The Central Park West (CPW) Historic District spans from West 61st to West 97th Street on CPW. In this article, I focused on the buildings between 61st and 77th Streets. Now, it’s time to keep walking north!
Here I will discuss the buildings located in the middle portion of CPW’s Historic District, starting at the northwest side of West 77th Street and heading north until the northwest side of West 85th street.
In the middle of the block on the south side of West 77th Street is where the main entrance to The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) is located.
Here’s the AMNH appearing at the northwest corner of 77th and CPW.
The museum has an entrance (which is wheel chair accessible) on the north side of their building (81st street).
However, there is also an entrance on CPW between 77th and 81st streets (closer to 81st) where you will find — at this time of year and through the early part of January— two topiaries rendered in the likeness of dinosaurs who are each facing each other while holding Christmas wreaths.
Over my many years of passing by the museum’s holiday display, I have found myself imagining one dinosaur saying to the other, “With this wreath, I thee wed.” While the lovestruck dinosaurs are only around during holiday time, a statue (which has become controversial) rendered in the likeness of Theodore Roosevelt can be found, albeit with a plaque bearing a disclaimer of what one should keep in mind when viewing it.
Be that as it may, across the north side of the AMNH is where The Beresford is located. It was constructed in the year 1928 through 1929, and designed by Emery Roth.
The Beresford is twenty-two stories tall and has three illuminated towers and three separate entrances. The iconic building is home to Jerry Seinfeld, and has been the home of many other Upper West Side celebrities.
Some of the apartments at the Beresford have balconies running the length of both levels and have views of Central Park.
Moreover, if one is so inclined, it is easy to walk from The Beresford through Central Park in order to make a trip to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is on the Eastside of Manhattan. One of that museum’s entrances is near East 81st street (so it’s a short walk).
There is also a city bus that goes through the park to the museum and people can board it right on the southwest corner of 81st Street, but I prefer walking so that I can stop by and say hello to the some of Central Park’s wildlife (including American robins, Cormorants, turtles, dragonflies, plus Mallards — both adult and duckling, as well as a Great Egret and much more) when walking to the art museum.
I imagine the close proximity to wildlife is an unspoken “amenity” of living in The Beresford or any of the buildings within CPW’s Historic District.
In any event, walking east through the park from The Beresford, one passes Belvedere Castle, which some Beresford residents can see from their balcony or window. For those of you who have been out of town, Belvedere Castle underwent a huge renovation and reopened to the public in June of 2019.
When one is en-route to the museum from The Beresford, he or she passes Cleopatra’s Needle (formerly named The Obelisk). This is a monument that Beresford residents can likely spot from their window.
But getting back to the buildings; the one just north of The Beresford is The Alden at 225 CPW.
Like The Beresford, The Alden was designed by the Emery Roth. The Alden is a 15 story building that was built in 1925. I’m told by their doormen that the building’s roof deck has panoramic east facing views of The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir and that there are “stunning sunset views to the west.”
In addition, the Alden’s lobby is absolutely breathtaking.
The Lolita (built in 1900) at 227 Central Park West is the next building to the north. I’ve recently learned that Actor Robert S. Woods (who won a daytime Emmy in 1983 for his role as Bo Buchanan on ABC’s soap opera, “One Life to Live”) evidently used to live in this six-story building.
The Bolivar at 230 CPW (between West 83rd Street and West 84th Streets) is the building directly north of The Lolita. The Bolivar is a full-service 15-story building designed by Nathan Korn.
The next north building is 239 CPW, a fifteen story Neo-Renaissance building with Italian Gothic elements, built in 1926 by Sugarman & Berger.
Directly north is 241 CPW, a 20 story building built in 1941. This prewar building was “designed by architecture firm Schwartz & Gross in the Art Deco style. It opened in 1930 and was acquired by the family in 1945. 241 Central Park West is one of very few rental apartment buildings on Central Park West.”
The “attached” three townhouses that are immediately north are numbered 247-249. These are often referred to as The William Noble houses, in honor of the developer, William Noble who chose 247 to be his personal residence.
Directly north of these buildings (across the street) is Rossleigh Court (251 CPW), a rental building located between 85th and 86th streets. Rossleigh Court was constructed between 1906 and 1907. One of the building’s bragging rights include the fact that it is located across the street from Central Park’s Great Lawn and the Mariner’s Playground (also known as Toll Family Playground).
Rossleigh Court is the last one to be included in my coverage of this second stretch of CPW. Stay tuned for more!