The New York Times
REAL ESTATE | Streetscapes
Central Park South, the View That Sneaked Up on the City
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY AUG. 15, 2013
Central Park South has long been a reservoir of apartment-house construction, the expansive north views as attractive in the 1870s as they are now. The sweep of its history runs from the long-gone Bradley of 1877 to the modernist 240 Central Park South of 1940 — by way of the original Plaza Hotel of 1882 and the artistic Gainsborough of 1908. But as it turns out, it took awhile for developers to arrive at a full appreciation of Central Park South’s dazzling prospect.
Down the block, at No. 230, the 17-story Southmoor House was built in 1938, and Ian Reisner, a resident, says it originally had 14 side-by-side duplexes, a touch unusual for the Depression. Southmoor House also had dressing rooms, but made a concession to the times with dining areas rather than rooms.
Over the last 20 years, Mr. Reisner has bought up half the apartments, combining many, and reclad the plain-Jane gray-brick front with cream and beige brick in a light glaze. Mr. Reisner, who is selling the renovated apartments, describes the old facade as “an unholy mess” and says the new one, which is in the Art Deco spirit of the old one, was “beyond worth it.”
He has sold the air rights to the lot next door, which is now vacant and owned by Vornado and Extell. They are locked in a legal battle over the future of the land, but to judge by their other projects, like Vornado’s fuzzy glass Lucida, at 85th and Lexington, and Extell’s super-tall One57, yet another new note will at some point be rung on Central Park South.