September 20, 2018


Today we celebrate Ray Gotto, notable illustrator and Tudor City resident. A longtime sports cartoonist, Gotto is best remembered as the creator of a world-famous logo.

He makes his name in 1945, when his comic strip, Ozark Ike, is picked up by King Features and syndicated across the country. The title character, a hillbilly baseball player who's as thick as his accent, is a lovable lug along the lines of Li'l Abner. Ike's girlfriend, Dinah, has but a single outfit ‒ a snug striped sweater, short shorts and pirate boots ‒ and wears her hair like Veronica Lake.

Click on images to enlarge.

The strip is successful enough for a comic book spin-off (below) in the 1950s.

After the strip ends in 1959, Gotto goes on to a distinguished career with Sporting News magazine.

We're not sure when he moves to Tudor City. but know he's living there in 1961, when he enters a contest to design a logo for the city's new ball club, the New York Mets. Beating out 500 other entrants, Gotto wins the $1,000 prize with his baseball-skyline-bridge design, used as the Mets' emblem to this day.

September 18, 2018

The Contest Winner

In Tudor City's early days, the French Company encourages a sense of community by offering activities galore ‒ dances, concerts, art exhibits, golf lessons, exhibition tennis, bridge clubs, camera clubs, glee clubs, thespian clubs, and on and on. There are also contests, like today's entry, a 1936 competition for the Best Painting of the Tulip Gardens during the parks' annual tulip festival. The grand prize is pretty grand ‒ a round trip to Holland via ocean liner.

Effie Rogers, a resident of No. 5, wins with her painting of the North Park tulips, shown below. We wonder how she enjoyed the trip to Holland.

September 16, 2018


No. 5's eastern wall at sunset, photographed by Lars Sivars from a vantage point in Queens.  Prints of this photo are available on Sivars' website, here.

September 14, 2018

The High-Rise Over 42nd Street That Never Was

It is September, 1972. Harry Helmsley, the new owner of Tudor City, has previously announced plans to replace the enclave's parks with apartment towers. Opposition from community and civic groups was so vehement that he now has a counter proposal, and a rather outrageous one at that ‒ building a 52-story tower over 42nd Street, thereby saving the parkland. It would be the first building in Manhattan to straddle a commercial artery.
Model of the planned tower, looking west from First Ave. Nos. 25 and 45 in foreground.

Reaction to this proposal is typified by the Daily News' mince-no-words editorial, below.

The New York Times editorial agrees, in a more moderate tone:
Mr. Helmsley is said to favor one very large building on a bridge over 42nd Street. This Pan-Am-type of monumental obstruction would block the East River except for a view under its nose. This is a poor solution.

By far the best proposal is one to shift the air rights over the parks to another part of midtown Manhattan entirely. . .

Transferable air rights was a relatively new concept at the time, enacted in 1961 during a revamp of city zoning regulations. Helmsley likes the idea and abandons his plans for a 42nd Street tower, but air rights prove to be a thorny, complex issue that drags out the battle over the parks for years to come. 

September 12, 2018


We've discovered more panoramic photographs of Tudor City, made on No. 45's roof by Sam Rohn in 2013. Rohn's far-out photos ‒ shown below ‒ were the subject of an earlier postCheck out his fun interactive website here.

Midtown Manhattan, arranged around the sundeck of No. 45 (upper left).
The sundeck, from a different point of view.

No visit to No. 45's roof is complete without paying homage to the Tudor City sign.

September 10, 2018

REAL ESTATE REPORT: What's Your Apartment Worth?

Our bi-monthly survey of recent sale prices in Tudor City, via Streeteasy:

Vintage sign in No. 5's lobby
The Cloister 
$800,000, Apt 712, two bedroom
$625,000, Apt 914, one bedroom

Essex House
$999,800, Apt 501, two bedroom
$1,745,000, Apt 207, three bedroom

Haddon Hall
$825,000, Apt 504C, two bedroom
$925,000, Apt 603C, two bedroom

Hardwicke Hall
$890,000, Apt 802B, two bedroom
$885,000, Apt 401B, two bedroom

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

The Hermitage 
The Hermitage is a rental-only building. Recent monthly rentals:
$3,095, Apt 502, two bedroom
$4,985, Apt 405, three bedroom

The Manor  
$532,050, Apt 508, one bedroom
$569,000, Apt  503, one bedroom

Prospect Tower, No. 45
$615,000, Apt 1310, one bedroom
$570,000, Apt 207, one bedroom

Tudor Gardens, No. 2
$859,000, Apt 8DN, one bedroom
$1,340,000, Apt 14CN, two bedroom

Tudor Tower, No. 25
$410,670, Apt 1607, studio
$872,500, Apt 2119, two bedroom

Windsor Tower, No. 5
$565,000, Apt 331, one bedroom
$530,000, Apt 520, one bedroom

Woodstock Tower
$677,136, Apt 216, one bedroom
$405,700, Apt 906, studio