Trouble-magnet One Madison Park, now just One Madison, returned to market in September after years of lawsuits, buyer backouts, and other controversies. For once, the building seems to have gotten its timing right, since the Madison Square Park neighborhood is experiencing a new development boom. While One Madison Park's renaissance will be a pleasure to witness, it hasn't stopped us from remembering the
good old days. Here now, our favorite One Madison Park moments. Fasten those seatbelts, if you please.
10) The building went all out with its original amenity marketing materials, from renderings full of beautiful people to that drool-worthy black absolute stone pool.
9) The views from the under-construction, then $45 million (and now $50 million) penthouse were pretty drool-worthy, too.
8) After the building's foreclosure, millions of dollars from apartment sales went missing.
7) Several people involved with the building, including its former broker Wendy Maitland and buyer Ian Bruce Eichner, loaned the developers money?and both ended up embroiled in lawsuits as a result. In a surprise twist, Eichner later made a bid to take control of the building.
6) Branding maestro David Lipman claimed the developers promised to pay him for his work with $7 million worth of free condos. He took them to court when the freebies didn't materialize.
5) Even McDonald's got in on the legal action.
4) Once upon a time, One Madison Park was going to have a 24-story sibling designed by Rem Koolhaas, and that sibling had a wacky sales office in which the architects built a scale replica of the building and laid it on its side in the space. The sales office later ended up owing more than $80,000 in back rent and went home in disgrace.
3) A pair of owners took their sixteenth-floor unit in One Madison and made it worse. Then they put it on the market for $9.75 million.
2) About a dozen buyers closed on apartments in the building before it became so troubled, and those buyers had no common charges until, well, now. They had no swimming pool or spa, true, but they did have a dozen staff members at their disposal. (At the same time, the building became somewhat derelict in its near-empty years. As the Times described it in a 2011 piece: "The 7,600-square-foot penthouse looked gutted. Exposed pipes were visible in the ceilings; the walls were unfinished; rodent droppings littered the staircase; wind whistled through the window frames?.The outside of the building is finished?.Everything else is an abandoned construction site: the lap pool is a dry hole; the elevator buttons are marked with handwritten numbers; slabs of marble in the lobby are protected with blue masking tape.")
1) Former Times archicritic Nicolai Ourossoff chose to deliver his verdict at an odd moment in the building's lifespan, when it was still under construction and facing foreclosure. He called it a "dazzling addition" and delivered a backhanded compliment to its architects at Cetra/Ruddy. Though the firm, in Ourossoff's words, "during its more than 20 years of existence?had never before produced a building of any architectural significance," One Madison Park was "inspired work from unexpected sources." That one still hurts.
· One Madison Park coverage [Curbed]