August 14, 2019


A Woodstock unicorn, then and now.

This unicorn, watching over The Woodstock since 1929, was manufactured by Atlantic Terra Cotta, the largest producer of architectural terra cotta in the world at the time. The 'then' photo comes from a promotional brochure for the company, and was captioned
The figure of the unicorn modeled in the Atlantic Studios occurs on every corner at the thirty-third story level. Tudor City follows the modern trend in apartment house construction.  An exterior of architectural interest is a valuable asset and an important factor in attracting tenants. 

August 11, 2019

Anatomy of a Photo: The TENNIS COURTS

Beginning a new series, Anatomy of a Photo, taking a close-up look at a single photograph. Today's subject, above, is a bird's eye view of the Tudor City tennis courts, made from a Woodstock apartment window in May, 1935. The photo looks south, with No. 5 at upper left. [The tennis courts are now the site of No. 2].
Zooming in, the building in the center is 8 Prospect Place, the holdout rowhouse that refused to sell to Fred French, thus preventing development of the lot for nearly 30 years. More about it here. The smaller, pitched-roofed structure beside No. 8 is the tennis court office.
Cabs lined up at Tudor City's official taxi stand on the corner of 41st St. and Prospect Place, with the dispatcher's booth next to the street lamp. The Parmelee taxi company had an exclusive contract in the colony. More about Tudor City and taxis here.
Only one tennis court is in use, and its players have attracted a number of spectators, lined up against the fence. More about Tudor City's tennis courts here.

August 7, 2019

Tudor City on Film: THE JEFFERSONS

This installment of Tudor City on Film spotlights The Jeffersons, one of the longest running sitcoms in television history, premiering in 1975 and running for 11 seasons. Created by Norman Lear as a spin-off of All in the Family (the Jeffersons were Archie Bunker's neighbors), the show followed a newly prosperous couple who move on up from Queens to Manhattan, making a lot of cultural adjustments along the way.

Tudor City appears briefly in the opening credits.
The credits open with the Jeffersons' moving van exiting Queens for Manhattan. 
Cut to a shot of the truck passing through Tudor City. Granted, the sequence is about three seconds long, but after opening the show week after week, it made an indelible impression within the community.

August 4, 2019

The FRED FRENCH Sales Talk

Today, a closer look at Fred F. French, Tudor City founder and accomplished salesman. Below, an account of a pep talk delivered to his sales team, excerpted from a profile of French that ran in the New Yorker on June 1, 1929.

Every morning, in a special auditorium in the French Building at 551 Fifth Avenue, the sales force of the Fred F. French Company gathers to listen to the words of the founder. The doors are locked by one of the vice presidents precisely at nine o'clock ‒ those who arrive late must wait outside: they press against the shut doors, straining to catch the words ‒ while Mr. French steps to the rostrum and talks. 

Usually his lectures have little to do with selling; they deal with the more intangible assets of success. Learn to smile, he says: "Stand before your bathroom mirror and practice smiling for ten minutes in the morning and at night. . . Get smiling into your system."

He is muscular, broad-shouldered, tall ‒ he stands six feet two inches ‒ and the young men, serious young men fresh from Harvard and Princeton seeking the key to attainment, decide to practice smiling. 

His voice can be soft and persuasive, and he knows how to make it thunder on occasion, and he knows the effect its thundering will have on the listener. "The best example for a sales talk is the life of Jesus Christ!" he proclaims. "He was the best salesman of all time. He said, 'Knock and it shall be opened unto you,' What he meant was, 'Keep knocking until the door is opened and if it isn't opened pretty soon, kick down the door." The other young men, locked outside the doors of the auditorium, listen gravely. . .

More about Fred French here

July 31, 2019

A Room with a View

We've come across some wonderful photos of the colony on Instagram, all  made from a window in the Beaux Arts apartment building on 44th Street.

They were taken by Lucas D in NYC, Instagrammer extraordinaire, and depict the many moods of Tudor City. Check out his terrific New York‒centric feed here.

More photos to come in future posts. . .

Climate change Tudor City.

July 28, 2019

July 24, 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
$537,500, Apt 708, one bedroom

Essex House
$1,590,000, Apt PH1, two bedroom
$290,000, Apt 503, studio

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:
$3,250, Apt 708, one bedroom
$3,395, Apt 602, one bedroom

The Manor  
$490,000, Apt 207, one bedroom
$494,000, Apt 906, one bedroom

Prospect Tower, No. 45
$319,000, Apt 1609, studio
$661,962, Apt 504, one bedroom

Tudor Gardens, No. 2
$825,000, Apt 5DN, one bedroom
$1,150,000, Apt 3BS, two bedroom

Tudor Tower, No. 25
$403,897, Apt 301, studio
$417,521, Apt 1518, studio

Windsor Tower, No. 5
$625,000, Apt B17, one bedroom
$630,000, Apt 1138, one bedroom

Woodstock Tower
$367,000, Apt 2511, studio
$380,350, Apt 1211, studio


This cycle's Big Ticket remains Penthouse 9 in Windsor Tower, now discounted to $2,450,000 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.