By Carter B. Horsley
This distinguished, pre-war,
12-story, gray-brick apartment building has 221 rental apartments.
It was designed in 1901 by
Clinton & Russell, the architects also of the great Apthorp
apartment building three blocks to the north on Broadway and an
addition was made to it in 1914 by Peabody, Wilson & Brown.
In their fine book, "The
A. I. A. Guide to New York City, Fourth Edition," (Three
Rivers Press, 2000), Elliot Willensky and Norval White described
this building as "bland but handsome," adding that its
"copper cornice is both potent and elegant."
The use of gray brick is rather
rare in the city and despite the comments of Mr. Willensky and
Mr. White in this instance it is very elegant. With its very attractive
quoins accenting its corners, this is, in fact, a very properly
attired building that any businessman would be proud of.
The building has a two-story
rusticated limestone base, limestone quoins, fireplaces and some
decorative balconies. It has a marquee, a concierge, a one-step-up
entrance, consistent fenestration, protruding air-conditioners,
but no health club, no sidewalk landscaping, no garage and no
roof deck. Furthermore, its massing of two major, 8-story wings
to the south of the 12-story tower gives it the trim but powerful
appearance of a battleship for the more imaginative architecture
It has a fine, central Upper
West Side location that is close to Riverside Park and not too
far north of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.
An express subway station is
nearby at 72nd Street and Broadway and there is excellent local
shopping, including the very crowded and popular Fairway food
market, and many nearby restaurants.
The building is named for its
developer, William Waldorf Astor (1848-1919) who had previously
built the Waldorf Hotel in 1893 and the Astor Hotel in 1904.