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230 Central Park West, New York City, NY


The Bolivar - 230 Central Park West
Building Information
Architect Nathan Korn
Number of Units 156
Number of Floors 16
Year Built 1926
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof Brick
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230 Central Park West, New York City, NY
Distance to Public Transit Less than one block
Region New York City
Municipality New York City
Zoning R10-A
Title of Land Cooperative



Entrance canopy
Bolivar is well dressed in red brick and terracotta. It was built in 1926 as an apartment and has been helping its impressive neighbors in the Upper West Side stand guard over Central Park ever since. Neighbors such as the Beresford a block away, the San Remo a few blocks north, and the Alden.

It's a distinguished building with corners and windows trimmed out with a light, almost white terracotta creating a striking contrast against the red [brick]]s.

The Upper West Side (UWS), has many of these architectural treasures throughout the neighborhood. Sometimes the sheer subtlety and simplicity of design may cause these gems to "hide in plain sight", so to speak. This 15 story structure was converted into a cooperative in 1984 and many new touches were added or upgraded.[1]

Bolivar contains 156 apartments, largely studios and one bedroom units, ideal for first timers, pied-à-terre, and couples.


The Bolivar is located on Central Park West, an extension of Eighth Avenue, between 83rd and 84th Streets, immediately across the street from Central Park. Bolivar shares the block with another cooperative, a beige brick building, 239 Central Park West, built around the same time.

The Hayden Planetarium and the American Museum of Natural History is two blocks away. Views of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir and the buildings lining Fifth Avenue across the park, can be seen from the roof deck of Bolivar. Three and a half long blocks to the west will bring residents to the Hudson River and the Riverside Park, Manhattan's second largest urban park.

Residents are close to the 79th Street Transverse across Central Park which would take them to the Museum Mile, and area said to contain the densest display of culture in the world. About ten world class museums and institutes are in the museum mile, which is actually three blocks longer than a mile. The Frick Collection lies close to the area on 70th Street and Fifth Avenue, but is not considered part of Museum Mile.

Groceries and restaurants cluster along Columbus Avenue about a block away and the upper stretches of Broadway are just beyond that. The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Columbus Circle are about 18 to 20 short blocks away, but that's just a brisk stroll for a New Yorker. If strolling is not in the plan, then a subway entrance for the B and C line is at 81st Street and Central Park West. The 1 train can be boarded at 79th and 86th Streets at Broadway.[2]


The detailed terracotta and brick work
The Bolivar was designed in a neo-Georgian style by architect Nathan Korn, and was completed in 1926.

Detailing of the building includes some cast stone embellishments with marble and terracotta on the façade. The building displays quoin corners of terracotta, and architectural and building technique that takes rectangular blocks, or bricks, and lays them first along one direction of the façade and then alternates the other way, usually forming a 90 degree corner.

Quoins can be used as a load-bearing method or simply decorative. As a load-bearing device, quoins give additional strength to the walls that may be made from an inferior material. In the case of decorative use, quoins may be made of brick, blocks, terracotta, or even wood.

It gives gives a stepped appearance along the corner up the height of the building, and creates the impression of permanence and strength. The 'long-lasting' characteristics are well balanced with consistent fenestration with over-sized windows to afford the best views.

For additional character, string-courses over the first and fourth floors and also two floors from the roof line add a Georgian flair to Bolivar. Dentil molding, the blocky teeth-like protrusions embedded symmetrically along the underside of the roof line, further add to the appearance.[3]

The water tank enclosure is a brick structure on the roof that does not seem out of place.

Layout and Features

As an apartment building in 1926, Bolivar made the most efficient use of space to ensure many people could be housed. over the decades, modifications within the structure has combined many of the studios and smaller suites creating larger living spaces.

Today, the building is mostly comprised of one-bedrooms that range in size from approximately 600 to 875 square feet. There are still many studios and they range in size from approximately 300 to 400 square feet. Some of the larger two bedroom suites range in size from 1,000 to 1,500 square feet.

Homes within Bolivar feature beamed ceilings of an average height. Some of the renovations during the conversion to a cooperative have installed wide plank oak flooring. Other plans have left the herringbone pattern floors. Through-wall air-conditioners have been provided for.

The roof deck has been landscaped and provides excellent views of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline.

A central laundry, resident storage and bike storage have been added.[4]

Floor Plans

More than 20 floor layouts are published, but minor modifications always occur. Here are some samples:


A caricature of the Bolivar

Here is a list of amenities for Bolivar:

  • Full-time doorman
  • Concierge
  • Landscaped roof deck
  • Basement storage
  • Bike room
  • Central laundry room
  • Playroom for children
  • Library

Some additional advantages to Bolivar:

  • Wonderful Central Park views
  • Close to two subway stations and cross-town buses
  • The charm of pre-war construction
  • Attractive building with good detailing

Here are some other aspects of Bolivar - some would call disadvantages, but they can become positives:

  • No Balconies - could be seen as no cooking smells from other peoples' barbecues
  • No Health Club - the world's most famous urban park, Central Park, is across the street
  • No Garage - no need for a car, then, lots of transit nearby
  • Many Apartments are small - smaller footprint, smaller price - great for an Upper West Side home


Bolivar Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No

  • Pet friendly
  • Rentals and pied-à-terre are permitted


Not much was done in the way of creating a "green building" when the Bolivar was first built in 1926.

However, much has been done since. During the conversion to a cooperative, energy efficient appliances were installed. As well, much of the wiring and plumbing was upgraded to meet modern building codes, standards that take into consideration public safety through material selection and function.

The addition of a bike storage area encourages residents to explore the neighborhood on their bikes rather than burning hydrocarbons within a vehicle. This certainly lessens one's impact on the environment ... and feels good.

The roof deck is a nice oasis for the residents and is enhanced by the vast green space right across the street.

Neighborhood amenities are plentiful and nearby, again lessening the need for vehicular travel.


Jerry Seinfeld and wife, Jessica

New York Times - In 2006, Jerry Seinfeld sold his two bedroom bachelor pad in Bolivar for more than the asking price of $2.35 million.

The Seinfelds were married in 1999 and renovations on their new Beresford apartment took more than a year. They stayed at the Bolivar until the move. Meanwhile, they kept the apartment at the Bolivar until its sale in 2006, using it for guest accommodations for out of town visitors - and because Jerry simply liked it.

He held onto to the property for more than a year as renovations were being made to his new, larger digs at the Beresford, a block away. He lives there now with his children and his wife, Jessica.[5]


  1. City Realty
  2. Walk Score
  3. Wikipedia - Dentil
  4. Dwellings NYC
  5. New York Times - "Seinfeld Sells a Former Domain" - May 14, 2006

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