3. The Algonquin, 59 W 44th Street
The original developer and owner of The Algonquin was Albert Foster, but the name and literary legacy of the hotel is credited to its first manager Frank Case. Originally, Foster planned to name his apartment hotel The Puritan. However, Case, who had worked in hotels throughout his life and had been recently employed at the Iroquois Hotel in Buffalo, suggested the name The Algonquin. The Puritan sounded too straight laced for Case and he preferred a Native American name over a European-inspired one like those given to the majority of other hotels.
The Algonquin is perhaps most famous for the group of critics and humorists, known as The Round Table, who convened for lunch there almost daily in the 1920s. This group consisted of theater critic Dorothy Parker, writer Franklin Adams, Vanity Fair editor Robert Benchley and other literary figures of the time.
2. The Gretsch, 60 Broadway, Williamsburg
In 2003, The Gretsch Building joined a long list of Brooklyn warehouses that had been converted into condos. The 10-story complex overlooks the Williamsburg Bridge and contains 120 loft condominiums designed by Andres Escobar. Inside the lobby, two antique guitars give you a clue to the building’s past.
In 1883, German immigrant Friedrich Gretsch set up a small shop in Brooklyn where he made handcrafted banjos, tambourines, and drums. When Friedrich died in 1895, his 15 year old son Fred took over the business and moved operations to a large, 10 story building at 60 Broadway in 1916. By 1920, Gretsch had become the country’s largest manufacturer of musical instruments. Today, Gretsch drums and guitars are still popular and have been used by iconic musicians like George Harrison of the Beatles and Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones. The Gretsch name is still emblazoned on the outside of the Broadway condos.
1. The Eldorado, San Remo and Beresford
The San Remo, The Eldorado and The Beresford are all Upper West Side apartment buildings designed by Margon & Holder associate Emery Roth. Roth’s signature Art Deco design is evident in all three buildings, each of which were named after hotels that previously stood at their respective locations. The San Remo, at 145 Central Park West, became New York City’s first twin towered building when it was completed in 1930. The towers serve both an aesthetic and functional purpose. Modeled after the drum of the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates in Athens, Greece, they were to built to conceal the building’s two water towers. Roth would use this design element again on the Eldorado.
The Eldorado Apartments, at 300 Central Park West — the northernmost of Roth’s Central Park designs — were built on the site of a 1902 apartment house named the El Dorado. Roth’s Eldorado was completed in 1931, and in 1982, the site was converted into co-ops. Overlooking the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, the building has housed celebrities like Faye Dunaway, Michael J. Fox, and Alec Baldwin.
The Beresford stands out from Roth’s other designs since it has not two, but three towers. Of the five twin-towered apartment structures on Central Park West, the first to be constructed was The Beresford. The original apartment hotel built in 1889 was torn down in 1928 and the Roth’s Beresford, at 211 Central Park West, replaced it a year later