After more than 100 years, you can finally own a home within William Waldorf Astor’s architectural masterpiece.
Formal living and dining rooms and grand entry galleries are unheard of in new developments but come standard at The Apthorp.
Long before there was a Beacon Court, or multi-million-dollar Tribeca lofts, there was one building on West End Avenue that stood tall and proud as the largest and most exclusive apartment building in New York. Named The Apthorp after a close friend of the great William Waldorf Astor, the richest man in the world during the early 20th century, this interpretation of the Pitti Palace was the place to see and be seen in New York. The manifestations of the American Dream and a true sense of promise permeated every street in upper Manhattan. It was the great Gilded Age, where wealth and good fortune combined to create a never-before-seen renaissance of style.
Fast forward to 21st century New York City, where yellow cabs, clean air hybrid electric buses, and a bevy of pedestrians barrel down the Upper West Side streets. The city is now a vertical landscape of massive residential blocks and skyscrapers. But one thing remains the same: The Apthorp’s unmistakable resplendence and sheer presence, stretching from West End Avenue to Broadway and 78th to 79th Streets, taking up a full city block. Through majestic vaulted arches, those passing by still gaze into a massive 12,000-square-foot interior courtyard that is lushly planted with fountains and statues. But what truly sets this piece of New York history apart is its seamless blend of pre-war splendor with the utmost in cutting-edge finishes and appliances-a rare find in any city.
Now undergoing a meticulous restoration, The Apthorp is setting out to reclaim its title as New York’s most prestigious address; modern amenities are being integrated into this turn-of-the-century architectural masterpiece. At the helm of the sales and marketing for these historic condominium homes is Prudential Douglas Elliman. Karen Mansour, Douglas Elliman’s director of sales and marketing, says, “The Apthorp is the preeminent building of the Upper West Side; this is a rare opportunity to own a pre-war, architectural gem of this caliber that’s also a condominium.” When asked to identify the key features that set this building apart from others, Mansour continues, “Nothing about this building is cookie-cutter. All of the units and floor plans are unique; the ceilings soar up to 11 feet, the windows are eight feet high. The volume of space simply stuns visitors. Formal living and dining rooms and grand entry galleries are unheard of in new developments but come standard at The Apthorp. There are only a few buildings in New York that have an inner courtyard, and The Apthorp’s is the most memorable. It just takes your breath away-you feel like you’re in another world!”
To help restore and preserve this landmarked wonder, The Apthorp’s team of developers has enlisted the help of Fernando Papale and Ingrid Birkhofer of BP Architects. “What cannot be restored to its original condition is being expertly reproduced by artisans trained in the unique craft that was typical of the era,” says Birkhofer. This can be seen in plaster ornamentation and Herringbone floors where intricate design details are being painstakingly recreated. In addition, new homes will come equipped with central air conditioning, while powder rooms and bathrooms are enlarged to suit a modern lifestyle. “The fact that we are able to reinstate a magnificent architectural marvel of the ‘New York Golden Age’ and retrofit 21st-century amenities to it without altering or disturbing the architectural language and its value is a true honor to us. There are very few examples, if any, in New York where this challenging approach has been taken,” says Papale. BP Architects are also able to work with new homeowners to create a unique look to their unit. “One of the home buyers is combining two apartments and fitting the bathrooms with sleek, all-glass finishes; it’s the perfect blend of classical and contemporary,” says Papale.
One of the most “haute” homes is 6J-a three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath apartment with northern and southern sun-filled exposures and a garden courtyard view. The home features a formal living room, grand dining room with seven-foot high wainscoting, and a separate library. The residence also boasts three fireplaces (one in each social room), a 22.5-foot-long by 10.5-foot-wide foyer with hand-cut, fully restored mosaic tiles, and superb ornamental detailing throughout, such as carved-wood mantels with plaster details or appliqués. The near 3,100-square-foot residence is offered at $7.5 million.
In all, there are 32 homes-many of which have already been snatched off the market-available in the first offering. These one- to four-bedroom units range in price from $2 million to $15 million. Most homes feature grand foyers with original mosaic tile work combined with modern kitchens and bathrooms and central air-conditioning. Calacatta Gold marble, Nero Marquina, and White Carrara marble finishes seem to effortlessly merge with the period detailing. State-of-the-art kitchens come outfitted with Sub Zero, Wolf, and Miele appliances, while master bedrooms now feature large walk-in closets. All of these trappings come with the priceless perk of owning a piece of New York history perched atop West End Avenue-one of New York’s most prestigious locales.
Historic Condominium Residences
390 West End Ave.
New York, NY 10024