15 Union Square West

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15 Union Square West, New York City, NY

15 Union Square West
15UnionSquareWest-NYC-Ext.jpg

Exterior shot of 15 Union Square West
Building Information
Developer Izaki Group Investments and Brack Capital Real Estate
Architect Eren Chen - Perkins Eastman
Management Company Union Square West Condo Association
Number of Units 36
Number of Floors 12
Year Built 1870 - Renovated in 2006
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof IRMA
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15 Union Square West, New York City, NY
Distance to Public Transit Less than one block
Region New York City
Municipality New York City
Zoning C6-4
Title of Land Condominium


Contents

Background

Charles Lewis Tiffany
While 15 Union Square West's outward appearance is that of a modern New York city luxury condominium, the footing and framework of the structure are actually over 130 years old. In 1869 construction began on the building that would house the new Tiffany and Company store, which opened for business in 1870.


In 1837 Charles Lewis Tiffany opened his first store selling stationary and gifts, including porcelain, cutlery, glassware, clocks and jewelry. By the 1850's Tiffany's focus shifted to selling only the highest quality goods, such as Porcelain, Bohemian Glass and jewelery.


This made Tiffany and Company one of the leading jewelery stores in New York and led to the opening of stores in Paris in 1850 and London in 1868. In 1869, Tiffany and Co. built a new store at 15th Street bordering Union Square. The store opened in 1870 and operated there until 1905. [1] [2]


The building was then rented out to various fabric and garment companies. During the 1920s, Union Square became a hub for trade unions and by 1925 the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America took possession of the building and founded the Amalgamated Bank. The bank remained in place until 2006 when it was purchased by the Izaki Group Investments and Brack Capital Real Estate and redesigned by architect Eren Chen as a condominium. Chen's vision was to expose the buildings original iron-cast facade and then enclose it in a wall of glass.


The building underwent a complete gutting of its interior and was completed redesigned by noted interior designer Vicente Wolf to house 36 luxurious condo apartments.[3]

Location

President George Washington equestrian statue in Union Square
15 Union Square West is located on the corner 15th Street and Union Square West and overlooks the iconic Union Square Park. The Union Square region is surrounded by some of the most notable and traveled areas in Manhattan. The Flatiron District borders the North, Gramercy to the east, Chelsea to the west, and Greenwich Village to the south.


The area features a host of cafes, restaurants and night spots within walking distance. There are also many grocery stores close by and the city famous Union Square Greenmarket is right out the front door. The Greenmarket features locally grown fruits and vegetables on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays between 8am and 6pm and is open year round.


Union Square also plays host to a Holiday Market from November 23 through December 24, and features many local arts and crafts. The area also features shopping of all varieties, from clothing and jewelery to art and home decor. And if that isn't enough, the prime shopping district of SoHo is a mere 1.5 miles south.


Union Square park is home to many beautiful statues, the most notable being the equestrian statue of President George Washington, located at the center of the park. Aside from Union Square Park, Washington Square park is just 9 blocks away and Gramercy Park just 7 blocks distance. The neighborhood has some of Manhattan's finest schools, both public and private, as well as New York University and The New School University.


15 Union Square West receives a perfect 100 walk score for easy access to all kinds of amenities without the need for a car. It also receives a perfect 100 transit score with 44 nearby bus routes and 20 nearby rail routes. Indeed Union Square Park rests atop the 14th Street – Union Square subway station which features the 4, 5, 6, <6>, L, N, Q, and R trains.[4]


Construction

The original building at 15 Union Square West

The building at 15 Union Square West was first constructed in 1869 for Charles Lewis Tiffany to be the new headquarters for Tiffany and Co. Originally designed by architect John Kellum it featured an iron-cast facade, popular at the time due to its fireproof nature. The original building stood 5 storeys tall and had an outer surface of finely detailed stonework. It's arched windows were flanked on either side by two stone pillars and the arch's themselves were finely crafted with subtle and artistic stonework.

The building remained virtually the same until 1952, when a piece of iron became dislodged and injured a man, Moses Weickselbaum, on the street. The following year, Moses Weickselbaum would die from his injuries. At this time the building was functioning as the Amalgamated Bank, and they quickly took steps to see that such an accident would not happen again. They hired architect Eugene Schoen to redesign the exterior of the building. Schoen set about removing every piece of iron that extended out from the building and then enclosing the whole structure in white brick. This resulted in the building losing much of its former charm and becoming essentially a large brick box.[1]

By 2006 the Amalgamated Bank sold the property to Brack Capital Real Estate who hired architect Eren Chen, of Perkins Eastman, to redesign the structure into luxury condominiums. Chen's design called for the old cast-iron facade to be re-exposed and enclosed in an outer layer of glass with black zinc finishing to be visible from the street. In addition to restoring the original 5 storeys, Chen designed 7 new storeys to rest atop the old. The 7 new levels are designed to be offset from one another to create several terraces for the upper floors. This design also creates a very modern, futuristic looking structure that grabs the eye.[5][3]

Layout and Features

The interior design of 15 Union Square West was spearheaded by renowned New York designer Vicente Wolf.[6]

All apartments have high 16 foot ceilings and large arched windows preserved from the previous Tiffany and Co. store. For privacy, each window has two options for screens, one that rises from the floor and is opaque and another thinner one that lowers from the ceiling. The hardwood floors are wide plank oak with a mahogany finish.

The kitchens feature all stainless steel appliances with Viking ranges, Miele dishwashers and Sub-Zero refrigerators and wine coolers. The kitchens also come with a large island based with stainless steel and mahogany legs and custom bronze-framed oak cabinetry. Each unit also comes with a built in espresso machine.

The bathrooms feature free-standing, cast-iron bathtubs, stainless-steel cabinetry and dual vanities and sinks. The flooring is in stone by Thassos DaVinci and the counter-tops are sandstone by Pietra Bedonia. The showers feature dual custom built shower-heads as well as a hand shower.

Apartments on the upper floors have gas fireplaces and terraces and some also have multiple levels which feature Maretti stainless steel and glass staircases. All suites in the building also come stock with washer and dryer units. [7] [8]

Floor Plans

Several floor plans are available for viewing. Here is a small sample.

Amenities

15 Union Square West provides a 24-hour doorman, concierge services, and live-in resident manager. The fitness center in the building is a real head turner, offering a jacuzzi, lap pool, saunas, Yoga and Pilates studio, private massage and treatment room, and even cabanas to lounge at pool side. Parking is also available at the building.[8]

Bylaws

15 Union Square West Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No
Barbecues Yes



15 Union Square West allows pets, barbecues, rentals and pied-à-terre.

Sustainability

15 Union Square West has many sustainable features, the most prevalent being that the original 1870 skeleton of the structure remains intact. The new outer glass wall of the building is comprised of energy efficient glass, reducing heating and cooling costs and lowering the overall carbon footprint. All appliances throughout the building are energy and water efficient. The location of the building provides easy, walkable access to nearly all amenities, reducing ones need for frequent vehicle use.

Trivia

  • An unknown foreign buyer purchased two separate three bedroom suites at 15 Union Square West. The suites were combined into one massive six bedroom apartment to be used as a home. The total cost of both units combined was an estimated $16 million dollars and shattered the previous record for the purchase of an apartment in the Union Square area.[9]
  • Caroline Wozniacki, one of the world's top-ranked tennis stars purchased two suites at 15 Union Square West. It is unclear if the suites have been combined into one large suite. A broker stated that Wozniacki has purchased the suites for pied-à-terres, as her primary residence is in Monte Carlo in Monaco. [10]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 New York Times
  2. Wikipedia
  3. 3.0 3.1 World Architecture News
  4. Walk Score
  5. Curbed New York
  6. Wikipedia
  7. City Realty
  8. 8.0 8.1 Buzz Buzz Home
  9. The Real Deal
  10. The Wall Street Journal


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