Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Summit in Sumter

I was certainly right last week when I said I needed to recognize Sprinter while there was still time because it was going to get warm this week - but I underestimated just how warm. I walked in CP on my way to work this morning in my t-shirt - it was warm already and before the day was done it broke the record by getting up to 76 degrees, after breaking another record yesterday.

Normally Sprinter is the harbinger of Spring, but this year it was the harbinger of Summer so I guess I should call it Sumter.

Summit Rock in Central Park is close to my apartment so I strolled on by - I know I've seen at least one theater production there. It looks the same. These steps are on the south side coming down from Summit Rock.

While I was strolling along the Summit I was struck by this building along Central Park West. I've seen it before of course but never really noticed those two... I don't know what to call them - towers? They look like entire houses on top of the apartment building.

Here is a close up of the north tower. It looks more like something at the Vatican than NYC. I would love to get up in there and see what it's like. Naturally I had to Google it - this is the Beresford, a "luxury, 23-floor "pre-war" apartment building..."

Many rich and famous people have lived here including my boss's boss's boss's boss's boss's former boss.

You can apparently get an apartment there for as little as $3million - cheap!

I wondered if those towers were apartments. The building doesn't seem to have its own web site. This article from eleven years ago in the NYTimes has some info:
The building's northwest quadrant fronts only on West 82nd Street and was subject to more restrictive zoning, but the other three quadrants face wide streets with more generous zoning allowances, and Roth gave them three stubby but picturesque towers.
These were the topmost parts of the most unusual apartments in the building, all multilevel residences. The original drawings suggest that they were all intended to be triplexes. The apartments rise to the areas behind the towers' great arches; the areas are labeled "Observation Room" on the original architectural drawings and are about 25 feet square.
The Observation Room in Tower No. 2, at the corner of 81st and Central Park West, was designed with a 16,000-gallon water tank concealed under the tower roof; in Tower No. 3, at 82nd Street, the design showed a smaller, 3,500-gallon tank for firefighting. But Tower No. 1, the most westerly on 81st Street, had none.
So they are apartments and you can't just ask to go for a tour. But I guess it couldn't hurt to find out who lives there. Helen Gurley Brown used to live in one of the towers, until she died in 2012. You can read about her apartment here. It says:
Offered for sale for the first time in 40 years, this iconic penthouse apartment occupies the South/East tower of the Beresford, one of the most recognizable and sought-after buildings on Central Park West. It offers dramatic 360-degree views of Central Park, the southern skyline, and the Hudson River, and one of the largest terraces on Central Park West. 
It's listed as $20 million. The pix in the related slide-show are pretty impressive - and HGB sure liked the color pink. 

The site gives the apartment number as PH22D, which is no help. The Homemetry (my guess is that it's pronounced hoe-MEM-eh-tree) web site, which is normally very snoopy, is no help - it doesn't list any of the penthouse apartments, unless "MR" is an alternate way to refer to them. You can see John Stossel (ugh) - 15K and Jerry Seinfeld (meh) - 19F live there. But not in the towers.