Landmark Living: Manhattan real estate in history/today A blog series

Real Estate Agent

My last blog Starchitect Skyline was part of a series of blogs about Manhattan real estate in history/today. I wrote about the brand name glass tower apartment buildings of the new millennium that are changing the NYC skyline.

This blog is about landmark buildings from another era and other uses that have been transformed or are being converted to luxury apartments.

Old World Details - Meets Modern Amenities.

Famous hotels, landmark banks, insurance company headquarters, factories, hospitals and even a former Police headquarters have been transformed into luxury apartments that offer unique spaces. This trend in real estate is not only taking place in Manhattan but in cities throughout the country.

Throughout Manhattan landmark buildings are being converted to condos. Just as the Starchitect branded buildings are a great marketing tool for developers so are famous Landmark buildings. Here is a sampling of some Landmark Living in Manhattan.

The Apple Bank building built in 1928 on the Upper West Side

 Currently selling loft style condos priced from $2 to $8 million.

Old Police Headquarters Building at 240 Centre Street built in 1909

 Edwardian Baroque style converted to 55 coop apartments in 1987.

Met Life Building 1 Madison Avenue

 Once the tallest building in the world, converted to 142 condo units.

The Supreme Macaroni Factory

 Pasta factory on 9th Ave at 39th St. is being converted to 96 condos.

The Cocoa Exchange 1 Wall Street

 Neo- renaissance triangular shaped building converted to luxury apartments.

The Plaza Hotel

 The famous Plaza Hotel is being converted to luxury condominiums

The Castle 455 Central Park West

 1887 Cancer Hospital converted to luxury condos.


Park West Church 86th & Amsterdam Ave.

Tax exempt landmark churches are looking to real estate developers for cash. The Park West church at 86th and Amsterdam has plans to preserve it's main sanctuary and tower while erecting a 21 story apartment building.

Many preservationist and neighbors are concerned about these church's plans to develop their properties including development plans from the Theological Seminary in Chelsea. Everyone wants to be in Real Estate.


Manhattan real estate in history/ today

A blog series by Mitchell Hall 

Landmark Living

Starchitect Skyline 19th - 21st homes

The Castle 455 Central Park West

The Ansonia 

The Dakota

50 West 86th                                                                                                   

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Comments (12)

Carole Cohen
Howard Hanna Cleveland City Office - Cleveland, OH
Realtor, ePRO
Hi Mitchell, lots of great buildings here. I've always been a fan of neo-renaissance, and it always intrigues me that many times they are the design of choice for corners, which to me adds to their appeal. That one and the police headquarters intrigue me the most; We have lofts here in Northeast Ohio in old warehouses with intact elevators that get raised as floating interior space for offices or dens once they become condos - I'm thinking you could do something really cool with police bars! I'm not joking!  And do the churches really need all that real estate money?
Nov 26, 2006 09:47 AM
Mitchell J Hall
Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn

Hi Carole, Thanks for the comments. I like those circular rooms too. The new restored building at 455 CPW was a hospital and the reason it has no corners is because back then corners were thought to breed germs. I left out some buildings, the former YMCA building in Chelsea is now lofts, the elevator still says pool, locker room. 

My favorite NY building is the Chrysler Building I love art deco. I'm starting to really like the new all glass buildings too. I'm not afraid of heights but the first few times I went in them I was afraid to go near the floor to ceiling windows.

I don't know if the churches need all that money but they certainly want it. I guess it takes $50 million to feed the homeless.

Nov 26, 2006 10:10 AM
Maureen Maureen
Orangeburg, NY
Great Pics of NYC- I'm blogging about the city this week too!
Nov 26, 2006 10:16 AM
Carole Cohen
Howard Hanna Cleveland City Office - Cleveland, OH
Realtor, ePRO
Mitchell my absolute favorite is Art Deco, we are kindred spirits in that regard. My fantasy is to one day live in what I call a non-conforming use building (maybe not the official term depending on where it's located), like an old fire station.  That is if I am not living in a penthouse overlooking the Statue of Liberty! 
Nov 26, 2006 10:30 AM
Ann Cummings
RE/MAX Shoreline - NH and Maine - Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth NH Real Estate Preferrable Agent

Mitchell - great post!  I love the pictures you included, and the links to your other posts.  I just really enjoy seeing what's going on in other areas with regard to new uses for really interesting buildings.  Thanks for sharing!

Ann Cummings

Nov 26, 2006 10:37 AM
Mitchell J Hall
Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn

Maureen, Thanks I'll look for it.

Carole, It amazes me that during the Depression they built the greatest buildings. Everyone was poor yet they had maids rooms and formal dining rooms. Actually many of the art deco buildings were started during the roaring 20's. I think the 20's must have been really glamorous. Too bad I didn't know you last year, I had the perfect apartment for you. Statue of Liberty views from every room.

Ann, Thanks, I think a picture is worth a thousand words. I think this is a real estate trend all over the country. I was just reading about The Sears Tower in Minneapolis and The San Francisco Chronicle becoming apartment buildings.

Nov 26, 2006 10:46 AM
Carole Cohen
Howard Hanna Cleveland City Office - Cleveland, OH
Realtor, ePRO
Mitchell, perfect is right. I can see why it is no longer available. Breathtaking views. The only better view would be the one the gentleman has who is the Port Authority caretaker at Liberty Island. When all the tourists go home, he has the place all to himself. Not too bad!
Nov 26, 2006 11:48 AM
Netta Blackwood
La Rosa Realty - Kissimmee, FL
REO/BPO Expert
Thanks for taking me back down memory lane.  Whatever happen to the Woolworth building?  Also known once as one of the tallest building?  Are they still working out of it?
Nov 27, 2006 02:04 AM
Mitchell J Hall
Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn


The Met Life Tower was built in 1909. It was the tallest building for only four years. 

The Woolworth building became the tallest building in the world from 1913 until the construction of 40 Wall Street (and, shortly thereafter, the Chrysler Building) in 1930.  Then came the Empire State Building a year later.

Woolworth no longer owns the building. It is still being used as an office building. NYU occupies a portion of the building.

The Pam Am building is now The Met Life building also.

Nov 27, 2006 03:23 AM
Keith Jeppson - Salt Lake City Real Estate
Everest Realty Group - Holladay, UT

Mitchell, thanks for the history and architectural lesson.  The Salt Lake skyline has nowhere near the history and diversity of architecture as Manhattan.

Nov 27, 2006 04:57 AM
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans

Mitchell... very late to the party. I have always liked architecture. I actually went to college for Landscape Architecture and look now... mortgages of 14 years. I even went to Paris and Italy one year.... some amazing stuff out there.

In regards to your post. Some interesting information. I would love to have a place inside a historical site and such. But so expensive. And it amazes me how expensive that they are and that they are able to fill many of these buildings up....especially for those prices... wow...  nice work. 

Dec 16, 2006 04:31 AM
Laurie Manny
Long Beach CA Real Estate - Long Beach, CA

Mitchell - What wonderful material you have to write about.  I am still fairly new to AR.  The only thing I miss about New York, is Manhattan.  I adored it.  I just went back through your many posts and find myself almost needing to get onto a plane and come back for a visit, for a fix.  Great Stuff,

Thank You,


Dec 27, 2006 10:47 AM