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
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: