With several landmarked buildings being gutted and converted into luxury condos, the Upper West Side can sometimes feel like a stage set created to resemble an old-style neighborhood.
The latest development to get the full gut-reno treatment are the townhouses at 272-276 West 86th street. Walk by and you’ll see the lovely facade, and behind it…nothing at all! The building has the very outermost skin of an old structure, but none of the interior remains. A crack in the construction shed revealed the rubble behind the facade (see the photo below).
Developers East River Partners gave the following description:
“ERP is renovating 272-276 West 86th Street – three adjacent landmarked grand mansions designed originally by the renowned architect C.P.H. Gilbert – into completely modernized apartment homes. Located in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the project matches the elegance of the neighborhood’s pre-war structures while offering apartments that are brighter and more updated than those found elsewhere. All of the apartments will feature more than three bedrooms, a rarity in today’s market.”
It seems like the entire point of landmarking the building was to allow people walking by to believe they’re still walking past an old building (the book Time and Again comes to mind), even it’s just the thinnest veneer.
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Thanks to commenters on a recent open thread for pointing this out.