March 20, 2018


It's come to our attention that in our previous coverage of Tudor City penthouses, we've neglected Windsor Tower's Penthouse 1, perhaps the most luxurious of them all. A two-bedroom, three-floor, four-bath castle in the sky, it also includes a fireplace, wet bar and two terraces. Here it is, in all its glory.
The octagonal living room boasts 18-foot ceilings and windows galore.

Like most things, it looks its best at twilight.

A photo made on the long main-floor terrace abutting the north wall of the apartment.

The third-floor roof terrace clocks in at 3,000 square feet. 

But most striking of all is the terra cotta goat on the main-floor 
terrace, shielding the apartment from the United Nations.

Sold for $6,550,000 in 2012, Penthouse 1 is off the market now.

March 18, 2018

THEN AND NOW: Richard Meier Edition

Last Monday, we chronicled a new neighborhood storefront, the Sales Gallery of 685 First Avenue, the monolith rising across from Windsor Tower. Its star architect, Pritzker Prize‒winning Richard Meier, is a key part of the marketing plan, his name featured on the front door.
March 12, 2018
Then, on Tuesday, Meier is Time's Up-ped by the New York Times for sexual harassment in the workplace. He admits to being "deeply troubled and embarrassed," and announces he's taking a six-month leave. His name comes off the front door in record time.

March 16, 2018
Paging Christopher Plummer!

March 16, 2018


It's been awhile since we've mentioned the Tudor City Sign ‒ landmarked, abandoned, and an obsession of this blog. Today, a photo homage:

Read about its up-and-down history here.

March 14, 2018

RESIDENTS: Margaret Bourke-White

Tudor City has been home to many artists, writers and thespians, and today we spotlight Margaret Bourke-White, world-renowned photographer and Woodstock resident. Her life, in bullet points:

♦  Born 1904, begins her career in 1927 as an industrial photographer. She has a talent for capturing the beauty of machinery and the nerve to put herself at risk to get the shot. Young and comely, she becomes known as the "daring girl photographer," and catches the attention of Henry Luce, who hires her in 1936 as the first female photojournalist for his new magazine, Life. (Her picture of Montana's Fort Peck Dam appears on the cover of its first issue, upper right.) The magazine's runaway success adds to her rapidly burgeoning fame. 

♦  Her subject matter skews gritty ‒ steel mills, Dust Bowl victims, oil fields, Soviet farms ‒ and socially conscious. Publishes You Have Seen Their Faces, a book about Southern sharecroppers, in collaboration with her husband, writer Erskine Caldwell.

♦  Covers WWII for Life. Her transport ship to the war zone is torpedoed and sinks, but the ever-resilient Bourke-White survives and goes on to document indelible images of battlefront soldiers and concentration camp inmates.

♦  After the war, she is diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and her output slows. Retires from Time-Life in 1969, passes away in 1971.

Below, iconic portraits of Bourke-White posed precariously on a Chrysler Building gargoyle that cemented her spunky-young-thing persona.
The gargoyle is a steel rendition of an American eagle. The press name it "Gargoyle Bill."

The size of her camera is awe-inspiring.

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  
New York Herald Tribune headline, August 30, 1934

In 1930, Bourke-White leases a 61st-floor work/living space in the Chrysler Building, which includes a terrace abutted by Gargoyle Bill. She hires industrial designer John Vassos to transform it into an art moderne aerie.

In 1934, she leases an apartment in The Woodstock, while still retaining her Chrysler Building work space. We assume living and working in the same space grew tiresome, even if it was the Chrysler Building. It's unclear how long she resides in Tudor City. We suspect she walks to work, she seems the type. 

March 12, 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 
$691,391, Apt 604, one bedroom
$285,000, Apt 1011, studio

Essex House
$999,800, Apt 501, two bedroom
$559,000, Apt 708, one bedroom

Haddon Hall
$925,000, Apt 601C, two bedroom
$845,000, Apt 902C, two bedroom

Hardwicke Hall
$595,000, Apt 404B, one bedroom
$309,000, Apt 701A, studio

Hatfield House   
$279,000, Apt 402A, studio
$379,000, Apt 1306A, studio

The Hermitage 
The Hermitage is a rental-only building. Recent monthly rentals:
$4,975, Apt 505, three bedroom
$3,020, Apt 204, two bedroom

The Manor  
$542,000, Apt 911, one bedroom
$505,000, Apt 904, one bedroom

Prospect Tower, No. 45
$600,000, Apt 711, one bedroom
$340,000, Apt 1408, studio

Tudor Gardens, No. 2
$755,000, Apt 4JS, one bedroom
$679,000, Apt 8LN, one bedroom

Tudor Tower, No. 25
$515,000, Apt 211, one bedroom
$475,000, Apt 1220, one bedroom

Windsor Tower, No. 5
$682,227, Apt 438, one bedroom
$470,000, Apt 1138, one bedroom

Woodstock Tower
$520,000, Apt 1601, one bedroom
$407,000, Apt 2606, studio
✱ ✱ ✱ ✱ ✱ 

In other local real estate news, the former luggage store at the corner of 42nd and Second has morphed into the Sales Gallery for 685 First Avenue, the Richard Meier tower that's No. 5's new neighbor. Below, the minimally swank entrance, and here, their placeholder website.

March 10, 2018


In honor of the clock springing forward tomorrow, here's a look back at how Tudor City's ad agency integrated daylight saving time into their sales pitch. By their reckoning, daylight saving is an oxymoron in the enclave, where there's year-round daylight saving ‒ provided one minds the slogan and walks to business!

Fun fact: this year marks daylight saving's centennial. It was originally enacted in 1918 as a way to conserve coal.

1930. In Tudor City, "you'll save two hours of daylight every day" by walking to work. "You won't have to spend precious hours in travel by rail" ‒ and "there's maid service to add daylight to your wife's day."
1931. "Daylight saving is not just a matter of the clock" in "the most convenient residential community in New York" ‒ an "oasis of peace and quiet in the heart of the city" equipped with "two green parks of your very own."   
This 1928 ad wonders "how many hours of light do you waste in needless transportation?" and gives the shocking answer: "the average runs close to two hours a day. Time enough for nine holes, for a swim, a book. . . all those things you've meant to do" ‒ in a setting that's "high, quiet and airy."

March 8, 2018


The roofline of The Cloister, guarded by terra cotta lions wearing crowns and clutching copper tridents topped by fleur-de-lis. Lions symbolized courage and valor in heraldry, while the fleur-de-lis symbol ‒ a stylized, three-petaled lily ‒ has been around since the Mesopotamian era. In heraldic times, it stood for purity.