By Carter B. Horsley
The Lincoln Center for The
Performing Arts was planned not only to create a major new cultural
center for the city but also as an important urban renewal project
for the Upper West Side.
Two of the most important major
private projects to be developed in the area after the center
opened were built by the Milstein Organization, this building
and the 40-story tower at One Lincoln Plaza at 20 West 64th Street.
Both were major apartment buildings
facing the center along the east side of Broadway. Both were designed
by Philip Birnbaum and generated considerable controversy when
they wre built because of their large size and their design.
This was the second of the
Both the Milstein buildings
are interesting and not without their urbanistic virtues, even
if they are not masterpieces. They both have high arcades along
Broadway and towers that maintain the angled "street-wall"
of Broadway. They also both have fairly unusually massing by Manhattan
The first building, One Lincoln
Plaza, is a condominium and was erected in 1974. It has a relatively
plain facade that is patterned with vertical accents with beige
and dark brown bricks.
This beige-brick building is
far more complex as its Broadway facade is divided, above the
arcaded base, into six rounded piers that provide many bay windows,
probably more than on any other residential building in the city.
While the proportions and quality
of finish are not highly refined, the overall form is interesting
and a good contributor to the architectural eccentricity of the
area, especially since it is not far from the Century apartment
building on Central Park West that has some rounded forms at the
rear of its twin towers.
While this building cannot
compare with the architecturally distinguished bundled cylindrical
form of the Corinthian apartment tower at First Avenue and 38th
Street, and that of Lincoln Plaza Tower at 44 West 62nd Street,
it has a much more desirable location and is significantly better
than many other projects of its era. If it were clad in reflective
glass and had bay windows also on its south side and a slightly
taller profile, it would be one of the city's more impressive
Its arcade has lively retail
activity that includes a small but excellent magazine store and
a cineplex. The middle of the arcade has a broad entrance to the
development's large and attractive mid-block plaza that is lushly
landscaped and has a water element. Despite the fact that much
of the plaza is often in the project's own shadow in the afternoon,
it is one of the more popular in the city and a surprising and
quiet oasis in this quite busy neighborhood.
The 33-story building was erected
in 1980 and there are 21 apartments on most floors. There is a
doorman and concierge, a garage, a driveway, a bicycle room, valet
service and laundry facilities on every floor. The building has
discrete air-conditioners and consistent fenestration. The building
is also known as 1884 Broadway, 21 West 62nd Street and 22 West
This neighborhood has been
steadily improving and offers convenient public transportation
and an abundance of restaurants and excellent shopping.
Central Park is a block away
to the east.