Welcome to It Happened One Weekend, our weekly roundup of The New York Times real estate section...
1) History Lessons: wherein we explore our city's past, from Bronx to Battery.
Christopher Gray details the forgotten history of the New York Club, one of the greatest preservatiopnist losses to the 1980s construction boom. Located on the south side of Bryant Park at 20 West 40th Street, the New York Club was considered one of the premier social clubs at the turn of the century. Designed by Henry Hardenbergh (also designer of the Plaza Hotel), the project cost nearly $1 million and opened in 1907 with a substantial waiting list. The nine-story building featured "a facade of deep red brick spiced with bursts of terra cotta, like a red velvet cake decorated by an expert pastry chef." However, the club was hit hard by the Depression and sold in 1933 for a mere $220,000 and was eventually bought by Freedom House—a consortium of social justice organizations, including the NAACP—in 1945. Republic National Bank acquired the building in 1985, preemptively demolishing the club before it could be designated a landmark. ["Demolished Club Casts a Long Shadow"; photo via MCNY]
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 Hunter: a recently married couple
Dream: Near Midtown
Reality: Jackson Heights
Dream: 1BR, outdoor space
Reality: 3BR/3BA, basement with washer-dryer, backyard, garage
This week's hunt took a twisting path, but eventually ended in a pretty sweet situation. The hunters—a recently married couple—sought a one-bedroom in Manhattan within walking distance from Midtown for under $650,000, changing their criteria to a two-bedroom upon realizing that they might want kids. They also adjusted their sights and started focusing on Queens, where they found a three-bedroom rowhouse in Jackson Heights for $615,000. The house has a garage, a backyard, and a basement with washer-dryer. [The Hunt/"A Must-Have List Changes in Midstream"]