Mayfair Towers

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15 West 72nd Street, New York City, NY

Mayfair Towers
MayfairTowers-NYC-Exterior.jpg

The white brick facade popular of the era
Building Information
Developer First National Realty and Construction Corporation
Architect Horace Ginsbern and Associates
Management Company Cooperative
Number of Units 497
Number of Floors 37
Year Built 1964
Construction Method Steel
Type of Roof IRMA
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15 West 72nd Street, 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


Contents

Background

The history of Mayfair Towers is intertwined with that of the Dakota, the Victorian and Gothic landmark building which opened in 1884. After all, the Mayfair Towers sits on the land that once were the grounds of the Dakota.

The Dakota
The grounds included the tennis courts for the Dakota and in the 1960s, was a parking lot for residents' cars. Early on, this piece of property also held the rose garden for the Dakota. During World War I, residents did their part for the war effort by planting a "victory garden" growing vegetables to support the local need for food.

Louis Glickman, in an effort to re-gain some notoriety, outbid Zeckendorf to renovate and save the Dakota. His $4.6 million bid won by about $100,000. Part of the deal was to assume ownership of the adjoining grounds to the Dakota now being used as a parking lot. Nine months after the deal, Glickman sold the property to "First National Realty and Construction Corporation" who brought in Horace Ginsbern and Associates to design a new residential structure.[1]

This 36 story white brick building began its existence as an apartment house in 1964. Although architecturally different from its immediate neighborhood, it was significant as being one of the first postwar buildings constructed in the Upper West Side. The conversion to a cooperative came in 1980.

This historic neighborhood includes many landmark buildings and vast displays of architecture including the Oliver Cromwell by Emery Roth and Braender by Frederick Browne. Views of the historic San Remo are also available from Mayfair Towers.[2]



Location

Mayfair Towers is less than a mile from Central Park which offer a number of excellent outdoor activities from walking, biking, to rowing and sports such as tennis, soccer, basketball, and baseball. In the winter ice skating is a popular activity for tourists and locals alike. Romantic carriage rides are available year round as is the Central Park Zoo.

Ideally located overlooking Central Park
The Upper West side offers a number of local groceries choices including a Fairway, Citerella, Zabars and Trader Joe's. A large selection of upscale shopping choices including The Gap, Brooks Brothers, Pottery Barn, Gracious Home, Emporio Armani, Hugo Boss, Magnolia Bakery, Banana Republic, and Century 21 Clothing Store.

With flat terrain, plenty of bike lanes, easy proximity to shops and activities and over 25 transit options, Mayfair Towers has an excellent walk, bike, and transit score.[3]

Mayfair Towers is located less than a block from the Strawberry Field's entrance to Central Park. Across the Central Park is the Museum Mile and the American Museum of Natural History is only only blocks away. The Museum Mile includes the Goethe-Institute New York, the Jewish Museum of New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of the City of New York, the National Academy of Design, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and El Museo Del Barrio.

The neighborhood also presents excellent dining choices in including Avoce, Per Se, Landmarc, PJ Clarks, and Ouest.

Historic places in the Upper West Side include Columbus Circle, the American Youth Hostel, and Verdi Square, among others.

There are also a vast number of libraries in the neighborhood including New York Public Library - Bloomingdale Library, St Agnes Library, Philosophical Library Inc., American Museum of Natural History library, Osborn Library, Robert Goldwater Library, and the National Library of Medicine.

MayfairTowers-NYC-LogoHeader.jpg

Construction

Horace Ginsberg was born in Minsk, Russia. He changed his name to Ginsbern, and is known as the "genius from the Bronx". Ginsbern is well known for his innovative projects that mirror their subject matter especially on the commercial side. His groundbreaking “Chock Full O’Nuts” revolutionized the coffee company.

MayfairTowers-NYC-Logo.png
His firm, Horace Ginsbern and Associates, has designed over 140 buildings in Manhattan and the Bronx. Other buildings include 111 Third Avenue, 77 East 12th Street,Gallery House, and Charles House.[4]

The building has three main tiers beginning with the base which extends up to the 16th floor. The intermediate tier spans floors 17 through 23. It is topped with a tower from floors 24 through 37, giving the building its iconic look, a high-rise tower in the center flanked by two mid-rise wings. It was converted into a cooperative in 1980.

Interestingly, the walls within are of plaster, not the plasterboard of more modern construction, or drywall as it is termed, an unusual construction aspect not found any more.

The bulk of the building stands 94.49 meters high with the tower extending 101.19 meters. This 36 floor skyscraper is an impressive example of modernist style of architecture in the mid 20th century. The construction was completed in 1963.[5]

Layout and Features

MayfairTowers-NYC-Montage.jpg
A vast selection of layouts are available at Mayfair Towers. Suites range from Studios to extravagant 5 bedroom apartments, and an elaborate duplex. Most two bedroom units include balconies. Upper floors have spectacular park and city views.

A full time doorman will meet and greet the residents and specific needs may be handled by the concierge. The postwar design includes a parking garage and central air conditioning, something fairly new in the 1960s.

The building staff tends the planter boxes. The children's playground is complete with picnic tables and benches, laundry facilities on every floor, a state of the art gym which residents can join, as well a library which residents are welcome to add to.

A health club and a roof deck are available for the residents to enjoy. The building features wall-to-wall windows and hardwood floors. There is even an on-site tailor for those who have difficulty threading a needle.[6]

Floor Plans

There are over 80 floor plans available of which a selection are presented here.

Amenities

Mayfair Towers is a full service cooperative building featuring a number of amenities. There is a roof-top garden with comfortable benches to sit or lie on, an outdoor shower and a restroom for the convenience of residents.

  • Rooftop garden
  • Children's playground
  • Library
  • Two bike rooms with air pump for tires
  • State of the art fitness center
  • 24 hour doorman and concierge
  • Laundry rooms on each floor
  • Central air conditioning
  • On-site tailor

Bylaws

Mayfair Towers Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No
Barbecues Yes



  • Pets are welcome
  • Rentals are allowed
  • Pied-a-terre permitted
  • No age restriction on purchase, co-purchasers with children are permitted

Sustainability

In 1964, designers and developers did not incorporate modern green and sustainable concepts in their projects. It was not the de rigueur of the era, or the social obligation.

However, The conversion to a cooperative in 1980 did add to the sustainability of the building, if only a little. More energy efficient appliances were added reducing the amount of electricity required to run them. A bike storage area was incorporated into the renovation encouraging residents to use alternate modes of transport.

Inadvertently, the mere location of Mayfair Towers close to neighborhood amenities inherently makes this a more environmentally conscious residence as shopping and public transportation are at the doorstep.

The building boasts the city’s first incinerator-less refuse-disposal system.[7]


Trivia

The view of the Upper West Side from the Dakota in 1890[8]
  • Broad streets in the area offered sites for desirable and prominent residences in the late 1800s. Soon, the age of Gilded Age mansions and Beaux-Arts structures would give way to apartment blocks and larger, modern buildings. Today, 72nd Street is a major two direction roadway and one of the few that cross Central Park, although it is almost always closed to vehicular traffic.
  • Mayfair Towers may not have a long list of celebrities who lived there, but its next door neighbor, the Dakota did. Here are a few highlights of notable residents from history:
    • Lauren Bacall, actress
    • Leonard Bernstein, composer and conductor
    • Judy Garland, actress
    • John Lennon, musician and composer
    • Rudolf Nureyev, dancer
    • Jerry Seinfeld, comedian
  • 72nd Street itself, is steeped in history. Other famous personalities include:[9]
    • Margaux Hemingway, model and actress, 12 East 72nd Street
    • George Gershwin, composer and pianist, 132 East 72nd Street
    • John Steinbeck, writer, 190 and 206 East 72nd Street
    • Yoko Ono, artist, activist, 1 West 72nd Street

References

  1. Mayfair Towers website
  2. City Realty website
  3. Walk score website
  4. My Inwood website
  5. Emporis website
  6. City Realty - Mayfair Towers
  7. City Realty
  8. Ephemeral New York - Upper West Side view from the Dakota in 1890
  9. Wikipedia - 72nd Street - Manhattan


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