The Ritz Tower is located at 465 Park Avenue (main entrance) and 101 East 57th Street, New York, NY. It was erected between 1925 and 1927 as a 41-story apartment hotel, considered the most elegant of its kind in New York City. It was opened on October 15, 1926, being the tallest residential building in New York, with panoramic views in all directions.
The developer Arthur Brisbane was a famous journalist for the Hearst chain who invested heavily in real estate. He hired the Ritz-Carlton Company to manage the building, lending its name for his enterprise. After three years Brisbane sold the building to William Randolph Hearst, that owned and resided in the building for several years.
The Ritz was designed in 1925 by Emery Roth and Thomas Hastings. The architects used classical detailing based on the Italian Renaissance style with a modern steel-frame structure to create the tallest residential building in New York. By creating an apartment hotel without kitchens, the developer was able to avoid the height restrictions imposed by the Tenement House Law.
In the first three floors of the Ritz Tower were many small businesses, including art galleries, art dealers, interior decorators and the Museum of Irish Art. The National City Bank was the earliest tenant in the ground floor banking space. The ground floor originally housed two restaurants run by the hotel for its tenants, but they were also open to the public and accessible through an entrance on 57th Street. Murals on the restaurant wall were created by noted artist Willy Pogony. In the mid-1950s, the large restaurant space was leased for the French restaurant, Le Pavillon. The second through fifth floors held administrative offices for the building, single rooms for service staff, and small suites for short-term guests.
Today, a co-operative apartment building, it remains one of Manhattan's most luxurious residential cooperatives, noted for its spacious and elegant apartments, each one unique. Many celebrities choose it as their home or residential stopover when business or leisure brings them to Manhattan.
Main source: Landmarks Preservation Commission, October 29, 2002.
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