West 58th Street, Midtown’s Unlikely Step Child [Video]

Central Park South is the greensward’s front door while 57th Street is one of the grandest boulevards in the city—adding One57 doesn’t hurt that cache. This leaves 58th Street out in the cold, but as a recent article in The Times explores, the strip has as much to offer as its glitzier neighbors.

It has a backdoor quality. Natty businessmen slip into the New York Athletic Club, whose proper entrance is at 180 Central Park South, through a revolving door on West 58th, adding a clandestine élan to the private club’s already heady exclusivity.

Posh Japanese tourists with enormous shopping bags from Louis Vuitton and Gucci use the recessed 58th Street door to the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel (officially 36 Central Park South) as they retreat from the throngs on Fifth Avenue. The splendid concave Solow Building (an office tower at 9 West 57th Street) swoops down onto 58th, creating a little plaza that’s marked by Joan Miró’s bulbous “Moonbird” sculpture.

And when it’s complete in 2013, the 90-story One57 (a k a 157 West 57th Street), the residential tower on top of a Park Hyatt hotel that will not so much scrape the sky as pierce it, will have what the marketing materials call a “discreet” entrance on West 58th Street. Like much else here, it will be out of the way, right in the thick of things.

Even more revealing is the accompanying video showing the street in full action.

mchaban [at] observer.com | @MC_NYC