The American Bible Society at 1865 Broadway (61st street) has been demolished and the architect has released the first official rendering of the building slated to rise on the spot.

It’s set to rise 33 stories — a six-story lower podium, with 27 stories on top of it — and have 180 apartments, according to CityRealty, which posted the rendering above. The developer is AvalonBay and the architect is Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

“Per the new rendering, the rigorous neo-Brutalist exterior bares many similarities to the site’s prior building that just so happens to have also been designed by SOM…Permit filings indicate that amenities will include a fitness center and swimming pool, a game room, several lounges, a communal pantry, a roof terrace, bicycle parking and tenant storage. Above the eighth level, there will be no more than 4 apartments per floor, and upper-level apartments will capture glimpses of Central Park and the Hudson River.”

The top floors might have park views, but the lower floors are likely to have views that look more like this.

Here’s the site as it looks today:


Bottom photo by Ernie Fritz.


NEWS, REAL ESTATE | 85 comments | permalink
    1. BourbonBetty says:

      this is Terrible!!
      We used to have a real Neighborhood!!!

      • Woody says:

        It’s Columbus Circle…get over it

      • John says:

        Why is this worse than what was there previously? What makes a “real neighborhood”?

        This area if full of 50 story high rises.

      • EricaC says:

        How is this not a real neighborhood – it is an apartment building? It isn’t my preferred style, but it is residential. It is big, so it would mean a large number of people, and so will raise issues with respect to resources, like transport, schools and stores, but that is no different than other apartment buildings.

      • Sherman says:

        My first job in the early 1990s was at Columbus Circle. Back then the area was grimy and dangerous. I remember all the homeless who used to camp out at the coliseum (which is now the TW building).

        Stop looking at the past through rose-colored lenses. I’m grateful for the construction that has turned the neighborhood around.

        • geoff says:

          good point. columbus circle was a mess!

        • Johnny says:

          I worked at 1775 Broadway which is one block for Columbus Circle in 1992. I do not ever remember thinking of it as grimy or dangerous in those days. It was not the mecca to the 10% it is now, the NY Coliseum was there and there was a little flea market in Columbus Circle back then. But of course the city has changed as has the world greater wealth in the hands of fewer and they must be accommodated. Just the way it is.

          • dannyboy says:

            I see the same thing. No longer visit Columbus Circle, rather enjoy the Bronx, Brooklyn…

        • lisa says:

          To Sherman
          It is true that homeless people started sleeping in front of the Coliseum at night and then once it closed and was slated to be, the homeless population increased.

          But the area/blocks around the Coliseum were OK so am puzzled about your statement that the area was “dangerous” ?
          Yes there was more crime in NYC at the time generally, but that area was not particularly dangerous.

          And one really great thing was Coliseum Books

    2. Jeff Berger says:

      Said every person since 1560! The UWS used to be farm land. Broadway was a dirt road. It has certainly been all down hill since then.

    3. Claude says:

      I am generally a lot more free market, pro-development than most people on this site, but even I think this is extreme. I think 20 stories would be sufficient. The 60s are becoming midtown north – all of these massive buildings in the 60s make me really appreciate living higher up on the UWS, and I hope the rest of the neighborhood doesn’t go this way!

    4. John says:

      Are there affordable units in this building to go along with their tax abatement

      • Woody says:

        Do you know of either the existence or amount of an abatement?

        Whatever taxes the city will collect will be more than the American Bible Society paid.

        • BourbonBetty says:

          we don’t need to subsidize apartments for Poor People.

          • EricaC says:

            Why? What do you propose to do with them, so they don’t cause you distress? Are we just going to leave them on the street (presumably a street that Rich People don’t have to look at)?

            • Sherman says:

              I wouldn’t leave them on the street. Too many homeless wandering around lower property values.

              Ship ’em to Staten Island!

          • Cato says:

            “we don’t need to subsidize apartments for Poor People.”

            Which is why we subsidize apartments for Rich People, through ridiculous tax breaks??

      • B.B. says:

        No abatement or tax incentives required. Property had surplus development rights which could be used by anyone who purchased the site to tear down existing structure and build new.

        If you notice from roughly Lincoln Center south to 57th Street (and below), and from Broadway to Columbus there are already plenty of buildings much taller than 1865 Broadway which went up in 1965.

        It is only once you reach the rich heartland of the UWS (above Lincoln Center area) that zoning changes requiring “shorter” buildings.

        Avalon Bay has publically spoken about the softness in NYC/Manhattan luxury housing market recently. This probably is why they are going with a mix of rentals and condos instead of purely all luxury housing for sale.

    5. zeus says:

      God will approve.
      Gets us a bit close to him/her.

    6. David Morris says:


    7. Barbara Stevelman says:

      Beautiful and Contemporary. People are neighbors, not buildings.
      Don’t people remember that WEST SIDE STORY was filled on this site.
      I live on the UWS side in an apartment with 650 other apartments. And I have plenty of friends there. Get over it! Just more people to make friends with.

    8. Sherman says:

      I keep reading how the luxury housing market has been cooling off in Manhattan. Upscale apartments aren’t selling/renting as fast as they used to. Developers are offering incentives for people to move into new buildings.

      I wonder how long it will take for this building (which will be a combo condo and rental) to fill up.

      There is already so much upscale construction on the UWS. I can’t believe that there’s a bottomless pit of super rich who can afford these places.

    9. George Teebor MD says:

      another overpriced ugly pencil style edifice to block sunlight and increase population density. Of course does nothing to address the housing shortage for people of more limited means.

      • Sean says:

        People of limited means are not supposed to live in Manhattan.

        • allie says:

          wow. how mean and arrogant are YOU?

          • Sean says:

            No. Just being authentic. Obviously you did not get memo on our changing city. FYI: the same shift has also happened in every major European city.

        • lisa says:

          Sadly that was Mayor Bloomberg’s policy focus – establishing NYC as a “luxury brand” and demographic cleansing of Manhattan in order to transform it for the very affluent of all ages.

          It is true that technology, corporatism and demographics have similarly impacted other cities such as SF and London. But Bloomberg really enabled and hastened in NYC.

      • B.B. says:

        From what one has seen so far it doesn’t have to; the developer can build “as of right” so no request for rezoning which would trigger the mayor’s “affordable” housing schemes.

        In fact this building could have been much taller, but developer scaled the retail portion back which influenced how high/many stories could be built.

    10. Lucette says:

      What happened to moderate housing that BeBlasio promised?lucette

    11. eric says:

      ah love it!!!

    12. Sarah says:

      “Neo-Brutalist?” Do we have to???

    13. UWS_lifer says:

      Absolutely Beautiful!!! I love it.

    14. RK says:

      I look forward to yet more overpriced vacant storefronts.

    15. ann bluestein says:

      Unless the building is undressing the word is bears, not bares.

    16. angie says:

      I have no issue with new construction in the city as long as infrastructure goes along with it: all these people will use subways to move around, bridges and tunnels to get in and out of airports, green areas to take their children/dogs or sports, fresh water from the upstate basins,….
      is this growth sustainable?

      • Robert says:

        the first 21 miles of subways were built in less than 4 years. 3 Subway stops on 2nd Ave. took billions more than budgeted and decades longer. Must of this was on “NIMBY” lawsuits and “studies” that government regulation require before anything can be done. They should have kept on digging while they had the chance. Infrastructure should be built by private developers in exchange for “goodies” when gov is not running the project it will always come in under budget and before due date.

    17. Paul RL says:

      If anything, it’s developments like this that are reviving it as a neighborhood. It was a wasteland from the time West Side Story was released until the 1990’s. Good to see this happening!

      • CS says:

        Paul RL
        For what it is worth, would not agree with your opinion that the area was a “wasteland” until the 1990s. I grew up there.

        When did you move from the suburbs to Manhattan?

        • Paul RL says:

          I came here from the suburbs in 1985. I understand that sounds pretty recent to someone who was born here, but 30 years in one neighborhood is nothing to shake a stick at. At any rate, my memories of the low-mid West 60s at that time (especially around the dreadful Coluseum) were, for the most part, that of an area to pass through to get to somewhere else.

    18. Carol says:

      Looks like you’d have to inhale forever if you lived on the top floors. That tapering is a bit disconcerting.

    19. UWSSurfer says:

      It certainly is brutal; brutal on any sense of aesthetics.

    20. John says:

      This building would be awesome if a chick-fil-a moves into the retail space

    21. G Walters says:

      The UWS is special because of its low-rise profile. This should be preserved and regulated since once it’s gone, it’s gone. Not only has the DeBlasio administration fallen down on this, local community boards seem to be controlled by real estate developers.

      • dannyboy says:

        A couple of brownstones were demolished for a needle building 1/2 block from me. That is, it would seem from the majority of the posters, the preferred built design now.

      • robert says:

        So are most of the politicians that appoint people to these boards. Before you start with the slings and arrows take a look at the NYC Campaign Fiancé Boards website. The largest contributors to de Balz, Stranger et al are real estate and insurance companies.

    22. Nancy says:

      I would like to see shadow studies — what’s the impact on local avenues?

      • dannyboy says:

        “move along, nothing to see here” is the response from most posters. Supporting overdevelopment and DENYING the loss of light, air, safety, human interaction…

        • BourbonBetty says:

          dannyboy you are the only one that Understands anything!!!

        • Ground Control says:

          Totally agree Danny. Middle class residents leaving Manhattan in greater and greater numbers as Manhattan turns into the Dubai of the East where $1.5 million for a one bedroom is considered an entry-level apartment in a reasonable new building. All that made New York unique, creative and interesting is being swallowed up for greed. This is overdevelopment on steroids where infrastructure needs are not considered at all. Where the ecosystem of the city is being destroyed. The complacency is very sad.

    23. Sean says:

      Chinese parents will buy apartments here so that their offspring can live here while attending Columbia.

      • EricaC says:


        • Sean says:

          And the question has been asked who will buy and a possible answer is Chinese nationals. People with disposable income tend to buy.

      • Jay says:

        So what?

        As far as I am aware, as long as that money was earned legally, people can buy real estate wherever they’d like in a free society. If you don’t like that, I’m sure there are a few countries in the world where you would feel more comfortable.

    24. Howard Freeman says:

      I’m guessing those first two floors contain no indoor public space. Under the previous ABS president, who would have kept the property, word was that it would be a partnership arrangement which allowed for condos and offices up top and an Omni and Museum below, with indoor public space and collaborative work space. I’m for private development, too, but we got “good” when we could have had “better.”

      • GG says:

        this is classic UWS attitude. I want more!! this doesn’t meet my perfect idea of what I want…it’s like a kid throwing a tantrum in a store to get more junk food or something.

        everything doesn’t have to be tailored exactly to your liking.

        good is good…there is always better, which is almost always subjective.

    25. Ssean says:

      FYI: none other than The New York Times in its’ very own Real Estate second describes a building on W88th St. as being on the UWS and further describes that as being between W72nd and W96th Sts.