302 West 12th Street

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302 West 12th Street, New York City, NY

302 West 12th Street
302 West 12th Street, NYC.jpg

Updated Art Deco Style
Building Information
Developer Bing and Bing
Architect Boak and Paris
Management Company Robert Sheridan Corporation
Number of Units 129
Number of Floors 18
Year Built 1931
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof IRMA
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302 West 12th Street, New York City, NY
Distance to Public Transit Less than one block
Region New York City
Municipality New York City
Zoning R-6
Title of Land Condominium


Contents

Background

Abingdon Square Park
This stately building, 302 West 12th Street, was made a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Commission. One of the Bing and Bing buildings, it was built in 1931, and has a sister building, 299 West 12th Street. Both buildings are steps away from Abingdon Square Park, one of New York City's oldest green spaces. The park is managed by the Abington Square Conservancy, a local non for profit community organization in conjunction with the New York City parks and recreation.


The neighboring Park, Abingdon Square Park has a romantic history, it was purchased as a wedding gift from Sir Peter Warren for his daughter Charlotte and her finance, the fourth Earl of Abingdon, for whom it was named in 1740. The West Village, which is part of Greenwich Village holds a large number of landmark and historic buildings. Further along 12th Street, one can still peruse the old cobblestone roads of yesteryear.


History brims throughout the West Village, dubbed "Little Bohemia" in 1916. It is known for its rich artistic history. In 1910 it was also named "America's Bohemia" , and became a tourist area as a result. Its community combined political radicals such as Max Eastman with writers like Theodore Dreiser and Edna St. Vincent Millay and artists such as John Sloan. The era was documented by Jessie Tarbox Beals, Greenwich Village's official photographer and is recognized as the first female photojournalist.[1]


This historic area features many landmark buildings ranging from the days when New York was a dutch settlement through the art deco movement to modern times. Some of the local bars are steeped in literary history, such as jazz history in the Village Vanguard, the Westbeth Artists Community, which provides art tours. The cobblestone roads dating from the 18th century can still be found throughout the neighborhood.


Both 302 West 12th Street, its sister property and two others have the unique distinction of being the only pre World War II condominium buildings in the West Village. Thanks to the landmarks commission, thoughtful boards, and careful management, buildings like these are enjoying new life while preserving their distinctive style.



Location

Nearby Hudson River Park
302 West 12th Street is situated in the West Village, part of Manhattan and the westernmost neighborhood of Greenwich Village. To the north lies the Meatpacking District. There are over 50 transit options available within walking distance as well as many nearby shops, arts and cultural venues, nightclubs, and health and fitness options. In addition to the many bike lanes in the city, this property is only a few blocks away from the Hudson River Greenway, a large bicycle and pedestrian path that encompasses the Manhattan coastline with many interesting activities and venues along the path.[2]


Grocery options within walking distance include Key Food, D’Agostino’s, Organic Avenue, West Side Market, Citarella, Jefferson Market and Chelsea Market as well as the Greenmarket at Abingdon Square Park on the Saturdays. Bleecker Street, in the Meatpacking district, provides excellent choices for local shopping, as well as banks, pharmacies and all the daily essentials. In addition there are unique shops like LeftBank books specializing in first editions. There are many cafes, and pubs such as La Bonbonniere, the Beatrice Inn, and the White Horse Tavern, a spot once frequented by Dylan Thomas. For die hard foodies, there is the James Beard Foundation, which provides education in addition to marvelous food.


For arts lovers there is the Westbeth artist tours; several theaters such as the Barrow Street Theater housed in the Grenwich Arts Center; Lucille Lortel Theater, The Player's Theater; and The Flea, producing original off Broadway works. In addition there are many independent movie theaters such as Angelika Film Center, also a cafe; IFC Film Center which hosts special screenings and talks; and the Film Forum, a 3D theater that presents independent films, documentaries, and international films.

Construction

Southwest view of 302 West 12th Street
Metro Theater, Boak and Paris

Standing 17 stories high and 60.5 meters high, 302 West 12th once towered over the townhouses that populated the area. It was built by Bing and Bing and designed by Boak and Paris in 1931. In 1985 it was purchased by the Robert Sheridan Corporation and over the next two years was converted into condominiums. Sheridan offered the residents the opportunity to purchase their apartments 50% of the market price, approximately $200/square foot, and offer the remaining residents rent-controlled or rent-stabilized tenants.


This irregular, in fact pentagonal building, presented a special design challenge which contributed to the reason is it a masterful landmark building. Another unique feature is the two front facades: the north front faces 12th Street and the northwest front faces Abingdon Square and Horatio Street. A mixed use building, the one-and-a-half story stone base provides for retail units. Iron Juliet railings frame the windows alongside stone belts in an arresting art deco patterns. Each floor houses approximately eight apartments lending a generous space to each residential unit. [3]


Bing and Bing was founded in 1906 and known for their luxurious apartment and apartment hotel buildings. Chicago developer, Robert Sheriden of the Robert Sheridan Corporation or now Robert Sheridan and Partners, specializes in multi-family housing and he is a founding member of the National Multi Housing Council (NMHC).


Architect, Russell M. Boak was born in 1896 in the Bronx, attended public school and, after finishing eighth grade, went to work as a draftsman in the office of the architect Emery Roth. Hyman F. Paris designer was his partner. Boak and Paris worked together until 1942 working mainly on large residential buildings geared towards middle class families. Other Boak and Paris collaborations include 444 Central Park West, 250 Cabrini Boulevard, 49 Christopher Street, 315 Riverside Drive and also, movie theaters in New York City, such as the New Metro Twin, the New Yorker Theater, and the Variety Theater.[4]


Both 302 West 12th Street, and its sister property 229 West 12th Street, are part of a parcel of building referred to as the Bing and Bing buildings, along with 59th West 12th Street, and 45 Christopher Street. These four pre World War II buildings hold the unique advantage in that they are the only ones of their type in the West Village.

Layout and Features

Wood-burning fireplace
sunken living-room


This beautiful art deco condominium building features large foyers, many units include fireplaces and/or terraces. Another common feature is the sunken living rooms, and exposed beams which add character. The tag line for the building was “if you have ever hoped for a living room just a few feet longer...a bedroom just a few feet larger...closets just a little deeper...atmosphere a little finer...”, and these condominiums offer just that.[5]


The kitchens feature a combination of modern appliances with many of the original touches of the building which have been reinstated, such as the marble, as well as some of the original fixtures. Most units include additional bathrooms, custom built shelves and closets, as well as hardwood floors, generous windows providing ample natural light. Most of the bathrooms have been updated and many include soaker tubs, and glass showers.


Floor Plans

With only eight condominiums per floor, 302 West 12th Street offers units which are decidedly roomy. Some include terraces, and fire places. The unique pentagonal shape of the building leads to some innovative use of space, and some stunningly unusual floor plans.

Amenities

  • FT Doorman
  • Basement Storage
  • Roof Deck
  • Terraces in some units
  • Wood-burning fireplaces in some units


Bylaws

302 West 12th Street Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No
Barbecues Yes



  • It permits rentals
  • There are no age restrictions placed on buyers
  • This building is pet friendly
    • Those renting however, should check with the condominium owner if he or she has a personal pet policy.

Sustainability

Abingdon Square Greenmarket
Spoons Across America

302 West 12th is not a green building, but does have some definite green benefits. The rooftop deck is landscaped, the windows provide ample natural light during the day, and the building has undergone a recent renovation, including many of the kitchen appliances. For condominium owners, one can improve by updating to energy saving every few years as they become available as well as take advantage of the many programs throughout the city such as Citi-bikes, a new bike sharing program in NYC, the excellent transit system, the Greenmarket program, the community garden, as well as other sustainable projects.


Just about every neighborhood offer a unique local sustainable option. On west 12th Street it is the James Beard Foundation,[6] a gourmet organization that focuses on food sustainability. They offer classes as well as are partners with Spoons Across America, a non-profit organization that educates children on healthy eating and sustainable food, and offer volunteer opportunities.[7]


Another interesting aspect of sustainability is the reuse of building materials when doing upgrades. Some boards across the city are now beginning to keep their fixtures, railings, and original features in storage for the use of other residents.[8]


Trivia

Jessie Teals, Greenwich Village's Official Photographer
  • Home to the first female Photo-journalist and official Greenwich Village Photographer, Jessie Teals


  • Sex in the City star, Sarah Jessica Parker, owned a unit in 302 West 12th Street[9]


  • 302 West 12th's sister building, 299 West 12th Street was home to Friend's star Jennifer Aniston, who owned the sprawling penthouse suite.


  • Great place if you can get it, but if you get it, tell me how...
    • The lines are blurring apparently between cooperative boards and condominium boards, especially in the upscale market. In a recent NY Magazine article both 299 and 302 West 12th Street were cited for having lengthy board approval processes as the trend continues for condominium boards function more like cooperative boards.[10]


References

  1. GVH digital history website
  2. Walk score website
  3. Pre-war passion website
  4. NY Times website
  5. 302 West 12th website
  6. James Beard Foundation website
  7. Spoons across America website
  8. Habitat magazine - salvaging fixtures article
  9. Business Insider - Celebrity homes
  10. NY Magazine website


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