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Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Beresford

Many find the subject of architecture "boring", but as much as anything else, a great city is defined by its buildings - say the words Paris or London and images of the Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Louvre and the Tower of London come to mind. Architecture is the crystallization in a point in time of many things - the fashion, folly, trends, inspiration and perspiration of the men and women who shaped it. To walk this city and appreciate its architecture is to live its history. So, I bring you the Beresford (named for the hotel it replaced), one of the world's most prestigious residences, as seen from Central Park. This massive three-towered edifice occupies the corner of 81st Street and Central Park West and sports three lobbies (and addresses - 211 Central Park West, 1 and 7 West 81st Street). It overlooks the Museum of Natural History, the Hayden Planetarium and Central Park. The building is a masterpiece of Emory Roth, the architect with the greatest number of buildings in NYC to his credit (click here for my posting on 17 State Street with links to Roth). It is also one of the three most prestigious apartments on Manhattan's Upper West Side (all on Central Park West) along with The San Remo (also by Roth) and The Dakota. The building was completed a month prior to the stock market crash in 1929, so its early history as a luxury residence started off on rocky footing. Built in a late Italian Renaissance style, it has a rusticated limestone base, brick-clad upper floors and terra cotta trim. There are 175 Apartments on 22 Floors, a courtyard with a fountain and a garden. in design, the Beresford is executed in brick with limestone and terra cotta trim. The three towers have pyramid roofs capped with copper lanterns that are brightly lit at night. Click here for more about the building. Of course the roster of residents read like a who's who list with present and past superstars, celebrities and moguls - Jerry Seinfeld, John McEnroe, Isaac Stern, Tony Randall, Helen Gurley Brown, Beverly Sills ...

4 comments:

Heidi said...

Lovely photo!

Brian said...

heidi - thanks. I was planning to do closer shots for this building, but Central Park gives you an sense of how massive this building is.

Lucy said...

I like the detail of the gothic railing in front of the trees in the foreground, too. It does end up looking more like a castle/fortress that way...

• Eliane • said...

How could architecture be boring? One of the things I like the most when reading your blogs is your architectural posts. It is so fascinating to learn about these buildings. It transport you in these eras, awakens your imagination as to what life was back then. thanks for the link to 17 State Street!!