Leonard Gans, a real estate broker, sees potential in the area ‒ cheap land but a few blocks away from the booming Grand Central Station business district ‒ and convinces Fred French to build there. Gans is hired as chief assembler of the property.
|Before Fred French showed up: Prospect Place (now Tudor City Place), 1925|
In the end, Gans assembles the five-acre parcel in a record 35 days, acquiring 96 buildings for $7,500,000. There are some holdouts: three rowhouses on 43rd Street, and one on 41st Street, which still stand today, landmarked as part of the Tudor City Historic District.
And then there is 8 Prospect Place, a dilapidated, four-story relic at the south end of the street. Its owner buys the property in 1925 for $27,000, then steadfastly refuses Gans's offers that start at $50,000 and escalate to $120,000. Finally, the French Company acquires it in 1945, and the entire lot, united at last, is opened as Tudor Gardens (2 Tudor City Place) in 1956.
|Holdout 8 Prospect Place (arrows) keeps the large lot opposite Windsor Tower undeveloped |
for over 25 years. View looking east from 40th St. and Second Ave.
|The good news for locals is that the vacant lot houses tennis courts in the 1930s and 1940s, a much-publicized Tudor City amenity. View looks east toward No. 5, Windsor Tower.|