What's Old Is New Again
Limestone and classicism have enjoyed something of a revival in new New York construction over the past few years, perhaps spurred by Robert A.M. Stern’s runaway success, 15 Central Park West. But where 15 CPW mixes classic features and materials with clean modernism—Stern’s post-modern influences are still visible in the building’s design, despite its Candela-like appearance—the Brodsky Organization’s 135 East 79th Street, with exteriors and interiors by designer-to-the-starts William Sofield, is all tradition.
It’s also attracting what passes for a very traditional clientele in today’s frothy, foreigner-fueled condo market—not only domestic buyers, but actual New Yorkers.
Not every building wants to be a glassy sky spire like One57, or feels the needs to race to the clouds like 432 Park. Why redefine luxury when it’s been done so well—arguably as well it can be done—already? That’s the question posed by the unabashedly old-fashioned 19-story residential tower at 135 East 79th Street.
The Brodsky Organization finally has interior renderings of the building that’s rising (it’s still an orange-sheathed construction site) on the site of the former Hunter College School of Social Work. They reveal a building that’s about as pre-war as a post-war place can be (if you don’t count 15 CPW). Or, as the building’s newly launched website puts it: “a masterful expression of rigorous craftsmanship not seen on the Upper East Side in almost a century.”