Astor Court

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205 West 89th Street, New York City, NY

Astor Court
Astor-nyc-exterior.jpg

Street View of Astor Court
Building Information
Developer Vincent Astor
Architect Charles Platt
Management Company Douglas Elliman Property Management
Number of Units 156
Number of Floors 13
Year Built 1916
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof IRMA
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205 West 89th Street, New York City, NY
Distance to Public Transit Within one block
Region New York City
Municipality New York City
Zoning EC-3
Title of Land Cooperative


Contents

Background

Astor Court Entrance

Named after the building's developer and built in 1916, Astor Court is a 13 story cooperative building on the East side of Broadway from 89th Street to 90th Street. The building has two different addresses, 205 West 89th Street and 210 West 90th Street, both of which have separate entrances each of which has its own 24 hour doorman service.

Astor Court is built in a "U"-shape and is one of the only structures built around a formal English garden, which is set in the centre and slightly visible from both entrances. Originally built as a rental apartment building, this pre-war structure was later converted to its current cooperative structure, and offers 156 residences. The penthouse level offers newly built homes with private roof terraces, while each of the residents in the building have access to the common roof terrace, children's playroom, bike room, and laundry facilities.

Astor Court is a pet-friendly residence that is known for their large layouts with high, 10 foot ceilings and many wood burning fireplaces. Situated at the center of the American theater industry, Astor Court provides a sought-after Upper West Side residence for those wishing to be central and nearby many theaters, restaurants, and entertainment spots. The neighborhood is also said to be one of the city’s finest areas architecturally, with many historic, pre-war apartment buildings.[1]



Location

Situated between Central Park and Riverside Park, Astor Court offers a bustling and affluent area with many landmark buildings, fine-dining restaurants, and cultural monuments nearby. Nearby parks that are within walking distance from the building, aside from the on-site garden offered at Astor Court, include Saint Gregory's Park, Eightyninth Street Playground, Sol Bloom Playground, and Joan of Arc Park. There is an AMC Theater nearby at Broadway and 83rd, as well as other entertainment venues like Running Sun Theater, Children's Museum of Manhattan, and the Columbus Avenue Culture Center.

Nearby schools include Stephen Gaynor School, Richard Rogers School, St Gregory the Great School, Trinity School, Success Academy Upper West, and The Smith School. There are many different public transportation routes nearby, including a convenient cross-town bus service, as well as the metro subway station which is located at 86th Street and Broadway. With the subway, residents of Astor Court can easily access the surrounding neighborhoods, including Morningside Heights which houses Columbia University.[2]

Construction

Original Construction Plans of Astor Court

Constructed in 1916 by developer Vincent Astor, who partnered with the architect Charles A. Platt on the design of the structure, Astor Court was converted to a cooperative in 1985. For the architectural buffs in the Upper West Side, the building's striking cornice is immediately evident, and is one of the largest cornices in the city although it is missing some detailing in the center of the building's frontage on Broadway.

The attractive red brick clad building has a striking and clean two-story rusticated, limestone base with attractive wrought-iron window grates on the first floor. Each entrance is located off the tree-lined side streets and offers impressive bronze lanterns at their sides which lead to the impressive lobbies. The exposure directly on Broadway offers a wider frontage with commercial and retail space in its ground-level spaces.

There is a string-course at the fourth level as well as near the top of the building, two stories beneath the large cornice. The building offers many columns of narrow windows, and some pedestal details, but no balconies. The building offers a parking garage, and its flat roof line provides for the common roof deck. Some protruding air-conditioners can also be seen from the exterior.[3]

Layout and Features

This architecturally distinguished building offers many different layouts, most of which are one to three bedrooms in size, but some of which are larger for families. The penthouse units in the building are newly finished with private rooftop patios. Although the lower units do not offer private balconies, each has access to the common roof deck as well as the landscaped courtyard garden. The historic, architecturally striking lobby offers arched details in its large windows as well as its beautiful coffered ceiling.

These arched details are reflected throughout the interiors on each floor, with grand arched doorways that separate the rooms in each of the layouts. Each home also offers 10 foot ceilings and many windows for additional light and openness. French doors, moldings, and solid hardwood floors are common features throughout the homes, as well as large living spaces and well-appointed bedrooms. Some of the layouts include den or home office spaces, while others offer maid's living quarters. Many of the residences offer serene views of the greenery of the courtyard garden, while others overlook the bustling street of Broadway.

Many of the interiors still offer their original wood-burning fireplaces, and many have also implemented the design of charming and bright wall colors as well as custom built-in book shelves. Some interiors have undergone renovations to the kitchens and bathrooms. Common kitchen renovations include custom wood cabinetry with glass fronts, mosaic glass tile back splashes, stainless steel appliances, and stone or granite counter tops with breakfast eating bars. Ample closet space is provided, as well as on-site bike storage. This lenient and pet-friendly co-op permits up to 70% financing and allows pied-a-terre residents.[4]

Floor Plans

There are 32 floor plans available for Astor Court. Here is a brief overview.


Amenities

Amenities offered at Astor Court include:

  • Two 24 Hour Doormen
  • Elevator
  • Common Roof Deck
  • Garden
  • Bike Room
  • Children's playroom
  • Live-in Super
  • Laundry Facilities


Bylaws

Astor Court Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No



  • Astor Court is a pet-friendly building
  • Rentals and pied-a-terre are allowed
  • There are no age restrictions
  • 70% financing is permitted

The building is managed by Douglas Elliman Property Management, phone: (212) 350-2800.

Sustainability

Astor Court features many sustainable features such as:

  • Durable concrete construction with a brick exterior
  • Large cornice or overhang which helps to avoid water ingress
  • Energy-free amenities like rooftop and garden
  • Well-maintained lobby and interiors
  • Commercial spaces for economic viability of building
  • Many double-pane, energy-efficient windows
  • Common laundry room to keep energy usage low
  • Original hardwood floors and wood-burning fireplaces
  • Energy-efficient appliances and light fixtures

The building is also set on Broadway which offers virtually every daily necessity and amenity. There are also many public transportation routes nearby which allow residents to commute vehicle-free.

Trivia

Vincent Astor, Real Estate Developer

Vincent Astor, the developer of Astor Court and for which the building is named, comes from an interesting family history and background. Christopher Gray commented on Vincent Astor in his September, 2006 "Streetscapes" column in The New York Times, saying that "What is less well known is how Vincent Astor, inheriting the family fortune as a college freshman, used it to shape an unusual real estate career that left a rich and original legacy on the New York streetscape."

Vincent Astor was the grandson of Jacob Astor, who had created a net worth of $20 million by the time he died in 1848, much of which was invested in real estate. The inheritance went to Jacob Astor's son, John Jacob Astor IV, who was Vincent's father. "Vincent Astor grew up in delicate health; he was at Harvard in April 1912 when word came that the Titanic had gone down with his father on board. Suddenly, a fortune of $87 million - $65 million of it in real estate - descended on a young man whose only proven passion was for fast cars."

Vincent Astor's first residential development is believed to be the tapestry-brick building at 4 Ninth Avenue, which was completed in 1913. One year later, Astor began the $1 million dollar project of Astor Court, working alongside Charles Platt, "he erected a façade of brick and stone so carefully detailed that it might have evoked a private club, except that it was 13 stories high." Astor Court appeased the many architectural critics of the time who had been complaining about the increasingly insignificant cornices on modern architecture. With Astor Court's copper cornice that projects out eight feet, and which was painted gold and red at its opening, these critics were unable to judge the building on that front.

Astor went on to pursue his architectural ambitions in other areas of Manhattan. "By the late 1920’s, Astor recaptured some of his architectural ambitions in his attempt to remake a section of East End Avenue, then an area of modest apartment buildings, into a high-toned residential enclave."[5]

References

  1. Street Easy
  2. Walk Score
  3. City Realty
  4. Street Easy
  5. City Realty


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