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Discussion Starter #2
Since this project was first conceived, it switched from very tall condo-hotel to stumpy office, then it stalled.

A condo-hotel is the only thing which would make sense currently.

Here's the initial story:


Drake Hotel on Park Avenue to be converted or redeveloped


20-JAN-06

Eastdil Realty has been retained by Host Marriott to sell the handsome, Swissôtel Drake Hotel at 440 Park Avenue.

The 495-room hotel was built in 1927 and designed by Emery Roth.

Various press reports indicated it may be sold for conversion to condominium apartments and one report by Brandon Keil in the January 17, 2006 edition of The New York Post, quoted a “source familiar with the proceedings” as stating that “The Drake will be demolished for a condo or mixed-use building of close to 70 floors.”

A mid-block addition to the hotel, which is on the northwest corner at 56th Street was erected in the 1960s.

It shares the Park Avenue blockfront with the handsome black office tower with arched windows at 450 Park Avenue. A spokesman at the hotel had “no comment” when asked about the reports and calls by CityRealty.com about the sale to executives at Eastdil Realty were not returned.

Mr. Keil’s article said that the sale also involves air rights from some properties on 57th Street between Madison and Park Avenues.

If the site were to be demolished, it is conceivable that a new tower utilizing air rights might become the tallest building on Park Avenue north of the MetLife Building at 45th Street.

Another very tall mixed-use tower has been designed by Sir Norman Foster for Aby Rosen nearby at 610 Lexington Avenue on the southwest corner at 53rd Street behind the Seagram Building at 375 Park Avenue.

The Drake has a polished red-granite one-story base beneath two limestone stories. Fauchon is the retail tenant on Park Avenue. The 21-story, beige-brick building and three setbacks and handsome three-story columns supporting large broken pediments on its avenue frontage at the top of its base and attractive façade decorations at its top. It has a large entrance marquee on the side street with sidewalk landscaping and a large lobby. In the early 1960’s, a nightclub and discotheque at the hotel, known as Shepheard’s, handsomely outfitted with Egyptian-style décor, became the city’s first major public disco.

In their brilliant book, “New York 1930, Architecture and Urbanism Between The Two World Wars,” (Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 1987), Robert A. M. Stern, Gregory Martin and Thomas Mellins noted that “the apartment hotels of the 1920s fell into three notable categories: those that really did mix transient and resident tenants, and which were usually quite luxurious; those comparable in character to the era’s typical side street apartment houses that catered to a sophisticated and more or less permanent tenantry, usually single people and childless couples, many of whom were actively pursuing business careers; and those aimed at the many young, unmarried white–collar workers who were moving into the city to pursue business and professional careers, and which offered minimal quality of accommodation. In the first category, the Park Lane, the Barclay, and the Drake on Park Avenue and the Dorset and the Lombardy in the west and east fifties were among the most elegant….Emery Roth made a specialty of apartment hotels. The 1927 Drake at 440 Park Avenue…was in the superluxury category, with suites as large as twenty-eight rooms, large enough to constitute what Good Furniture described as ‘a whole self-contained city house.’”

The hotel is not an official city landmark.

Recently hotels in prime locations have begun to be converted, in whole or in part, to condominium apartments. The Stanhope on Fifth Avenue and 81st Street and the Mark on East 77th Street and Madison Avenue, for example, are being fully converted, while the Plaza Hotel on Fifth Avenue at Central Park South and the St. Regis Hotel at 2 West 55th Street are being partially converted.


Copyright © 1994-2006 CITY REALTY
 
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^^ another new possible skyscraper for NY. man, it's getting hard to keep track!
 

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Never seen it so never missed it. Although I have to say that the Drake hotel looks pretty in those pictures. I consider it a loss too.
 
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One of the charmes of NYC is the contrast of small buildings besides big ones. In many midtown locations this contrast is allready gone because there are only big building with big starbucks on the groundfloor. The city of NY should try harder to preserve some of those small buildings in areas dominated by big towers to keep important small city businesses alive! Otherwise big parts of midtown will become dull...
 

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They could have been so easily incorporated into the new structure....

I am all for new development but new can be nicely blended with the old - then great value and respect are created. One goes both: higher and conceptually deeper.

It is such a shame that these beautiful townhouses were destroyed.
 

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why ny government lets to destroy it's historical old town...as from Europe I don't understand that..in Eu.we try to save old town and in usa...it's no big deal to demolish beautiful old buildings...these building just needed alittle renovation and they would look great..
 

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What an absolute failure on the part of NY planning department. These facades can easily be incorporated into the new building.

Here's an example of Jameson House by Norman Foster which is currently under construction in my home city of Vancouver.

Render:





Under Construction:





Early under construction photo showing preservation of facade:

 
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