June 7, 2017

The World's Tallest Apartment House That Never Was

Front page of the New York Times real estate section, June 24, 1928
Artist rendering of the skyscraper that never was, 1928.
No. 25 (partially shown at left) gives a sense of scale.

Our founder, Fred French, knew how to make headlines, and on March 20, 1928, he does just that, announcing the latest addition to the Tudor City portfolio ‒ nothing less than the tallest apartment house in the world for the complex.

Topping out at 57 stories ‒ three stories higher than the Woolworth Building ‒ it's planned for the lot bordered by 40th & 41st Streets, and Prospect Place & First Avenue. It also features block frontage on both First Avenue and Prospect Place. Projected cost: 11 million dollars.

In the end, it is never built, apparently due to doubts about its profitability. A revised plan for the site is announced in January, 1929, with the height reduced to  27 stories. In June, it's revised upward to 42 floors.

When it finally opens in 1930 as No. 5, Windsor Tower, it has 22 stories and four sub-floors. 

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