November 15, 2018


Continuing our series on notable locals, meet Brian Donlevy, tough-guy movie star and onetime Tudor City resident. Here is his life, in bullet points:
Donlevy in 1942.

⭐  Born 1901 in Cleveland. Begins his acting career in New York in the '20s with stage and silent film work, but after the country slides into Depression, these offers dry up. 

⭐  Moves into Tudor City around 1931 and becomes friendly with another resident, gossip columnist Ed Sullivan. Years later, Sullivan reminisces that Donlevy was "a discouraged actor who lived near us in Tudor City, who used to walk down the street with his two dogs on a leash and wonder out loud if a producer would give a decent part in a decent play." Sullivan likes him ‒ he was a "nice person, quiet and thoughtful" ‒ and reports that Donlevy "never dreamed Lady Luck would tap him."

⭐  His luck does indeed change in 1934 when he abandons New York for Hollywood, where he establishes a name for himself via flashy turns in supporting roles. Nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1940 for his performance as a sadistic legionnaire in Beau Geste.

⭐  Over time, he's cast in two kinds of roles: B-movie heroes and A-movie heavies. In the latter roles, his characters usually have a sentimental side.

His more memorable pictures include The Glass Key and The Great McGinty.
His post-war work (above) focuses on a genre later labeled film noir, a dark mix of cynicism and menace reflecting the national mood after the bruising war years.

⭐ Segues into television in the '50s and eventually retires to Palm Springs. Dies of cancer in 1972. His Times of London obituary states that "any consideration of American film noir of the 1940s would be incomplete without him."

November 13, 2018

STAINED GLASS History Lesson

Today, a look at two windows on No. 25, home of the best collection of stained glass in the complex. These particular panes reference neighborhood history long before the arrival of Tudor City. Although the facts are rather shaky, the general idea is there.

The Dutch Colonist De Voor Settled Here in 1677 on Spring Valley Farm. 
The date's right, but the geography's wrong. More accurately, the panel should read "De Voor settled near here in 1677." Spring Valley Farm lay north of Prospect Hill, its actual farmhouse at the foot of 53rd Street.
About 1800, This Part of Spring Valley Farm Became Turtle Bay Farm.
The statement is incorrect, for the area had been known as Turtle Bay Farm since 1636, when it was founded as a tobacco plantation. In 1791, New York merchant Francis Bayard Winthrop bought the land (which included Prospect Hill, future site of Tudor City) and continued to operate it as Turtle Bay Farm well into the 1800s.

November 11, 2018


This entry in our Confidential Series ‒ spotlighting the enclave's less savory side ‒ concerns The Celluloid Kid, a long-sought jewel thief finally captured in 1936 in the lobby of No 5.
Brooklyn Daily Eagle headline, May 8, 1936.

The Daily News' version of the story, below:
The Celluloid Kid, long sought by police for his ingenious burglaries, was betrayed into their hands yesterday by the telltale prints of his clever fingers.
He was arrested at 5:20 P.M. in the lobby of 5 Prospect Place, Tudor City, because tenants thought he was acting suspiciously and he could give detectives no respectable references. The name he gave, Albert Lloyd, of the Hotel Wellington, meant nothing. But the fingerprints told the story ‒ he was the long-sought Celluloid Kid.
He got his nickname, police said, because he is a master at opening doors with strips of celluloid six inches long and two and a half inches wide. Several such strips were found on him. 
In Lloyd's hotel room in Manhattan was found a valise with $5,000 worth of jewelry, another containing $200 worth of heroin and 50 hypodermic needles.
Although he has been wanted for many years in New York, Montreal and Philadelphia ‒ where it is said his total loot must have been well over $100,000 ‒ he was elusive as he is skillful, police said. His last arrest was in 1926. He was convicted, and served two years in Sing Sing for an $80,000 Park Avenue gem theft.

November 9, 2018


Man-in-the-news Alec Baldwin and actress Gemma Arterton relaxing on the Tudor City Sign, in an outtake from the Mary McCartney photo shoot for the 2014 Zeiss Art Calendar. More details here

November 7, 2018

VIDEO INTERLUDE: Olivia Palermo Up on the Roof

In this edition of beautiful people looking fetching on Prospect Tower's roof, please welcome mannequin Olivia Palermo, modeling clothes from the Argentinian fashion house, Vitamina.
Her duds are from Vitamina's 2014 line, and the shoot immortalized in a promotional video, here. Below, some screen grabs from the video.
Palermo and The Woodstock, above and below.

No visit to No. 45's roof would be complete without interacting with the Tudor City Sign.

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Like this sort of thing? Check out our earlier posts on Sarah Jessica Parker, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert Pattinson, Kate Winslet, and our personal favorite, Coco Rocha.

November 5, 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 
$1,003,076, Apt 812, two bedroom
$1,305,000, Apt PH 12, two 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
$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:
$3,995, Apt 404, three bedroom
$1,950, Apt 903, studio

The Manor  
$735,000, Apt 705, two bedroom
$515,000, Apt  917, one bedroom

Prospect Tower, No. 45
$650,000, Apt 415, one bedroom
$390,490, Apt 1512, studio

Tudor Gardens, No. 2
$859,000, Apt 8DN, one bedroom
$675,000, Apt 2IN, one bedroom

Tudor Tower, No. 25
$345,000, Apt 1723, studio
$334,000, Apt 2001, studio

Windsor Tower, No. 5
$362,000, Apt 535, studio
$327,000, Apt 510, studio

Woodstock Tower
$520,000, Apt 2218, one bedroom
$445,000, Apt 3010, studio

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One of the sexier new listings this cycle is Penthouse One in Essex House. A two-bedroom, two-bath affair, it ups the ante with a wood-burning fireplace and a sprawling wrap-around terrace. Asking price: $1,590,000. See its Compass listing here

November 3, 2018


Newspaper ad detail, 1929. Where the third girl sleeps is unclear,
 but what do you expect for $35 a month?