Architecture critic Paul Golberger probes inside 15 Central Park West today over at Vanity Fair, and while we don’t learn much new about the new mega-expensive co-op building, there are some nice details to the piece. For example, the exterior “is covered entirely in limestone, more than 85,000 pieces of it,” Goldberger reveals. “Covering the entire building in limestone cost a couple of million dollars more than brick would have, an amount that turned out, in the end, to be trivial — [developers] the Zeckendorfs probably made it back on the sale of one apartment.” Goldberger walks readers through every element of the nouveau twenties design and then lets us know a little bit about what it’s like to actually live there.
The other day, someone walked into the lobby carrying a paper coffee cup from Starbucks, and the staff gave her disapproving looks, as if the building’s high tone were so fragile that a paper coffee cup could shatter it. Many tenants are still decorating, and some of them, unwilling to take Stern’s standard kitchens and bathrooms, have gutted their brand-new apartments and are reconstructing them to their own specifications.
One owner I spoke with was less than thrilled when she discovered that the walls are made of plasterboard, which was most definitely not the way the walls were made at 740 Park Avenue, and that some of the light switches and electrical plates didn’t line up as they should. There are limits, it appears, to how completely you can fake a 1920s building in the 21st century, and behind all that limestone, this is very much a new building. She will take a year to rebuild her apartment, and then she and her husband will move in.
Ugh. You know what’s the worst part about having to wait a year to move into 15 Central Park? Having to wait for the elevators with tourists to get to your residential suite in the Waldorf-Astoria.