455 Central Park West, a mixed-use, 100-unit condominium, combines a new, 27-story tower with the adaptive reuse of a historically significant landmark. “The Towers,” as it is known, was built in 1884 as the first cancer hospital in America and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Converted into a notorious nursing home in the 1950s and abandoned in the 1970s, the once majestic structure had fallen into advanced stages of decay. Careful research was required by the Landmarks Commission and the State Historic Preservation Office to restore all aspects of the building's exterior. Materials for the roof, masonry, metal trim and windows for both the new and existing buildings blend with the original building details. In addition, significant portions of the landmark's interior, such as a large chapel space and a wrought iron grand stair, have been restored to become highlighted features of the new program.
The design combines a landscaped courtyard and paved porte cochere with the new building to create an integrated ensemble which complements the historic building and capitalizes on magnificent views of Central Park. While the new tower contains the greater number of units, including 40 that were purchased by Columbia University for faculty housing, the landmark contains the most luxurious apartments. These spaces have been integrated into the fabric of the old building by taking full advantage of the richly proportioned spaces found within, and the interiors have been restored to the gracious opulence of the turn of the century.
When combined with modern conveniences, this development blends the best of the old and the new. The project received 5 awards, including a Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award from New York Landmarks Conservancy and Best of 2004 Project of the Year: Adaptive Reuse Award from New York Construction.