Stewart House

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70 East 10th Street, New York City, NY

Stewart House
StewarthouseextNYC.jpg

Stewart House, located in the midst of Greenwich Village
Building Information
Architect Sylvan & Robert Bien
Number of Units 368
Number of Floors 21
Year Built 1960
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof Torch-On
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70 East 10th Street, New York City, NY
Distance to Public Transit Less than one block
Region New York City
Municipality New York City
Zoning C6-1
Title of Land Cooperative


Contents

Background

Stewart House stands on the former site of the A. T. Stewart Store, which occupied the space from 1862 to 1956, when the building burned down. The A. T. Stewart Store was, for decades, the preeminent department store in all New York. Stewart later sold the building to John Wanamaker & Sons, a Philadelphia based department store. The former structure was built in the Italianate style by John Kellum and featured large tiered columns, a sweeping and luxurious interior, centered with a vast, sky-lighted atrium.

In 1959, work began on the present structure and was completed in 1960. The 20 story building was designed by father and son architects Sylvan and Robert Bien. The post World War II era gave rise to many major apartment buildings being built in the area. Encompassing an entire city block made Stewart House one of the largest built during this time. In keeping with the building trends of the time, Stewart House featured a bright and clean white-brick facade, large gardens and a curved driveway at its entrance. With the emergence of the Flatiron district and the revitalization of Union Square in the 1980's, Stewart House has found itself in one of the most desired places to live in all of New York.[1]

Location

Grace Church

Located in the famous Greenwich Village of Manhattan, Stewart House is right in the middle of a bustling and culturally vibrant community. Greenwich Village in the early 1900s was the heart of the Bohemian Movement in America and attracted artists of every medium to call this small area in Manhattan home. Later, in the 1950s and 60s, "The Village" played host to the emergence of the Beatnik Movement in New York. This further solidified the areas artistic roots. Here are some of the famous artists who have called Greenwich Village home, Mark Twain, Salvador Dalí, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Barbra Streisand, Peter, Paul, and Mary, Bette Midler, Simon & Garfunkel, and Liza Minnelli. Though gentrification of the area over the past few decades has been vast, the neighborhood and its residents still honor the historic roots of the community.[2]

Amazing restaurants, cafes and shops are easily found mere steps from the building. Washington Square Park and Union Square Park are a short walk away and the elegant, historical landmark of Grace Church is right next door. The area also features many nightclubs, bars and live music venues.

This neighborhood hits a perfect 100 walk score for walkable access to every amenity. Public transit access in the area is also superb, with 34 bus routes and 21 rail routes nearby. This has earned this location a perfect 100 transit score for easy public transit access. Those who live in Greenwich village rarely find the need to venture far for anything, making Stewart House and its local contemporaries highly desirable places to reside.[3]

Construction

StewartHouse-NYC-Biens.jpg

Stewart House is a 21 story, steel-reinforced, concrete building featuring a clean white brick facade indicative of the 1950s and 1960s. Designed by the father and son duo of Sylvan and Robert Bien, Stewart House features spacious one and two bedroom suites with bright windows and spectacular views of Mid-town Manhattan.

Sylvan Bien moved to New York in 1919 to work for Warren & Wetmore. By 1930 he had his own architecture firm in New York and his work focused mainly on hotel and apartment design. Some of his most notable works are the Hotel Carlyle, Grolier Building and the Beverly Hotel. His son Robert graduated from Cornell University in 1949 and joined his father as a partner in his firm in 1950. Together the two would go on to design many buildings together, including, the Gracie Towers Apartments, the Revlon Building, 900 and 910 Fifth Avenue and 655 Madison Avenue.[4]

In post World War II, the Bien's embraced the Moderne style of architecture, fusing traditional building styles with modern materials and ideas. Instead of boxy brick or concrete structures, the Bien's looked to beautify the exterior by adding white brick facades and in some cases even gold-hued, anodized aluminum. The Bien's also designed the suites of their apartments to be large and spacious, with bright windows. Much of this philosophy is seen in the design and layout of Stewart House, with its large living rooms and bedrooms, along with loads of closet space.[5]


Layout and Features

The suites in Stewart House are truly a thing of the past. Large and spacious living space, with bedrooms that can easily house a king-sized bed and stunning views of the city. Most units feature Parquet hardwood floors and ample storage space, with some two bedrooms offering up to seven closets, some of which are walk-ins.

Unfortunately, most units do not feature balconies and the kitchens are skinny and cramped. Although, with many excellent restaurants, cafes and parks close by this may not be too much of an issue.

Floor Plans

Here are some examples of floor plans for suites in Stewart House.

Amenities

Stewart House features white-gloved concierge and 24 hour doorman services in its eloquent and spacious lobby.

There is a finely landscaped, curved driveway at its entrance and the building features a convenient full service parking garage.

There is a large private garden, as well as a gym for keeping in-shape.

One draw-back to the building is no in-suite laundering, though there are 2 separate laundry rooms easily accessible by the buildings 4 elevators.

There is also a children's playroom on site for those with wee ones. Basement storage is also available.

Bylaws

Stewart House Bylaws
Rentals No
Pets Yes, but no dogs
Age No
Barbecues No


  • Stewart House is pet friendly, but dogs are not allowed.

Sustainability

Having been built in 1960, Stewart House was not built with green or sustainability in mind.

That being said the building has withstood the test of time and very little has had to be done in terms of major renovations.

Through images of certain suites in the building, we can see that most offer modern, energy efficient appliances.

Trivia

  • The plot of land that Stewart House now resides on is the former site of the chief A.T. Stewart & Co Department Store chain. Known at the time as "The Iron Palace", the 6 storey structure had a cast-iron front and featured a large windowed dome and vast atrium.
    • Alexander Turney Stewart was an Irish immigrant born in 1803 in Lisburn, Ireland. 3 weeks after his birth his father died of Tuberculosis. 2 years later his mother would remarry and set off to America with her new husband, leaving Alexander in the care of his grandfather, John Torney. It was his grandfathers hope that Alexander would become a minister for the Church of England. In 1816 his grandfather past away and Alexander was taken into the home of Thomas Lamb an Irish Quaker.
    • After spending a couple of years as a grocer in Ireland, Stewart set sail for America with $500 in his pocket. A couple of years later he would return to Ireland to collect an inheritance left to him by his grandfather, between $5000-$10,000. With this money Stewart would open his first dry-goods store in 1823 in New York, selling Irish fabrics and other goods. Stewart's philosophy was to sell his goods at near wholesale prices to undercut his competition. By 1848 Stewart was one of the most successful retailers in New York and had his first major stores built at 280 Broadway, which became known as the Marble Palace. In 1862, Stewart would complete work on his new flagship store at 10th and Broadway, which would become known as the Iron Palace. At its height, The Iron Palace boasted 30 different departments and employed 2000 people.
    • By the end of his life, A.T. Stewart was the third richest man in all New York, trailing only John Jacob Astor and Cornelius Vanderbilt. He was worth an estimated $40-50 million dollars, a billionaire by today's standards. Shortly after his death, Stewart's body was exhumed and held for ransom. The ransom was paid and the body was returned. Local legends arose afterward that the mausoleum holding his body was booby-trapped with many devices that would cause the local cathedral bell to ring if tampered with.
  • An article from April 2012 in the New York Post stated that a tenant of Stewart House was facing eviction for subletting her deceased mothers condo, which is against the co-op's rules and regulations. However, the tenant claimed the true nature of the legal action stemmed from the fact that she had a dog. While owning pets is allowed in Stewart House, dogs are expressly forbidden. The tenant was allowed the dog in this instance because it acts as a psychiatric-service dog to aid her battle with depression. While the civil action court documents filed by Stewart House do not mention the dog, the tenant in question has little doubt that dog is the root of the matter.[6]

References

  1. Wikipedia - Alexander Turney Stewart
  2. Wikipedia - Greenwich Village
  3. Walk Score
  4. The New York Times
  5. Columbia University Library
  6. The New York Post


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