status due to hardship, so that its demolition may proceed.

There have been several hearings on the issue, all of which have attracted fervent community outpouring. Another public meeting will be held tomorrow to review findings from the LPC’s independent consultants’ reviews of the Prebytery’s claims into needed restoration work. No public testimonies will be presented during the meeting, but the public record will be open for 2 weeks for community input.

The findings may decide the fate of the landmark which served as the inaugural home of God’s Love We Deliver, the sanctuary which served as the incubator for Joe Papp’s Shakespeare Festival, and the altar which hosted the first same-s*x union in New York City.

Let’s hope the LPC sees through the apparition of this hardship and acts in favor of landmarks, and the community, lest they be haunted by a storied ghost of biblical proportions.

Every day in October, we are highlighting haunted or "ghost" buildings on the Upper West Side. Check back tomorrow for one last spooky story!

Today’s ghost still looms over us all. “Orpheus and Apollo” was the first major commissioned piece for Lincoln Center, i...
10/29/2023

Today’s ghost still looms over us all. “Orpheus and Apollo” was the first major commissioned piece for Lincoln Center, intended for the home of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. The architect of David Geffen Hall, originally Philharmonic Hall, Max Abramovitz, recommended Richard Lippold be commissioned to design public art that would accommodate his large foyer. The architect and artist made a fantastic pair, designing space and sculpture that seamlessly complimented each other. Abramovitz, designing an austere and minimalist space, still longed for a sense of tradition in his Brutalist building.

The sculpture represents Apollo, Greek god of the arts, giving his half-human son, Orpheus, the gift of music. Made up of 190 individually hanging plates of highly polished Muntz, a copper alloy, the two large bodies seemed to reach toward each other in an embrace. Drawing the eye upward with its massive scale, the piece emphasized the monumentality of the space and its relationship with the art itself. It was installed in December 1962, 2 months after the Hall was completed.

After 52 years of symbiosis, sculpture and building were separated when “Orpheus and Apollo” was removed from David Geffen Hall; Lincoln Center cited safety concerns. But when they announced plans for the Hall’s recent renovation, the artwork was nowhere to be found. LW! successfully applied for the piece’s inclusion on the Preservation League of New York State’s 2020-2021 “Seven to Save” list, highlighting endangered historic resources throughout the state.

But this ghost was determined to be resurrected. In 2021, Lincoln Center and the Port Authority announced their intention to install the piece in LaGuardia Airport, which was undergoing a transformation of its own. On October 13th, the New York Times announced that the pieces had indeed been installed. While we all mourn the loss of “Orpheus and Apollo’s” original home, we can at least enjoy its golden splendor once again.

October is nearly over, which means it's time to explore one of the most haunted buildings in the city: the Ansonia. Thi...
10/28/2023

October is nearly over, which means it's time to explore one of the most haunted buildings in the city: the Ansonia. This luxurious building began life as a hotel, designed by Paul E. M. Duboy and completed in 1904. It occupies the entire west side of Broadway between 73rd and 74th Streets. The French Beaux-Arts architecture, characterized by balconies, columns, cornices, pediments, and above all formality and elaborate decoration, quickly made it one of the most iconic and recognizable buildings of the neighborhood. It was the largest residential hotel of its day, as well as the first in the city to have air conditioning. Overall, it totalled 550,000 interior square feet, complete with multiple ballrooms and its own art curator.

It also has enough ghost stories to scare even the bravest. One resident reports a ghostly presence attached to an elevator, and has woken up in the middle of the night to a mysterious woman watching over her. Reports of dimming lights and a low, creepy hum in parts of the building are common. The basement seems to be a hotspot for spiritual activity, including a man frequently spotted in the shadows. A student reported seeing the spirit of a man dressed in period clothing in the basement storage for the North Face store, a figure who then vanished into thin air. There is even the story of a ghostly cat, clawing inside the walls.

In the 1970s, Dr. Clifford Bias ( founder of the Universal Spiritualist Association) held mysterious rituals and seances in a chapel off of the main lobby. Could this be the reason for all of the Ansonia’s paranormal activity? The answer is unclear, but one thing is apparent: this iconic building’s mystique on the Upper West Side isn’t going anywhere.

Every day in October, we are highlighting haunted or "ghost" buildings on the Upper West Side. Check back tomorrow and every day this month for more spooky stories! You can always visit our website, www.landmarkwest.org, for more resources and research.

Halloween is just around the corner, and today’s ghost harkens back to a long forgotten past. Join us for the story of t...
10/27/2023

Halloween is just around the corner, and today’s ghost harkens back to a long forgotten past. Join us for the story of the Clendening Home, one of the Upper West Side’s lost great estate homes. The home sat on Bloomingdale Hill, on the modern day crossing of 104th Street and Columbus Avenue. It was the home of John Clendening, a wealthy merchant who owned large swaths of farmland surrounding the estate.

“Sharon Farm” was purchased in several large chunks in 1808, 1814, and 1832. The house had been built by 1819, and itself sat back 250 feet from Clendening Lane. This aptly named road once ran from present day 103rd and Broadway to 105th and Central Park West.

Clendening Home’s rural splendor can be seen in a Valentine’s Manual image from 1863 (note the incorrectly labeled address!). Its agrarian surroundings remained intact for many years; Clendening himself died in 1836, and his funeral was held at his home. While he might have left the estate intact at the time, its time was soon up.

The farm lost a lot of money when the 2nd United States Bank failed in 1841, and it was subsequently seized and parceled off in 1844 to make up for the financial losses. These parcels were sold off the following year, and the home eventually gave way to the city’s expanding grid and modern encroachments.

Every day in October, we are highlighting haunted or "ghost" buildings on the Upper West Side. Check back tomorrow and every day this month for more spooky stories! You can always visit our website, www.landmarkwest.org, for more resources and research.

These fall days are getting shorter and colder, so let’s settle in for an unsettling unsolved murder. Today’s story is a...
10/26/2023

These fall days are getting shorter and colder, so let’s settle in for an unsettling unsolved murder. Today’s story is all about the Robert Ray Hamilton Fountain in Riverside Park. This marble beauty is one of the city’s last remaining horse troughs, a ghost of a bygone era.

Robert Ray Hamilton was born in 1851, the great-grandson of famous forebears Alexander and Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton. He was a practicing lawyer, Columbia trained, and later a member of the State Assembly. In the early 1900s, he gave the city $9,000 to create this sculpture. Designed by architect and artist team Warren & Wetmore in 1906, it has a baroque style entirely carved of Tennessee marble. Its many adornments include various creatures, including a majestic eagle perched atop the fountain, overlooking its users and admirers. The piece was largely restored in 2009.

Though Hamilton’s fountain has enchanted New Yorkers for over a century, the man is perhaps better known for the scandals that shadowed his life, and for the mysterious circumstances of his death. He eventually married Evangeline Mann, a pr******te and cunning con artist who purchased multiple babies from a baby farm in efforts to entrap him into matrimony. She later went to prison for stabbing the baby’s nurse, and their divorce captivated tabloid headlines for months.

Hamilton spent the rest of his days at a ranch in Idaho; to escape the overwhelming press in New York, he bought a half interest there alongside John B. Sargent. He vanished in 1890, his body later found in the Snake River. Sargent was immediately suspected of the crime, but was soon declared insane and never faced prosecution. Hamilton’s murder was never solved.

Every day in October, we are highlighting haunted or "ghost" buildings on the Upper West Side. Check back tomorrow and every day this month for more spooky stories! You can always visit our website, www.landmarkwest.org, for more resources and research.

St Agnes Church, once on the intersection of Amsterdam Avenue and 91st, was built as a chapel, part of the larger Trinit...
10/25/2023

St Agnes Church, once on the intersection of Amsterdam Avenue and 91st, was built as a chapel, part of the larger Trinity Church Parish, intended to meet the needs of uptown parishioners. The word chapel we associate with small, quaint and humble. This was not the case with the complex of buildings Victorian architect William A. Potter was commissioned to design. The suite of buildings included the church, a morning chapel, a parish house and a rectory.

Potter, known for his Gothic creations, tried his hand at an elevated Romanesque design, inspired by the works of H. H. Richardson. The New York Times in 1892 described it as the finest of the Trinity Parish churches, barring the cathedral itself. Controversially, his brother, Bishop Henry Codman Potter, oversaw the construction.

The church was host for a number of ceremonies, but none matched the funeral of the tragic figure, Mrs Eugenia Ga***rd. A former Countess de Cenola and wife of a prominent New York businessmen, she was a devout congregant of St Agnes and popular Upper West Side socialite. The Financial Panic of 1907 left her penniless, seeking help from friends and various welfare organizations who grew frustrated with her to the point where they ‘no longer knew or cared where she lived’, reported the New York Times. She died of pneumonia in 1931 and a small funeral was held in St. Agnes.

With a dwindling congregation and financial hardship, in 1943 the church transferred property rights to the next door Trinity School, a private institution for boys. The school immediately sold off everything in the buildings from the high altar and stained glass windows to the organs and hymnals, and the magnificent romanesque complex of buildings was eventually demolished in 1944. Only the parish house remained, remodeled into classrooms and later designated by the LPC along with the school as an Individual Landmark.

Thanks to research conducted by Tom Miller, and to the Museum of the City of New York for the photos.

A ghost of the silver screen haunts today’s building. 266 West End Avenue is  French Renaissance Revival beauty, a study...
10/24/2023

A ghost of the silver screen haunts today’s building. 266 West End Avenue is French Renaissance Revival beauty, a study in delicacy among the Upper West Side’s 19th century preponderance for bold Victorian architecture. It was designed by Mexican-born architect Rudolphe Daus in 1896, with a facade decorated with two balconies and a lacy dormer window extending from a tiled roof. Elaborate carvings around the entrance also lent it an ornate air.

The interior of 266 West End Avenue rivaled its facade’s fancy. Carved woodwork, paintings on the ceilings and walls, and stenciled panels filled its fine rooms. Though originally built for Julius N. Jaros, a wine importer, the building would change ownership several times over the years before its ghostly tale began. Rumor has it that 266 West End Avenue is haunted by none other than Mae West, one of Hollywood’s most famous sirens.

West was born in Brooklyn in 1893, before the 5 boroughs were officially incorporated. After establishing a successful and controversial career as a playwright, actress, and vaudeville performer, she transitioned her career to the screen and moved to Los Angeles, which was her primary residence for the rest of her life. But in the 1920s and 30s, she reportedly lived in the elegant West End Avenue rowhome with her sister Beverly. In 1993, the New York Times reported on an old legend, that her ghost lingers on in this place. Perhaps such gilded glamor can transcend even death.

Every day in October, we are highlighting haunted or "ghost" buildings on the Upper West Side. Check back tomorrow and every day this month for more spooky stories! You can always visit our website, www.landmarkwest.org, for more resources and research into the Upper West Side's lost stories.

Today’s ghost has haunted Amsterdam Avenue since 1940. Between 92nd and 93rd Streets lies the specter of the Methodist E...
10/23/2023

Today’s ghost has haunted Amsterdam Avenue since 1940. Between 92nd and 93rd Streets lies the specter of the Methodist Episcopal Home for the Aged, a 19th century nursing home for elderly people facing the grim alternative of an almshouse.

In 1850, the Ladies Aid Society was formed by various members of the Methodist Church to address that great need of providing housing and support for women growing old in a world that gave most of its resources to the wealthy. By 1884, they had purchased 8 lots of Amsterdam to build a permanent home. The large brick building opened in October 1886, home on rocky high ground that gave residents views of the Hudson River and Palisades beyond. In addition to 120 sleeping rooms, Methodist Episcopal Home also contained a large chapel, dining rooms, parlors, a reading room, and even a basement smoking room for men.

The Home spent several decades here before eventually relocating further uptown in 1929. Original plans to sell the property were thwarted by the arrival of the Great Depression, and the Methodists instead leased it out for many years. In 1940, it was finally sold; new owners Francis J. Kleban and Milton R. Leader demolished it that year to build two new apartment buildings, complete with elevators.

Photo credit to the Office for Metropolitan History (MetroHistory.com) They have an amazing selection of historic photos of buildings across the city available on their website- be sure to check them out!

Every day in October, we are highlighting haunted or "ghost" buildings on the Upper West Side. Check back tomorrow and every day this month for more spooky stories! You can always visit our website, www.landmarkwest.org, for more resources and research into the Upper West Side's lost stories.

Our spooky series continues with another haunted beauty. The Hotel des Artistes, located on West 67th Street between Col...
10/22/2023

Our spooky series continues with another haunted beauty. The Hotel des Artistes, located on West 67th Street between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West, was built in 1917 and designed by architect George M. Pollard in a Gothic Revival style. The original hotel had a pool, multiple ballrooms, rooftop squash courts, a gym, a restaurant, and even private dumbwaiters for guests. That luxury belied a dark and haunted history.

The former hotel has seen its fair share of tragedy over the years. In 1929, the writer Harry Crosby killed himself and his mistress Josephine Bigelow in one of the studios in a potential su***de pact. Many ghosts have been sighted throughout the building, including James Dean, who owned an apartment on the second floor until his sudden death in 1955. Many residents have also seen Rudolph Valentino, an Italian actor, wandering the halls and appearing in mirrors. The scent of his exotic cologne often lingers in mysterious places. If you ever find yourself in the Hotel des Artistes and feel a disembodied touch, just know that you may be in the middle of a long history of hauntings.

Every day in October, we are highlighting haunted or "ghost" buildings on the Upper West Side. Check back tomorrow and every day this month for more spooky stories! You can always visit our website, www.landmarkwest.org, for more resources and research into the Upper West Side's lost stories.

For today’s necrology, we’re bringing you a little known story about a small but mighty neighborhood that once thrived, ...
10/21/2023

For today’s necrology, we’re bringing you a little known story about a small but mighty neighborhood that once thrived, only for a short period of time, at the very border of our district.

This place of lawlessness was partly contained within the boundaries of Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue on 110th Street, also known as Cathedral Parkway, and records show it lasted for a period of maybe less than 5 years. What began as a popular social hub for ‘wheelmen’ or cyclists, to take a rest while cycling a well known route on the Boulevard (now Broadway), devolved into a den of iniquity with the establishment of casinos, taverns, dance halls and ‘resorts’, as most establishments were known as, and commercial s*x was found predominantly north of 96th street during the first decade of the 20th century, and beneath the elevated tracks on 110th Street.

A hard fought battle ensued between the proprietors of ‘resorts’ and the wealthy elite of the neighborhood, who organized themselves into a group named the Riverside and Morningside Heights Association, and utilized the law to its fullest extent in order to rid the block of these disreputable places.
Many of the original wood-frame buildings on the block are now gone, eviction notices led to the construction of larger residential apartments which were on the rise in the area around the late 1900s and beyond. One wood-frame building lasted longer than the others, located at 542 West 110th Street aka 242 West 110th Street. Iconic urban photographer Berenice Abbott recorded the two-story building in 1938 as part of the Federal Art Project under the Works Progress Administration (WPA). It was eventually demolished sometime between 1945 and 1955.

IMAGE 1: Row of wood-frame houses on 110th Street before demolition. Image courtesy of Real Estate Record and Building Guide, March 11, 1911
IMAGE 2: Last surviving wood-frame house from this neighborhood, demolished sometime between 1945-1955. Image courtesy of www.metrohistory.com, 1945

Today, the area between West 65th and 66th Streets, and West End and Amsterdam Avenues is home to Martin Luther King Jr....
10/20/2023

Today, the area between West 65th and 66th Streets, and West End and Amsterdam Avenues is home to Martin Luther King Jr. High School Educational Complex. Prior to the campus’s construction in 1969, however, the area was a part of the West Side’s industrial landscape.

In the mid 19th century, the area that would become San Juan Hill was largely defined by “nuisance” institutions– structures meant to facilitate operations considered undesirous near human inhabitation. On the West Side, this included “bone-black” manufacturers, who transformed animal bone into charcoal, a lime kiln factory, and slaughterhouses. Around 1862, the Manhattan Gas Light Company constructed six large tanks to distribute illuminant gas above Grand and Canal Streets. Surrounding the tanks were single-family dwellings, mostly frame construction.

By 1879, additional buildings had been added to the block to support the manufacturer. Still, few other buildings were in the area. In 1883, all independent gas companies merged to become the Consolidated Gas Company of New York, today more popularly known as “Con Ed.” It was not until about 1890 that the neighborhood had become densely developed, with rowhouses replacing formerly frame farm homes. Some more precarious, informal housing existed on the block for an unknown period of time; photos from 1904 show “squatters cottages” on the lots, which appear to have been constructed with ad hoc materials. By 1907, two much larger tanks were added to the site, and in 1917, the initial tanks were removed, replaced by a row of one-story fireproof garages. Over the coming decades, more structures were added to the site to facilitate the work.

The block came under plans for the Lincoln Square Urban Renewal Area, and the remaining cottages were demolished. After much delayed construction, the Martin Luther King Jr. High School was opened in 1975.

Photo credits to the New-York Historical Society and Library of Congress.

10/20/2023
Is there something strange in your neighborhood? Who ya gonna call? LANDMARK WEST! One of the Upper West Side’s most ico...
10/19/2023

Is there something strange in your neighborhood? Who ya gonna call? LANDMARK WEST!

One of the Upper West Side’s most iconic buildings sits between 65th and 66th Streets at 55 Central Park West. Besides being an iconic feature of the Central Park West Historic District, it is perhaps best known for being the climatic setting of the 1984 film “Ghostbusters.” Spook Central was designed in 1929 by Schwartzman & Gross (no, not the insane Ivo Shandor). The architecture style was built to emphasize Art Deco forms, not to pull in a concentrating spiritual turbulence. In fact, it was the first fully Art Deco building on the street, featuring terracotta decorations, huge fluted projections on the base, heavy vertical lines, and changing color as it rises up. It was made a New York City landmark in 1990, 8 years after its historic district, of which it is a contributing structure, was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Many prominent New Yorkers have passed through its doors. Famous residents of 55 Central Park West include Ginger Rogers, Donna Karan, Zuul the Gatekeeper, and Vinz Clortho the Keymaster.

Every day in October, we are highlighting haunted or "ghost" buildings on the Upper West Side. Check back tomorrow and every day this month for more spooky stories! You can always visit our website, www.landmarkwest.org, for more resources and research into the Upper West Side's lost stories. Stay puffed!

This past Saturday, LANDMARK WEST! was invited to attend an event at 370 Riverside Drive to celebrate not only the birth...
10/18/2023

This past Saturday, LANDMARK WEST! was invited to attend an event at 370 Riverside Drive to celebrate not only the birthday of Hannah Arendt, but to see the recently installed medallion honoring her memory and work at a time when she lived in the landmarked building. Arendt lived in apartment 12A with her husband, Heinrich Blucher, for much of her active public and political life. She is celebrated as being one of the most influential political thinkers of the 20th century, mostly in her later years. Having fled N**i Germany and eventually settling down in New York, she led a fascinating and complex public and personal life. She wrote several books, including the controversial yet triumphant 'Eichmann in Jerusalem' (1963).

The brilliant event was organized by Glen Leiner and included talks by the president of Bard College, Leon Botstein, author Jim Mackin, author Barbara von Bechtolsheim, and cinematographer Peter Stein, who displayed the photographic works of his father, Fred Stein, in the lobby. One of Stein’s most notable photographs was of Arendt.

The medallion honoring Arendt was made possible by the support of the Historic Landmarks Preservation Center and its Chair, Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, and permanently installed in 2023. Samantha Hill created a walking tour of sites of significance related to Hannah Arendt for the Goethe Institute, which can be followed at this link: https://ow.ly/S3wy50PYa0j.

Address

45 W 67th Street
New York, NY
10023

Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 6pm
Tuesday 9am - 6pm
Wednesday 9am - 6pm
Thursday 9am - 6pm
Friday 9am - 6pm

Telephone

(212) 496-8110

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https://linktr.ee/landmarkwest

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