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As the first historic twin-towered building in New York City, The San Remo commands a lofty presence thanks to its distinctive silhouette. The 27-floor luxury apartment building — designed by acclaimed architect Emery Roth, and located between West 74th Street and West 75th Street — features two towers that jet into the sky, offering an ideal vantage point for captivating views of Central Park. Since opening in 1930, The San Remo has built upon its reputation as one of “the most desirable and expensive apartment buildings in Manhattan.” Fittingly then, it has many little-known historical, architectural, and quirky facts behind its fame and magnificent facade. Here are ten of them.

1. The San Remo’s Twin Towers Were Built to Conceal Water Tanks

Image via Wikimedia: Philippe Cendron

At the 18th floor, The San Remo splits into its two defining twin towers, which each have 10-floors. Modeled after the drum of the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates (the best preserved choragic monument in Athens), the towers are an iconic feature of the building, playing “powerfully against the background element of the sky.” Despite their aesthetic role, however, The San Remo towers actually serve an important utilitarian function: hiding within those “twin Greek temples” are the building’s water tanks. While Roth originally designed the towers to conceal the fixtures, the towers have since become a major element of The San Remo’s overall design. In fact the Landmarks Preservation Commission notes that this “fusing of the functional with the aesthetic was … characteristic of his apartment plans.”
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