By Carter B. Horsley
Construction on this attractive, 27-story,
midblock, apartment tower began in 2004 on the former site of
the Coronet and Baronet movie theaters across from Bloomingdale's
on Third Avenue between 59th and 60th Streets.
The two demolished theaters were just to the south of Cinema 1
and Cinema II, midblock theaters that still survive.
In their excellent book, "The A.I.A. Guide to New York City,
Fourth Edition," (Three Rivers Press, 2000), Elliot Willensky
and Norval White observed that at Cinema 1 and Cinema 2, which
each had their own marquee beneath a two-story-high blue-mosaic
wall, "Modern architecture met the movies for the first time
(in New York)." The buildings opened in 1962 and were designed
by Abraham W. Geller & Associates. "A duplex that has
since become a triplex, it was at first a piggyback pair. Geller
and his wife, who did the interiors, produced a simple elegance
with counterpoints of rich paintings and graphics. Now shopworn
and somewhat degraded within," Mr. Willensky and Mr. White
The Baronet and Coronet Theaters on this site opened a few years
after Cinema I and Cinema II and were flashier in style although
about the same size. The four theaters combined with three other
individual movie theaters within two blocks made this area a pretty
substantial entertainment district. Coupled with the fact that
there are many restaurants on 58th Street one block to the south
and Serendipity, the dessert emporium and store, around the corner
on 60th Street, this would be a bustling location even if Bloomingdale's
were not across the street.
The full block south of Bloomingdale's was
for many years occupied by Alexander's department store, which
was demolished by Vornado Realty Trust and replaced by One Beacon
Court, a silvery and sparkling mixed-use skyscraper designed by
Cesar Pelli & Associates that is one of the tallest buildings
While Third Avenue to the north has been largely populated by
tall luxury apartment towers in the sixties and seventies, this
important corner of the Midtown District had been something of
an anomaly because of the long-closed Alexander's store and the
general blandness of much of the Bloomingdale's exterior.
This 62-unit condominium project, which also
has the address of 993-7 Third Avenue, was developed by The Zucker
Company, which has erected major residential towers at 30 East
85th Street and also at 34th Street and First Avenue.
The first two floors of this L-shaped salmon-colored brick building
are retail and the third floor is a fitness center.
Designed by Richard Dattner, the architect of the handsome 72nd
Street Broadway subway pavilion and the wonderful Public School
234 in TriBeCa, this building has curved facades and a "pooch
park" for dogs as part of a 5,795-square foot outdoor area
with views of the Queensborough Bridge to the east on the fifth
floor landscaped by Thomas Balsey Associates.
Storage space is available for residents in the cellar for about
$500 a square foot and each apartment has a remote-controlled
gas-burning fireplace and at least one balcony.
Two apartments on every floor have solariums and living rooms
on odd-numbered floors have ceilings that are 20 feet 8 inches
There are 21 one-bedroom units, 30 two-bedroom units and 10 three-bedroom
units priced from about $1,500,000 to more than $3,000,000. The
penthouse contains 2,706 square feet.
The building entrance on 59th Street is narrow and has a glass
canopy supported by thick stainless steel pipes that conjure a
goliath's jungle-gym. The entrance has sliding doors and a wall
of water cascading down striated slate stones with bamboo trees.
The lobby's floor is golden granite and three columns in the lobby
are wrapped with steel mesh and the ceiling has have back-lit
white onyx panels. The curved concierge desk is in front of a
curtain of stainless steel beads. Other features include a tiered
mahogany-decked verandah with Asian-themed landscaping and shaded