November 17, 2019

THEN AND NOW: 42nd Street's New Look

42nd Street, looking west from the Tudor City Bridge, then and now.


October, 2019
November, 2019
This edition of Then and Now focuses on the newly painted bus lanes on 42nd Street, part of the city's Better Buses Action Plan. The goal is to improve the speed of the M42 crosstown bus (currently clocking in at a poky 4 MPH) by 25% and thereby increase ridership (currently 16,000 daily passengers). The trade-off: regular traffic is now reduced to a single lane in each direction. Robert Moses must be spinning in his grave. 

It's all part of a burgeoning trend in the city to take its streets back from automobiles. Congestion pricing, bike lanes, bus lanes and pedestrian plazas are the tools of this initiative. The recent transformation of 14th Street into a car-phobic, bus-centric corridor has been a runaway success. One can only hope this idea is in the cards for 42nd Street someday soon.


November 13, 2019

The INQUIRING FOTOGRAPHER Returns

Another installment of our Inquiring Fotographer series, featuring selections from the longtime Daily News question-answer-and-picture column. Herewith, Tudor City locals voicing their opinions on pressing subjects of the day.

December 16, 1947
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November 29, 1967
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October 31, 1975

November 10, 2019

REAL ESTATE REPORT: What's Your Apartment Worth?

Our occasional survey of recent sale prices in Tudor City, via Streeteasy:

Vintage sign in No. 5's lobby
The Cloister 
$290,000, Apt 515, studio
$790,000, Apt 111, two bedroom

Essex House
$1,590,000, Apt PH1, two bedroom
$850,000, Apt 1005, two bedroom

Haddon Hall
$825,000, Apt 504C, 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:
$5,100, Apt 405, three bedroom
$3,195, Apt 502, two bedroom

The Manor  
$825,000, Apt 921, two bedroom
$950,000, PH10, two bedroom

Prospect Tower, No. 45
$562,000, Apt 1504, one bedroom
$615,000, Apt 507, one bedroom

Tudor Gardens, No. 2
$850,000, Apt 12AS, one bedroom
$1,000,000, Apt 5BS, two bedroom

Tudor Tower, No. 25
$365,000 Apt 502, studio
$565,000, Apt 1805, one bedroom

Windsor Tower, No. 5
$413,000, Apt 234, studio
$551,000, Apt 711, one bedroom

Woodstock Tower
$415,000, Apt 416, studio
$570,000, Apt 1210, one bedroom

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The atmospheric Penthouse 9
This cycle's Big Ticket remains Penthouse 9 in Windsor Tower, now discounted to $2,225,000 from its original $2,850,000 price. A two-bedroom, two-bath triplex, it includes a fireplace-equipped double-height living room and a 1,000-sq-ft private roof terrace. Monthly maintenance: $5,030. See its Brown Harris Stevens listing here.

Elsewhere in the million dollar‒plus club are a $1,095,000 two bedroom in No. 45, a $1,395,000 three bedroom in No. 25, and a $1,495,000 three bedroom in No. 2.


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In other news, there's a new book out about the complex written by Windsor Tower resident Lawrence Samuel. Published by The History Press, it's entitled Tudor City and can be found on Amazon, eBay, etc.

November 6, 2019

RESIDENTS: Alexander Smallens

This entry in our series about notable residents spotlights Alexander Smallens, renowned symphony conductor and Tudor City tenant. Here is his life, in bullet points.

Promoting his NBC radio program in 1937
♯  Born 1889 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Emigrates to NYC as a child, accepted as a student at Julliard, age 11.

♯  Makes his name after being hired by ballerina Anna Pavlova to accompany her on tour. Over the course of his career, he is the conductor/musical director of the Boston Opera, the Chicago Opera, the Philadelphia Civic Opera, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and later in life, Radio City Music Hall. 

♯  Well-regarded in avant-garde music circles: Conducts the world premiere of Virgil Thomson's "Four Saints in Three Acts," as well as the world premiere of George Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess." (He would be much associated with the latter work, conducting it more than a thousand times in many revivals over his lifetime.)

♯  Moves into Tudor City around 1934. The New Yorker shows up for an interview:
We visited Mr. Smallens in his bachelor apartment in Tudor City the other day. He's a massive man, full of energy, with a big nose, a black mustache and a great shock of black hair that stands up on end. No reason it shouldn't. Mr. Smallens hasn't worn a hat since the warm autumn five years ago, and never intends to wear one again. . .
When he's not conducting, he collects stamps, plays bridge, goes to art galleries and movies, and attends musical parties, but a lot of the time he's right in Tudor City, working. During the past few weeks, for instance, he's held auditions for three hundred and fifty aspiring opera singers in his apartment.

There's never a dull moment in Tudor City!

November 3, 2019

Anatomy of a Photo: EAST 42ND STREET

A deep dive into a photo made around 1933, looking east down 42nd Street to Second Avenue and Tudor City.

Exhibit A, the photograph. This eastern view down 42nd Street is framed by No. 45, The Woodstock and Hotel Tudor in the distance. The Daily News Building, right center.

A closer look reveals that Hotel Tudor's neon sign had yet to be installed. Instead, there was a painted version on its western wall.


Above center, the 42nd St. station of the Second Ave. El, the elevated railway running from the Battery to the Bronx. Tudor Citizens were blessed with many transportation options during this era: elevated trains at 2nd and 3rd Aves., Grand Central at Lexington Ave., and a crosstown streetcar along 42nd St. [seen passing beneath the El station in the photo.]

Street life near the entrance of the Daily News Building.

A hazy, ghostly rendition of The Sign.


October 30, 2019

Hello Operator


In its early years, Tudor City offered its residents a wide variety of services ‒ everything from maids and nurses to golf pros and radio repairmen. 

Today's ad, which ran in the Times on July 22, 1930, conjures up a fantasy world wherein a stenographer, for example, could have servants. However, since most of the services came at an additional charge, they remained a fantasy, especially as the Great Depression dug in.

The ad, enlarged, below:


October 27, 2019

Tudor City NOIR

Film noir ‒ the edgy, moody movie genre ‒ is the inspiration for this post, a look at the noir side of Tudor City. Brought to you by some very talented Instagrammers.

North roof of No. 45, Instagrammed by sauerhour.


Puddlegram by thedeathbeddecam.


Tudor City Place as seen by Instagrammer tobrook.

Bad weather, Instagrammed by eyeboveyou.

The always-noir Tudor City sign, by Instagrammer saveriopulice.