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The Weird History of West 57th Street; Buying in Park Slope

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Welcome to It Happened One Weekend, our weekly roundup of The New York Times real estate section...

1) History Lessons
Given the slew of activity on West 57th Street these days, the Real Estate section decided to profile the history of the stretch between Broadway and Seventh Avenue. The conclusion? The area has always been a mess! The article essentially traces three threads of development, starting in the 1880s with large, novel residential buildings; followed by a consortium of buildings owned by art organizations in the 1890s; and finally, the arrival of carriage-manufacturing businesses from Longacre Square (now Times Square) in the early 1900s. As a result, the block represents a weird melange of different styles of architecture, which will only be made even stranger with the construction of Extell's new megatower. ["West 57th's Hodgepodge Block"]

2) Every "The Hunt" column begins with the Hunters describing the apartment they want, and ends with them rationalizing whatever they came away with. This is The Hunt: Dreams vs. Reality
The Hunters: a couple looking to buy for the first time
Price
Dream: $700,000
Reality: $626,000
Neighborhood
Dream: N/A
Reality: Park Slope
Amenities
Dream: 2BR/2BA, large kitchen, outdoor space, washer/dryer.
Reality: duplex, prewar, basement laundry
Summary
This couple decided that paying $2,300/month on the Upper West Side was starting to get a little unreasonable, so they started looking into buying their own place. They needed room for an impending baby, so after looking at a bunch of duds, they hired a realtor to help them out and immediately found an apartment they loved in Park Slope. It was a pretty big duplex in a prewar building, and while their dream of having outdoor space was nixed, they liked the place enough to buy it for just a bit above asking price. [The Hunt/"A Larger Place in Park Slope, This Time Ours"]

217 W 57th St

217 West 57th Street, Manhattan, NY 10019