October 21, 2020

ARTIFACT: 1947 Picture Postcard


Today's artifact is a postcard picturing the South Park, The Cloister and The Manor, postmarked November 6, 1947.

Detail of the postcard, showing the popularity of the gazebo

On the reverse, the message reads
Dear Emmie, I hope your Thanksgiving is a nice one. I thought you'd enjoy seeing part of the development in which I live. Love, Mary

Addendum at top reads  
This is the adult park in the development. The bldgs in the background are part of the same. [For many years, the South Park was reserved for grown-ups, with children permitted only in the North Park.]

Adding some local cred to the item, the postcard is stamped on the reverse with the name of its publisher: The Windsor Bookshop. Set in No. 5 in the 41st Street cul-de-sac, the shop also sold cards and gifts. 

October 18, 2020

Tudor City and the TV Transmitter

Photo of the day is this striking rendition of the Daily News Building, bathed in klieg lights, topped by a 307-foot-tall transmitter and all the more thrilling given the cameo appearance of the Tudor City Sign, center left.

The date was June 15, 1948; the occasion, a party for the debut of WPIX, the new television station owned by the Daily News, whose call letters were derived from the paper's slogan, "New York's Picture Newspaper."  

There were four hours of programming that first night, including Inquiring Fotographer Jimmy Jemail interviewing VIPs at the door, columnist Ed Sullivan in a remote hookup from the Latin Quarter nightclub, and the first episode of "The Gloria Swanson Hour," a talk show.

The new station was relentlessly promoted in the News, in particular a never-ending slogan contest (at left). For the record, the winning entry was "THE FIRST WORD IN NEWS, THE LAST IN ENTERTAINMENT."

The antenna proved to be a short-lived structure, moved in 1951 to the Empire State Building because it was, well, higher. WPIX still broadcasts from the News Building, now as the East Coast flagship of the CW network.

    No. 45, The Woodstock, the Empire State Building, and the News Building and its antenna, as seen from the East River, circa 1950.

October 14, 2020

Yoga, Anyone?

A yoga interlude today, courtesy of some nimble Instagrammers.  

The Vrikshasana pose on the roof of The Manor, by themanornyc.

Trikonsana atop No. 45, by switchgrassfarmer.

Vrikshasana in the North Park, by tudorcityyoga.

Natarajasana and the Downward-facing Dog atop The Manor, by tudorcityyoga.

Instagrammer tudorcityyoga ‒ aka Stephanie DeYoung ‒ has been offering classes around the enclave, including the roof of The Manor, for several years. For the moment, classes are being held on Zoom, details here

October 11, 2020

REAL ESTATE REPORT: What's Your Apartment Worth?

Our last survey of recent sale prices in Tudor City took place in February, eons ago. Though there was little activity March through June (when in-person inspections were banned), sales began to pick up after the ban was lifted in July. As for the future, we're betting on the story that the Times ran the other day: "New York Real Estate Is On the Mend." 

Recent Tudor City sale prices via Streeteasy.

Vintage sign in No. 5's lobby
The Cloister 
$750,000, Apt 101, two bedroom
$510,000, Apt 614, one bedroom

Essex House
$1,045,000, Apt 507, two bedroom
$750,000, Apt 101, two bedroom

Haddon Hall
$999,500, Apt 901C, two bedroom
$925,000, Apt 603C, two bedroom

Hardwicke Hall
$885,000, Apt 401B, two bedroom
$359,000, Apt 306, studio

Hatfield House   
$305,000, Apt 206, studio
$350,000, Apt 1404A, studio

The Hermitage 
The Hermitage is a rental-only building. Recent monthly rentals:
$3,246, Apt 201C, two bedroom
$2,795, Apt 204C, two bedroom

The Manor  
$522,000, Apt 1009, one bedroom
$570,000, Apt 207, one bedroom

Prospect Tower, No. 45
$570,000, Apt 1618, one bedroom
$335,000, Apt 1321, studio

Tudor Gardens, No. 2
$645,000, Apt 10KN, one bedroom
$1,349,000, Apt 15CN, two bedroom

Tudor Tower, No. 25
$380,000, Apt 1116, studio
$320,000, Apt 1992, studio

Windsor Tower, No. 5
$525,000, Apt 1920, one bedroom
$585,000, Apt 1732, one bedroom

Woodstock Tower
$620,000, Apt 2018, one bedroom
$445,000, Apt 409, studio


Now on the market, this cycle's Million-Dollar Club includes a $1,250,000 three bedroom in No. 25, a $1,295,000 two bedroom in Essex House, and a $1,500,000 two bedroom in No. 2. The Big Ticket winner is Penthouse 9 in Windsor Tower, which has been been on and off the market for several years, and now relisted for $1,900,000.

October 7, 2020

Views from the Bridge, 1933

Some rare, delightfully tinted photos made in Tudor City around 1933. The view looks west down the 42nd Street corridor from atop the 42nd Street tunnel (later replaced by the Tudor City Bridge).
The vista includes a ghostly rendition of the Chrysler Building along with the back of The Hermitage [far right]. Standing tall in the center is the community flagpole ‒ sans flag ‒ which was later moved to a corner of the North Park.

Showcasing The Woodstock and the Chrysler Building. 

At the time, the Chrysler Building towered over the neighborhood. The second-tallest structure in the photo is 801 Second Avenue, an office building on the corner of 43rd and 2nd, erected in 1932 and still standing.

Today, the same view is more photographable than ever thanks to the invention of camera-equipped cellphones. Some examples here.

October 4, 2020

ARTIFACT: Street Name Ballot

Artifact of the day is the above ballot, "How About a New Name for Our Main Street?", published in a 1938 issue of Tudor City View, the neighborhood monthly.

At the time, the enclave's three-block-long main drag was known as Prospect Place, a name coined in the 1870s. Unfortunately, there was a considerably longer thoroughfare in Brooklyn with the same name, causing mail delivery delays. Apparently, anything with a Prospect Place address was routinely routed to Brooklyn, only to be re-routed. Hence the reason for the ballot.

The results of this referendum are lost to history; the street was eventually renamed Tudor City Place in 1947. More about that here.

October 1, 2020


Happy birthday to Hotel Tudor, opened October 1, 1930, and ninety years old today! Now known as the Westgate New York Grand Central, it has had six different names over its lifetime. Like most city hotels, it's temporarily closed at present because of the pandemic, although its sign still shines, a beacon of hope for the future.

Although the hotel is a splendid example of skyscraping art deco, it's rather underappreciated because its 42nd Street fa├žade is, well, nothing special. But around the corner on its lesser-seen 41st Street face, it lets its moderne flag fly via a jazzy mix of setbacks and raised brick. In honor of Hotel Tudor's birthday, a photographic salute to its stunning south side: