201 West 72nd Street, New York City, NY
The Alexandria at the edge of Verdi Square in the Upper West Side of Manhattan
|Architect||Frank Williams & Associates|
|Number of Units||198|
|Number of Floors||25|
|201 West 72nd Street, New York City, NY|
|Distance to Public Transit||Less than one block|
|Region||New York City|
|Municipality||New York City|
|Zoning||C4 - 6A|
|Title of Land||Condominium|
The Alexandria is located in the neighborhood of the Upper West Side of Manhattan, at the intersection of Broadway and West 72nd Street. The Upper West Side was originally called the Bloomingdale District, the anglicized version of the Dutch Bloemendaal, the original Dutch settlers of the area.
In the 18th century, the Bloomingdale District was known as a high end area of New York, populated by country residences of the city’s wealthy inhabitants and large farms. Over the years the Upper West Side has gone through numerous transformations in regards to the demographics of the residents, with several areas going through periods of decline and urban renewal.
Today, the Upper West Side has returned to its roots as a high end neighborhood, with the area containing some of the most desirable residential addresses in New York City. While the Upper East Side is known for its white collar business professionals, the Upper West Side is the reputed destination for cultural workers and artists, attracted by the proximity of such cultural institutions as Lincoln Center, the American Museum of Natural History with its Hayden Planetarium, Beacon Theater, and the Children’s Museum of Manhattan.
Although described as one of the more beautiful buildings to be built in the Upper West Side in recent decades, The Alexandria almost didn't come to fruition, as developer William Zeckendorf Jr.’s original plan for the location was to expand the building already in existence. The site currently occupied by The Alexandria had several previous tenants, one being the St. Andrew’s Hotel, designed by Andrew Craig in 1893, and most recently the Embassy Theater, a two story movie theater designed in 1938 by Peter Copland and Schwartz & Gross.
Zeckendorf’s original plan was to expand this theater into an entertainment center that would span the entire block along Broadway, featuring five film screens, and a 1,250 seat traditional theater. These plans fell through when Zeckendorf failed to acquire the block front along Broadway, and therefore the residential building Alexandria was built instead. 
The Alexandria sits on the northwest corner of Broadway and West 72nd Street, directly on the edge of Verdi Square, named after the opera composer Giuseppe Verdi, featuring the Giuseppe Verdi Monument in the center of the square.
Known as Needle Park for most of the 1960s and 1970s, the area was a gathering place for drug dealers and other criminal activities for many years, as depicted in the film Panic at Needle Park. The construction of upscale residences such as The Alexandria began the gentrification process of the area, and increased police presence has diminished the criminal activity.
Today Verdi Square is home to the annual Verdi Square Festival of the Arts and the neighborhood has shed its former nickname.
Residents of The Alexandria do not require a car to run their daily errands as the building is within walking distance to an abundance of shops, restaurants, grocery stores, and home services. In addition, the 72nd Street subway station lies directly below Verdi Square.
Construction of The Alexandria was begun in 1989, completed in 1990, with a building opening of 1991. 
The building is designed in the Postmodern style of architecture employing several Egyptain design motifs. Designed by Frank Williams & Associates and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the Alexandria was described by critics as one of “the most flamboyant of Broadway’s new generation of apartment houses.”
Layout and Features
The Alexandria is distinguished by its red brick facade, white grill balcony railings, and green decorative finishes.
The bay windows of the apartments are turreted in pronounced angles, and the upper floors of the building rise in a series of setbacks leading up to the octagonal shaped water tank enclosure that forms the roof of the building.
Apartments within the building feature distinct and spacious layouts, and all units have large, 11 foot ceilings. The kitchens and bathrooms are outfitted with luxury fixtures and finishes, and at the time of opening, all appliances were premium and state of the art. 
With over 60 floor plans available, a selection is presented.
Residents of The Alexandria enjoy premium, white glove amenities, including:
- A staff of full time doormen
- Maid service
- Live in superintendent
- Fully equipped health club with weight training facilities
- Sauna and a steam room
- Children’s play area
- Resident’s lounge
- Landscaped garden
- Rooftop deck
- Laundry facilities on every floor.
- This building is pet friendly
- Allows rentals and sublets
- There are no age restrictions for this building
Built before the age of sustainable living awareness, The Alexandria is a product of its time.
Individual owners of the apartments may update their appliances and window paneling with energy saving brands and materials.
In addition, residents can help with the building’s sustainability by participating in the city’s recycling programs.
- The Alexandria was used as a filming location for the films Manhattan Murder Mystery by Woody Allen, and Music and Lyrics, starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore.
- The Upper West Side is home to the media giants of Time Warner and the American Broadcasting Company (ABC), the educational institutions of Columbia University, the Juilliard School, the LaGuardia High School of Music, Art, and Performing Arts, and Fordham University, and numerous historical and religious landmarks and buildings. The Upper West Side is also home to many of New York City’s most famous residences, including the Dakota, the Ansonia, and the Majestic.
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