1 West 85th Street

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1 West 85th Street, New York City, NY

1 West 85th Street

Exterior of 1 West 85th Street
Building Information
Developer Gotham Building & Construction Co.
Architect Mulliken & Moeller
Number of Units 68
Number of Floors 12
Year Built 1905
Construction Method Concrete
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1 West 85th Street, New York City, NY
Distance to Public Transit Within one block
Region New York City
Municipality New York City
Zoning R10A
Title of Land Cooperative



Exposure at Central Park West

1 West 85th Street, also known as Rossleigh Court, is the twin building of Orwell House at 257 Central Park West. Standing 12 stories high, 1 West 85th Street is an attractive, historic brick building that was built in 1905 and converted to a cooperative in 1980.

The building was designed by Harry Mulliken and Edgar Moeller who graduated from Columbia University in 1985 and together made up the predominant architecture firm of the time, Mulliken & Moeller. The building was developed and built by Gotham Building & Construction Company.

This pre-war building overlooks Central Park and offers a total of 68 residences that range in size from one to six bedrooms. According to a column by Christopher Gray, "the apartments were characteristic of the decade’s self-described luxury buildings.”

The historic building offers a canopied entrance, a live-in superintendent, and a doorman.[1]


Situated on the corner of West 85th Street and Central Park West, 1 West 85th Street offers a convenient and central location that is close to the bustling aspects of Manhattan, and within arm's reach of the city's oasis, Central Park. Overlooking the lush greenery of the park, many residences in the building offer expansive views of Central Park, while others offer views of the historic street and city.

The building is also just a few blocks north of Theodore Roosevelt Park which houses American Museum of Natural History and Hayden Planetarium. A few blocks north is Sol Bloom Playground, and virtually at the doorstep of the building is the 86th Street subway station. Residents can also walk west to the shore of the Hudson River, where they will find biking and walking trails, as well as dog friendly areas at Riverside Park.

Nearby schools include Rodeph Sholom School, Sarah Anderson School, Dwight School, Frank McCourt High School, and Louis D Brandeis High School. There is a Starbucks, Joe Coffee, Juice Press, and World Coffee within walking distance, as well as a number of restaurants and markets.[2]


Exterior Façade of 1 West 85th Street

1 West 85th Street is a red brick building with limestone trim that retains its peaked copper roof-line and occupies a total of 128,194 square feet. The building's design follows the "French Flat" model in a Beaux-Arts style. This building is said to have “a disarming and cheery purplish brick set off to advantage by elaborate limestone trim,” by Norval White and Elliot Willendsky in The A. I. A. Guide to New York City.

“Architecturally the designs were no more sophisticated than the usual speculative project, but Mulliken & Moeller so often repeated the same basic solution that their work has acquired a familiarity that gives it a statue beyond its actual accomplishment,” Christopher Gray elaborated in his "Streetscapes" column.

The two-story rustic, limestone base of the building offers an elaborate, old-world entrance off of West 85th Street. Ornamental detailing surround the slightly arched entry-way, which is topped with roman-style window detailing. The entrance is flanked by two small sconces, and is a couple steps off the street level. At the top of the two-story base at the center of the building is a detailed overhang that acts as a Juliet balcony for that particular residence.

There are limestone bands and band-courses above the fourth and ninth floors, as well as attractive limestone quoins at the corners. The third story of the building acts as an introduction to the remainder of the building's exterior, with red brick intermingling with limestone. The rest of the building from the fourth story upwards is clad with the same red brick except for detailing and window surrounds which remain finished with limestone. The flat roof-line offers a wide overhang.[3]

Layout and Features

This building is very versatile in its offerings, with residents ranging from one to six bedrooms. Early advertisements for the building highlight the kitchens which have marble wainscoting five feet high, as well as long reception halls, wide parlors, and formal dining rooms. Libraries, maid's quarters, open kitchens, and fireplaces are also common features throughout the layouts.

Christopher Gray also noted in his column that the residences included “wall safes, a central vacuum-cleaning system, rich onyx paneling in the lobbies and an automatic mail delivery system that used a small elevator to each apartment.”

The residences offer many windows with excellent natural lighting, and also offer expansive views of the surrounding Central Park and city.

Many of the residences still feature their original herringbone or parquet style hardwood floors, and some have had them refurbished. Some have also updated their kitchens with new appliances and wood cabinetry.[4]

Floor Plans

There are 27 floor plans available for 1 West 85th Street. Here is a brief overview.


Amenities offered at 1 West 85th Street include:

  • Doorman
  • Live-in Super
  • Elevator


1 West 85th Street Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets No
Age No

  • Pets are restricted
  • Rentals are allowed
  • There are no age restrictions


The building's design includes a wide overhang which has aided in maintaining the building's integrity over its long lifetime and protecting it against the harsh winter months. The durable construction methods and materials used have certainly aided in the building's longevity as well.

Having a subway station virtually at its doorstep, residents of 1 West 85th Street can easily take part in an eco-friendly lifestyle free of daily vehicle commuting. The are is also well-suited to walking, jogging, and cycling, and is nearby many outdoor areas including Central Park. Daily necessities and amenities are situated within close walking distance.

Some of the interiors have also been updated to today's efficiency standards, including energy-efficient appliances and lighting. The building itself lacks any high-energy amenities, which helps to keep the energy usage of the building at a minimum.


Aberdeen Hotel

In 1902 Mulliken & Moeller, the same architectural firm that designed 1 West 85th Street, was established in Manhattan after many years of Harry B. Mulliken carrying out architectural business as an independent Lead Architect. With many buildings under his own name, Harry Mulliken stood as the dominant hand in his partnership with Edgar J. Moeller.

Graduating together from Columbia University's School of Arts in 1895, the partnership was not created between Mulliken and Moeller until seven years later. By the time the partnership was created, Mullikan had already established himself as an architect with a flare for the Beaux-Arts style of architecture, using considerable amounts of terracotta and red brick in his works.

One of his most illustrious, independent works was the Aberdeen Hotel, which is now the Best Western Manhattan Hotel at 17 West 32nd Street. Built between 1902 to 1904, this landmark site offers a striking architectural design in none other but the Beaux-Arts style. During the 1920s the Aberdeen Hotel became one of the first hotels to accept female guests who were unaccompanied by men without subjecting them to strict rules.[5]


  1. City Realty
  2. Walk Score
  3. NYC Dwellers
  4. City Realty
  5. Wikipedia

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