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Today's Featured Building: 15 West 81st Street

15 West 81st Street, New York City, NY

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15 West Street towering in New York City
Building Information
Architect Emery Roth
Number of Units 119
Number of Floors 16
Year Built 1930
Construction Method Concrete
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15 West 81st Street, New York, NY, United States
Distance to Public Transit Less than a block
Region New York City
Municipality New York City
Zoning R8B
Title of Land Cooperative


Beacon Theatre

15 West 81st Street is a neo-renaissance pre-war building built in 1930.

One of the existing buildings in the neighborhood that has embraced the same changes as 15 West 81st Street is the Beacon Theatre. It was completed in 1929, making it only a year older. The theater sat vacant for a time until purchased by Warner Brothers. It was considered to be a first-run movie theater into the 1970's.

In 1974, it was bought and for several years held as a venue for concerts that promoted artists such as Stephen Metz and the Grateful Dead.

The theater holds 2,894 people and was designed by Walter W. Ahlschlager. Today, the theater is run by Madison Square Garden Incorporated. Inside the theater is a 30 foot tall Greek goddess over the arch of the curtain-less stage. The detailing in the building includes plaster moldings, polished hardwood, and brass rails. Many of these features are apparent in 15 West 81st Street.


Elephant Display
15 West 81st Street is located in the Upper West Side Area. The area is between Central Park and the Hudson River.

It is an upscale and primarily residential area with a few tourist attractions and landmark destinations.

The American Folk Art Museum is devoted to self taught artists. It was founded in 1961, and opened to the public in 1963.

The American Museum of Natural History is one of the largest museums in the world. It contains 27 interconnected buildings and 45 permanent exhibits. Some of the exhibits include the African Mammal Hall, Arthur Ross Hall of Meteorites, Milstein Hall of Ocean Life and Fossil Halls.

The a partments facing West 81st Street get views of the Natural History Museum and Central Park West.[1]

Within walking distance are conveniences such as Subway and Pizza Hut restaurant, Dunkin' Donuts coffee, Save-A-Lot Groceries and West Chatham Park. [2]


Entrance Facade
The building itself was completed in 1930 and it was modified into a cooperative in 1966.

The exterior is finished with a beige brick. The first three levels have a rusticated base with a few band-courses. There is also a setback water tank enclosure that adds interest to the elevation.

The entrance in canopied and flanked with lighting and sidewalk landscaping.

A band-course is a continuous horizontal layer of a similarity sized material. It is almost always used with masonry or brick and sometimes stone. There are various styles such as stretcher, header, rowlock, solider, sailor, and shiner. They are typically used for aesthetic purposes, such as emphasizing an entrance of the junctions between floors.[3]

Layout and Features

The rooms are large and luxurious. The brass hardware has been recently restored throughout some of the units. Also, there have been new moldings, baseboards, updated electric wiring, and customized closets added in renovations.

Features in the suites include marble counter tops, stainless steel appliances, custom cabinets, red oak flooring, marble floors, and high end fixtures. [4]

With regard to common areas, the extravagant lobby leads off of a canopied entrance framed with an elegantly landscaped sidewalk.

Unfortunately, this building does not have any balconies.[5]

Floor Plans


  • 24-hour doorman
  • Fitness center
  • Storage and a bike room
  • Live-in Superintendent
  • Children’s playroom


Main Page Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes or No

  • Rentals are permitted [6]
  • Pets are allowed[7]


New York State struggles to deal with legacy pollutants and fish consumption.

Before regulations were made to prevent dumping industrial waste into the waters, many toxic compounds had been disposed of into the rivers and lakes via direct or through landfills. Since then, the toxins have been banned from dumping into the waters, but they still continue to contaminate the waters.

Even the original toxins in the water still are there due to movement by sediments and the food chain in fish. This has lead to warning and health advisories for people looking to fish in the waters.

In order to try and solve this problem, redemption activities are underway. One of the methods is the fishing restrictions in the Upper Hudson River. There is also an intensive monitoring system that is working to identify the sources and movements of these toxins. [8]


Each apple is considered a clone

The museum of natural history provides facts about the exhibits. There thousands of things to see and read, here are a few:

  • five species of beans have been bred into about 40,000 varieties
  • cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale and kohlrabi are actually all the same species
  • in Ancient Aztec markets, cocoa beans were currency
  • the bumps on your tongue aren't actually taste buds, the taste buds are inside
  • in parts of Asia and the middle east, sheep are bred to have fat tails that are so big they have to be dragged in special carts
  • almost every apple you eat is cloned by grafting
  • wild chickens lay about 15 eggs a year, captive chickens lay 200 - 300
  • in high income countries, each person wastes about 187 pounds of food each year. In low income countries, it it about 33 pounds[9]


  1. Wikipedia
  2. Walk Score
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Halstead
  5. City Realty
  6. Street Easy
  7. Point 2 Point
  8. DEC NY
  9. Mental Floss

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