CityRealty Announces Top 10 Apartment Buildings Casting Shadows

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In honor of Groundhog Day, Carter B. Horsley Lists New York City Apartment Buildings that Cast Shadows on Parks

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In honor of Groundhog Day, Carter B. Horsley Lists New York City Apartment Buildings Casting Shadows on Parks.

“Once a year, we all wait to see if the groundhog sees his shadow for an extended winter,” said Carter B. Horsley, CityRealty editor and architecture expert. “But all year long, New York City’s apartment buildings cast interesting shadows throughout the city, especially on our parks,” he added.

Top 10 New York City Apartment Buildings Casting Shadows on Parks
By Carter B. Horsley

1 - Time Warner Center at 80 Columbus Circle

When Moshe Safdie proposed a bulbous, twin-towered, mixed-use complex to replace the New York Coliseum, he unleashed the sound of fury over the shadows it would cast in Central Park. The protests eventually led to a new design from a new architect, David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Completed in 2004, Time Warner Center is a huge, reflective-glass, twin-towered, mixed-use development with 80 stories and 225 condo apartments. It casts almost the same shadow of the earlier design, but came with nary a peep from civic activists who were probably too busy shopping in its basement Whole Foods store.

2 - Trump International at 1 Central Park West

Somewhat shorter than Time Warner Center, this slick 52-story mixed-use tower actually falls within some of Time Warner Center’s shadows, but also casts its own on Central Park. While recladding buildings has become quite popular in recent years, this was one of the first major recladdings and it was beautifully designed by Philip Johnson. The building was formerly the Gulf & Western Building.

3 - Essex House at 160 Central Park South

One of the tallest buildings on Central Park South, this elegant Art Deco-style hotel and residential condominium building is topped by a tall sign, but because it is simply letters spelling the building’s name, its shadows are more ghostly. This 43-story building is going to be significantly “overshadowed” by Extell Development’s One57 mixed-use tower that is now about half way up to its 1,004-foot height on 58th Street.

4 - San Remo at 145 Central Park West

Emery Roth designed this splendid twin-towered “skyscraper palazzo” as well as the Beresford and the El Dorado. They and the Century and Majestic, also twin-towered apartment buildings, gave Central Park West the world’s finest residential skyline. All would probably be bitterly opposed today by community activists who have a contextual “thing” against tall things, like buildings, and the shadows they create.

5 - 1 Union Square South

One of the city's rare full-block developments, this large mixed-use project includes 240 rental apartments and was designed by Davis Brody Bond. The north facade of its base features a major public art work, "Metronome," created by Kristen Jones and Andrew Ginzel, consisting of red-brick masonry designed in circles around a hole that emits steam, a la the famous old Camel cigarette sign in Times Square. The installation also includes an adjacent 15-digit number that is a clock, and a sculpture of a hand projecting from the facade that reportedly is similar to a hand on a statue of George Washington in the park that, according to the artist, "gestures a benediction." Completed in 1998, this 27-story building offers stunning views of, and shadows on, Union Square Park.

6 - Printing House at 421 Hudson Street

This very handsome eight-story building was built at the end of the 19th Century and converted to a cooperative in 1979. It has 184 apartments, a doorman, high ceilings, a roof deck, and a swimming pool, and it overlooks and shades the playground at James Walker Park.

7 – 2 Horatio Street

This elegant 17-story, 242-unit apartment building was erected in 1931 by Bing & Bing and was designed by Robert Lyons with two stunning angled balcony elements. It was converted to a co-operative in 1987. Its shadows cast upon Jackson Square Park at the intersection of Greenwich Avenue and Eight Avenue.

8 - Madison Green at 5 East 22nd Street

Commanding one of the city's most dramatic sites, at the south end of Madison Square Park and at the intersection of Broadway and 23rd Street, Madison Green offers spectacular views and a location at the epicenter of the chic and trendy Flatiron district. The 31-story, beige-brick condominium building was designed by Philip Birnbaum and completed in 1982. One wonders if a reflective-glass façade was ever considered for the boxy building, as it may have been the best possible site in the city for such a treatment, given the architectural glories that surround it and Madison Square Park, on which its massive bulk casts shadows.

9 - Sherman Square at 201 West 70th Street

This 42-story apartment tower was one of the tallest on the Upper West Side when it was erected in 1972. Designed by S. J. Kessler, it has a very large driveway, entrance and plaza on 70th Street. Converted to a cooperative in 1984, it overlooks and shades the tiny Sherman Square at the south end of the intersection of Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue, named after General William Tecumseh Sherman.

10 - One Lincoln Plaza at 20 West 64th Street and 25 West 63rd Street

There are certain "key" buildings that set the tone for a neighborhood and One Lincoln Plaza was the first major new apartment house to be erected after the opening of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in the 1960s. Built in 1971, this massive, angled, 43-story building occupies the entire frontage on Broadway between 63rd and 64th Streets. In the morning light its shadows touch upon the large plaza with a fountain at the center of Lincoln Center, directly across Broadway. It was developed by the Milstein organization and its tower has 663 condominium apartments.

About Carter B. Horsley
Mr. Horsley, editor of CityRealty, writes “Carter’s View on Manhattan Real Estate” and his popular “CityRealty’s Top 10 Buildings” lists. Prior to joining the online real estate and apartment search site, he spent 26 years writing for The New York Times as a real estate and architecture news reporter. In addition, he produced the syndicated radio program, “The Front Page of Tomorrow’s New York Times,” which was a WQXR standard. He later served as real estate editor and architectural critic for The New York Post and International Herald Tribune.

About CityRealty is a New York City apartment search and real estate site established in 1994. CityRealty streamlines the apartment search process by matching buyers and renters with qualified real estate agents who are screened for market knowledge, expertise, professionalism and client compatibility. Additional information about CityRealty is available at or by calling (212) 755-5544.

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