San Remo

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145 - 146 Central Park West, New York City

San Remo
SanRemoNYC.jpg

The San Remo in the Upper West Side of Manhattan
Building Information
Architect Emery Roth
Number of Units 136
Number of Floors 27
Year Built 1930
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof Copper
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145 - 146 Central Park West, New York City
Distance to Public Transit 29 nearby routes
Region New York City
Municipality New York City
Zoning R10A
Title of Land Cooperative


Contents

Background

With its long list of celebrity residents, its exclusive address, and its trendsetting iconic design, the San Remo is a legendary residential building located along Central Park West. Designed by famed architect Emery Roth, the San Remo was the first building to be erected along its famous road with the twin tower design, a design that would ultimately be copied several times over along Central Park West.


Described as one of the most beautiful apartment buildings in New York City, the San Remo has attracted some of the most famous celebrities in the world as residents, including Tiger Woods, Steven Spielberg, Steve Jobs, and Bono. This trend does not seem likely to end any time soon.


Central Park West itself is filled with some of the most famous residences in New York City, as well as the Dakota, which arguably is one of the most famous residences in the world. These residences together, form the Federally designated Central Park West Historic District that runs from 61st to 97th Streets along the western edge of Central Park.


Along this stretch of road sits 59 contributing properties, of which the San Remo is one. Other famous residences that are contributing properties include the Century, the Majestic, the Langham, the Beresford, 55 Central Park West, and the Eldorado.[1]


Location

Spanning an entire block along Central Park West between West 74th and West 75th Streets, the San Remo finds itself in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Originally called the Bloomingdale District, the Upper West Side has a long and storied history as a residential neighborhood. While its fortunes and residential populations have evolved over time, the Upper West Side is presently an upscale neighborhood with the reputation of attracting residents who work in the artistic and cultural industries.


The area is bound by Central Park to the east, the Hudson River to the west, 58th Street to the south, and generally 110th Street to the north, although some consider the Upper West Side’s northern border to be 125th Street.


The Upper West Side is home to several of New York City’s most well known tourist destinations, including the American Museum of Natural History, the Hayden Planetarium, the American Folk Art Museum, Beacon Theater, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, Merkin Concert Hall, and Lincoln Center. Additionally, the Upper West Side is the location of several famous educational facilities, including the LaGuardia High School for Music & Art and the Performing Arts, Columbia University, the American School of Ballet, Fordham University, the Juilliard School, and the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.[2]


Residents of the San Remo do not require a car to complete their daily errands, as they are within walking distance to numerous food, shopping, home service, and transit options. Cyclists will love the many excellent bike lanes nearby and the flat grades.[3]


Construction

The San Remo was designed by famed architect Emery Roth, who with his architectural firm of Emery Roth & Sons, designed several notable residences along Central Park West, as well as more office towers in New York City than any other firm of their era. The San Remo sits on the location that was previously occupied by a hotel of the same name.


This hotel was notable for its design that featured two pyramid shaped towers. Construction on the building began around the time the Beresford was being completed in 1929, right before the stock market crash that started the Great Depression. Despite the economic hardships of the time, construction of the San Remo continued, and the building was completed in 1930.[4]


The Great Depression was not kind to the San Remo, and almost immediately the building had to subdivide many of its larger units in order to make them cheaper and therefore, easier to rent. By 1940, the building’s finances were in such dire shape that together with the Beresford, the two buildings were sold for a pitiful sum of $25,000 against their mortgages.


The San Remo was converted into a cooperative in 1972 and today enjoys its status as one of the most expensive buildings in New York City. One notable construction repair occurred in the 1970s, when one of the copper finials that tops the building’s towers tilted and had to be fixed.[5]

Layout and Features

Emery Roth designed the building in the Beaux-Arts style of architecture, although there are numerous Art Deco motifs to be found throughout the building. Roth also took advantage of the new Multiple Dwelling Act that was enacted at the time of the San Remo’s design to create the first of the now iconic twin tower residential buildings that line Central Park West. The stipulations under this Act allowed for heights previously unheard of for residential buildings, provided that the towers did not exceed more than 20% of the building site and were setback by 70 feet in all directions. The benefit to this design is that the double towers allowed for more windows and natural light within the units, while minimizing the wasted space of long elevator corridors.[6]


The San Remo begins with a three story base that spans the entire block between 74th and 75th Street and is finished with limestone. The remaining facade is comprised of a mix of brick and terracotta and features protruding corner piers. The building’s setbacks begin at the 14th floor, moving upwards in a step formation to the 18th floor at which point the buildings' two towers begin. The towers are ten stories high and contrary to popular belief, they are not completely symmetrical and contain a slight bulge along the west frontage. The pinnacle of these towers are the circular temples that top the building with cooper finials and stand 16 feet tall.[7]


Similar to the Beresford, the San Remo is not shaped like a box, but rather its west side is opened to create a U shape with a courtyard and garden in the middle. This design results in two separate wings of the building, each with their own lobby and elevator bank. Inside the San Remo, the average size of an apartment is 3,000 square feet with a couple of remaining duplex units either left over from the building’s original design or having been combined with other units by owners. Decades of renovations and updating means that each apartment will have its own finishes and decor, however, in general terms, most apartments within the San Remo have large and spacious layouts with entrances galleries or foyers and select apartments have fireplaces and/or terraces.[8]


Floor Plans

A selection of floor plans is presented.

Amenities

Residents of the San Remo enjoy white glove service and the following amenities:

  • 24 hour concierge
  • 24 hour doorman
  • Fitness center
  • Community room
  • Landscaped garden and courtyard
  • Storage facilities
  • Laundry


San Remo Fun Facts San Remo Fun Facts - Video Presentation


Bylaws

San Remo Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No
Barbecues No



  • This building allows rentals and pied-à-terre.
  • This building is pet friendly.
  • There are no age restrictions in this building.[9]


Sustainability

Built in 1930, the San Remo was constructed long before the era of sustainability and green living awareness and therefore, it is a product of its time.

Although this building is not designated as a green building, residents who wish to help improve the San Remo’s overall sustainability can do so in a number of ways, including:

  • Installing more energy efficient materials and appliances when updating/renovating their apartments
  • Limiting the use of a car in favor of walking or taking public transit in order to reduce their carbon footprint
  • Participate in New York City’s recycling programs[10]

Trivia

  • The list of famous and notable residents and owners of this building is vast, and includes Stephen Sondheim, Steven Spielberg, Steve Jobs, Tiger Woods, Demi Moore, Bruce Willis, Dustin Hoffman, Glenn Close, Tony Randall, Donna Karan, Rita Hayworth, Billy Squier, Bono, Jackie Leo, Don Hewitt, Dodi Fayed, Aaron Spelling, Hedy Lamarr, Marshall Brickman, Robert Stigwood, Steve Martin, Trey Parker, Eddie Cantor, Jennifer Rush, James Nederlander, Mitch Miller, Scott Rudin, and Princess Yasmin Aga Khan.[11]
  • When originally constructed, it was believed that the south tower had the more desirable views over the north tower and therefore, the south featured many duplex units while the north tower held only single floor units.[12]
  • The San Remo’s two tower design was the first of many along Central Park West, with the Majestic, the Century, and the Eldorado following in its wake.[13]
  • In 1985, the San Remo rejected Madonna’s bid to buy a three bedroom apartment in the building.[14]
  • In 2007, owners Billy Squier and Bono became embroiled in a dispute over the use of fireplaces in the building, something that had been banned by the coop board when it became apparent that smoke from the fireplaces was drifting into other separate apartments. This dispute ultimately went to court.[15]


References

  1. Wikipedia - Central Park West Historic District
  2. Wikipedia - Upper West Side
  3. Walk Score
  4. Emporis
  5. City Realty
  6. City Realty
  7. Wikipedia - San Remo
  8. City Realty - Review
  9. Manhattan Scout
  10. Manhattan Scout
  11. Wikipedia - San Remo
  12. City Realty
  13. Wikipedia - San Remo
  14. NY Times
  15. NY Times


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