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The Ansonia

2109 Broadway, New York, NY 10023 40.779911 -73.981771
nr. 73rd St.  See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup
212-799-6671 Send to Phone

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Nearby Subway Stops

1, 2, 3 at 72nd St.


  • Nearby Parking Lots


The West Side above 57th Street was a hard sell when William Earl Dodge Stokes began building brownstones in 1885. It was only two square miles—half the size of the East Side—and it seemed cut off from the rest of the city. Harper’s Weekly described the Upper West Side of the day as a “desert of rocks and shanties, half-opened and unimproved streets.” The building of the Dakota in 1884 had been a start, but it was essentially a premodern structure, with heavy masonry walls and only nine stories. For his new hotel, Stokes planned a steel skeleton supporting thin exterior walls—at twenty floors topped with a slim nine-story tower, the tallest building in Manhattan. In fact, the new Ansonia was a statistical blockbuster, with 550,000 square feet of space spread out over 1,400 rooms and 340 suites. A maze of pneumatic tubing snaked through the walls, delivering messages in capsules between the staff and tenants. Each suite had double-width mahogany doors, and many rooms had playful shapes like ovals. The Ansonia might have been luxurious, but it was never considered chic. In spirit as well as in location, it was part of the Upper West Side, the bohemian stepchild of the city, and it would always have a risqué reputation, drawing mobsters, pro athletes and theatric types and undergoing myriad re-inventions. Today, the Ansonia functions solely as residences. And though the building’s senior concierge and historian, Vincent Joyce, recently retired after 35 years behind the desk, he still lives upstairs. “Lots of new people here,” he laments in his beautiful brogue. “People with children and nannies. There’s a lot of that now.” And although he pretends not to, he realizes that he’s just as irreplaceable a piece of the Ansonia as anyone in the past 100 years.

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