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Tuesday / December 12.
HomePosts Tagged "midtown east"

In the shadow of some of the biggest real estate deals in Manhattan stands 417 Park Avenue, a luxury residence that Emery Roth designed a century ago. It is the last of 13 high-end apartment houses that once lined the blocks of Park Avenue between 46th and 57th streets. Now, corporate towers dominate that stretch of the avenue, and residents to the north may soon face lucrative buyout offers from developers.

With its graceful Art Deco spire and mighty eagle hood ornaments, the Chrysler Building has long outshone the taller Empire State Building in aesthetic allure. Designed by William Van Alen and nearing completion in 1930, the Chrysler stood neck-and-neck with its rival, the Manhattan Company Building, for tallest in the world.

(Photo is of photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White atop the Chrysler Building.  c. 1930)

Had a developer proposed building a megatower in the middle of a narrow tree-lined street anywhere else in the five boroughs, he’d be laughed clear across the nearest river.  But the small piece of Manhattan encompassing most of the 50s, east of First Avenue, is the only residential area in the city with no height limits on buildings.  None at all.

ERFA town hall meeting to to oppose megatower invasion of Sutton Place

Hence, Gamma Real Estate’s plan to shoehorn a ludicrous spike smack into the middle of E. 58th Street, just off First.  Although the Kalikow family is trying to portray its massive project as a done deal, it is not quite.

The East River 50s Alliance (ERFA) has submitted a sophisticated rezoning plan for the neighborhood that would impose sane height limits on new construction while promoting more affordable housing than Mayor de Blasio would require under current rules.