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The Ansonia: 1906

The Ansonia: 1906

Circa 1906. "Ansonia Apartments, Broadway, New York City." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Mr. Mel stole my comment

I can add only that early tenants of the building included Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey, and Arturo Toscanini. When the building was new, they kept live seals in the fountain in the lobby. However it required enormous upkeep and decayed with stunning speed between about 1950 and 1980. There was a period of time when you couldn't open a New York newspaper without reading of some rent strike at the Ansonia or lawsuit by the people living there against the owners. It seems finally to have quieted down in the last few years, and the building is gorgeous, even nicer in real life than in that photo.

Window Washer

There appears to be a window washer on the 12th fl balcony; I wonder how much he made!?

Beautiful building

I took voice lessons from a man who rented out one room of a large Ansonia apartment for that purpose about 20 or 25 years ago. The building was in moderately sad condition then, but it still had a grandeur and style that was palpable. The apartment was huge and elegant, just like a Hollywood movie apartment, but of course needed some serious updating. The Ansonia has lost a couple of its elegant neighbors in the last few years, and on the next block up there's a very modern building that's an obvious tribute to it.
I believe the late New York City mayor John Lindsey lived there for many years, didn't he?

It's such a fine structure that it still provides the architectural anchor for the whole neighborhood.

Roof Farm

Lovely idea:

There was (...) a farm on the roof. It’s true: Stokes had a vision of a self-sustaining building, a kind of rental utopia. He purchased various farm animals and constructed a mini-pasture on the roof. Each morning, a staff member would deliver fresh eggs and milk to the guests or tenants of the building.

And there was even a cattle elevator (for dairy cows)!!

I wonder why did the department of health close it in the 1930s, and if it's possible to reopen it? Or has it since been replaced with AC boxes & .. ?

But yes, great building!

Birthday cake

It looks like a giant confection. Beautiful building.


The electric van was state of the art, but the horse was still around for a couple of decades. Looks like some "road apples" in the street.

Where are the people?

New York City, and not a single person in the shot? How?

[There are at least two people in this time exposure, visible as they paused by the curb, with hints of a third across the street. The faster walkers might not register at all. - Dave]

Top floor, please!

I want to buy the penthouse suite in the tower shown in the middle. What an AWESOME place!


What a beautiful building!

Only in New York

The 1975 movie "The Sunshine Boys" featured the Ansonia as the home of the character Willy Clark, played by Walter Matthau. It had become a rundown has-been and the movie showed it that way. In that same period the Ansonia housed the storied swingers club Plato's Retreat in its basement. Plato's followed a former tenant, the Continental Baths, where a little known Barry Manilow accompanied an unknown Bette Midler entertaining its gay male audience. Today it is a luxury condo where a three-bedroom apartment is currently listed at $3.1 million.

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