‘Not In My Neighborhood’ : Glitzy Glass Condo Tower Apts. Sell At 40% Discount on Upper East Side

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When the developer Aby Rosen tried to build a Norman Foster-designed 30-story elliptical glass tower at 980 Madison Avenue, he butted heads with the author Tom Wolfe,

A glass dagger plunged into the heart of the Upper East Side.”–An UES resident, 2008 

Uptown  boys and girls, (who are likely the parents of loft-dwelling downtown Soho types), just keep rejecting 21st century glitz even if arrives with a rockstar archtectural pedigree.

Proof? Apartments at 1055 Park are selling at 40% below asking prices. And developers are now taking a page from the enormously successful 15  Central Park West Robert Stern/Zeckendorf  playbook and using limestone facades and other traditional flourishes to make even their new buildings look  more old school, old money East Side.

UES buyers are different– seeking  primary residences and proximity to the best schools instead of the flashy pied a terres favored by global billionaire’s with mutli-millions to park in the U.S.

The ongoing  battle over the Parke-Bernet Gallery building, an austere 1950s-era limestone structure on Madison Avenue between 76th and 77th Streets, is a case in point. When the British architect Norman Foster first presented his proposal to erect a 30-story glass tower atop the existing building, many

A year later (2009) the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved a modified plan for a smaller tower to be built there, above the Parke-Bernet Galleries building. An official from Mr. Rosen’s company, RFR, said Thursday that the company had no construction plans at the site for the moment.

A year later (2009) the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved a modified plan for a smaller tower to be built there, above the Parke-Bernet Galleries building. An official from Mr. Rosen’s company, RFR, said Thursday that the company had no construction plans at the site for the moment.

neighborhood residents were outraged. “A glass dagger plunged into the heart of the Upper East Side,” one said.

Neighborhood resident, author Tom Wolfe testified at a public hearing in 2008 that: “980 Madison is in the heart of the Upper East Side historic district and it does not need this additional structure. I think it is incumbent upon the developers to ask Mr. Foster to roam through the great archives of architectural history, or architectural future, and come up with something that has more meaning with the Upper East Side.”

A year later (2009)  the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved a modified plan for a smaller tower to be built there, above the Parke-Bernet Galleries building. An official from Mr. Rosen’s company, RFR, said Thursday that the company had no construction plans at the site for the moment.

Billy Joel And Christie Brinkley, Uptown Girl (VIDEO) 1983:

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1055 Park apartments  sold at 40% off asking prices.

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New buildings  like 200 East 79th Street use limestone facades and traditional elements.

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In condo conversions like Philip House at 141 East 88th Street, developers are riffing on the prewar character of buildings made famous by architects like Emery Roth.

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The street-level window grilles at 135 East 79th Street that the architect William Sofield says were made by the manufacturer of the gates at Buckingham Palace.

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