It didn't take you long to figure out that our mystery building (detail, at right) was doing its "neato" thing at 157-9 Lexington Ave. (southeast corner of 30th Street). The ground floor houses the restaurant Penelope, which you dubbed an "oasis," "vastly overrated," and "a nice and inexpensive homey/country restaurant that does a huge weekend brunch business with all the Murray Hill (oops, I mean Kips Bay) kids." The way the building looks today appears to be the result of a major renovation in 2000, producing 12 apartments in the six upper stories. As for the design, we heard: "trying to look heavily budgeted with no budget," "low-income social housing on the outskirts of Berlin," "grim cell-block architecture of my native Manchester," and "there's a reason that stucco and fussy details don't work in this city. I work up the street from this building ... and cringe every time I see it."
· Curbed BuildingSpotter: 'Neato' or Not on Lex [Curbed]