Manhattan Place

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630 First Avenue, New York City, NY

Manhattan Place
ManhattanPlace-NYC-Exterior.jpg

Manhattan Place - Exterior
Building Information
Developer Glick Organization
Architect Costas Kondylis
Number of Units 487
Number of Floors 35
Year Built 1985
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof IRMA
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630 First Avenue, New York City, NY
Distance to Public Transit Less than one block
Region New York City
Municipality New York City
Zoning C1-9
Title of Land Condominium


Contents

Background

Manhattan Place Architect, Costas Kondylis.


Architect Costas Kondylis is the designer behind some of New York’s most impressive buildings including Trump Tower, the Trump International Hotel and Tower, Silver Towers, and Riverside South. He and his firm have graced the pages of the New York Times, Architectural Digest, and Vogue. With such an impressive resume, people often wonder where Kondylis started. The answer? Right here at Manhattan Place.

In 1985, when the building was completed, Costas Kondylis was working for Philip Birnbaum and Associates. Some critics argue that Birnbaum had more of a hand in the building’s design than Kondylis himself. This is somewhat understandable, since Birnbaum was acting as something of a mentor for Kondylis at the time.

Interestingly, despite his own strong resume, Birnbaum led a near-anonymous life in architecture, preferring to stay out of the spotlight.

Costas Kondylis’ early buildings are known for functionality and the maximization of space – for real use by their tenants and residents. Whether he held on to that philosophy with buildings like Donald Trump’s under his belt is debatable, but Manhattan Place is a prime example of its beginnings.[1]


Location

The Empire State Building. Less than ten minutes from the front door of Manhattan Place - and visible out many of its windows

Manhattan Place is a stone’s throw away from FDR Drive, which runs the length of the East River and opens the whole of New York to the building’s residents. On the downside, being so close to FDR may mean increased noise and traffic congestion.

FDR aside, Manhattan Place is situated close to more than 60 public transit options. In a building that was designed with genuine function and livability in mind, that kind of convenience can’t be overlooked.

For those inclined toward tourist hot-spots, Manhattan Place is less than a ten minute drive away from the Empire State Building, which features prominently in some of its more expansive views. Also reasonably close at hand: The Morgan Library and Museum, The Chrysler Building, and the United Nations Plaza.[2]

Construction

A 35-story slab of concrete placed diagonally on its side. That’s Manhattan Place’s exterior. But maybe one shouldn't judge a building by its façade any more than one should do the same with books and their covers.

Architect Costas Kondylis (or Philip Birnbaum, depending on one’s perspective) eliminated interior corridors from all of the building’s apartments. His objective was to give residents the maximum possible amount of usable space – and pack as many apartments into the building as he could. The result? 486 suites, some of which still manage to have three reasonably large bedrooms and three bathrooms, along with foyers, office spaces, and staff quarters.

In addition to eliminating hallways in the suites, Kondylis didn't “square them off” either. Instead, the building’s exterior angles are present in the apartments themselves. This makes for some interestingly slanted living rooms and bedrooms. Regardless of a resident’s personal taste in decoration, the spaces themselves are already unique and individual.

Later in his career, Kondylis caught some critical flak for supposedly putting developer dollars ahead of design, milking square footage to cram in as much stuff – and as many paying residents – as he could. Kondylis didn't disagree entirely. To paraphrase: If the space is there, then it should be used.[3]


Layout and Features

The above section makes it sound a little like residents of Manhattan Place – or, if not the people themselves, then at least their apartments – are sardine packed inside a concrete box. They aren't. Complementing their perspectives on the maximization of private space, both Costas Kondylis and his then-mentor, Philip Birnbaum, were advocates for the creation of open, well-lit, and tastefully appointed common areas.

Take, for example, the building’s covered rooftop swimming pool and indoor track. Or its large landscaped plaza, with a three-tiered fountain and seating areas that are open to the public. Evidently, Kondylis understood that maximum functionality includes opportunities to get out and move around.[4]

Floor Plans

A selection of Manhattan Place's unique floor plans:

Amenities

The open plaza of Manhattan Place, with its tiered fountain.

Building amenities include:

  • Concierge
  • Full-time Doorman
  • Roof Deck
  • Pool
  • Fitness Center/Health Club
  • Exterior landscaped plaza (also open to use by the public)
  • Basement Storage
  • Full Service Garage

Bylaws

Manhattan Place Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets No
Age No


  • Manhattan Place allows both the rental and the purchase of suites.
  • Pets are not permitted.
  • There are no age restrictions on tenancy, or residency.

Sustainability

Manhattan Place was built at a time when the realities of environmental awareness and sustainability were only beginning to come to light in New York – or, realistically, anywhere else in North America. Its modernist style doesn't extend to energy efficient windows, or environmentally conscious building materials. But the fact that it has a common roof deck suggests an Inverted or Permanent Membrane Roof, which means better insulation and heat management.

Prospective renters or residents are encouraged to make use of citywide recycling programs, and public transit in reducing carbon footprints. Also keep in mind that individual residents can take it upon themselves to use low flow/low output appliances, bulbs, and fixtures.

Trivia

The Chrysler Building at night.
  • New York's 40 Wall Street, Chrysler Building, and Empire State Building succeeded each other in turn for the title of World's Tallest, from 1930 to 1972.
  • Less than ten minutes from Manhattan Place, the Empire State Building is 102 floors high. There are 1,860 steps from street level to the top.
  • Rumor has it that William Van Alen, the architect behind New York's Chrysler Building was never paid his fees on the pretext of renegotiation with the building's contractors.[5]

References

  1. Tony Sarcone - Manhattan Real Estate and Lifestyle
  2. Walk Score
  3. Street Easy
  4. City Realty
  5. About.com - Manhattan


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