new word has recently been added to the

new word has recently been added to the
English dictionary or, at least, inside the
walls of 390 West End Avenue ! ‘Apthorpian.’ It is
a word Karen Mansour, Director of Sales and
Marketing for Prudential Douglas Elliman, uses
often to describe the ‘grandness’ that this magnifi!
cent Upper West Side architectural masterpiece
exudes. Although this turn!of!the!century property
has stood at its location, stretching from West
End to Broadway on 78th to 79th Streets, for over
100 years, a "30 million capital improvement
program is now transforming the landmark into
a modern masterpiece.
Newly managed by Broadwall Management, a division
of The Feil Organization, The Apthorp was the world’s
largest residential building at the time of its creation in
1908. Built by William Waldorf Astor and his architects
Clinton and Russell, the structure was so magnificent,
resembling a grand Italian Renaissance Palazzo, that
The Apthorp was able to lure the city’s wealthiest away
from their private Brownstone houses. The building
is famously noted for a treasured interior courtyard
tucked away behind two majestic, vaulted entrances
and spectacular residences, each one distinct with
unique layouts, finishes and detailing.
Originally 16 room apartments with 8 bedrooms,
today’s 163 Apthorp residences are still breathtaking
in size, from 1,100 to 6,000 square feet, 4 to12 rooms,
with ceilings soaring 11 to 12 feet high and windows up
to 8 feet tall. “The grandness of these spaces makes
them ideal for entertaining,” explained Harlan Gold!
berg, Director of Sales for Prudential Douglas Elliman.
Most homes feature a grand entry foyer with signature
hand!cut stone mosaic tile floors, ceiling medallions,
intricate moldings and up to three fireplaces with hand!
carved mantels.
Ingrid Birkhofer and Fernando Papale of BP
Architects are lovingly restoring this architectural
masterpiece while modernizing it to 21st century
standards. They are restoring the common areas of
the building as well as the condominium homes in
this landmark locale, reinstating both to their origi!
nal pre!war grandeur. Along with scores of European
restoration artisans, the two architects and their sta#
spend at least seven months on the restoration of
each home. “We have scraped through 15 layers of
paint to reveal long forgotten plaster ornaments, and
have probed through existing structural elements
to unearth such treasures as a perfectly preserved
chestnut hand! carved door buried for 70 years in a
tile wall,” Papale says. “We have since reinstalled it in
the unit in which it was found,” he added. Areas that
cannot be restored to their original condition will
be replicated, as is the case with some plaster details
and Herringbone floors where the intricate design
was painstakingly recreated.
Since kitchens, bathrooms and closets of the earlier
Apthorp era did not have the cachet that exists to!
day, walk!in dressing spaces, kitchens, powder rooms
and bathrooms are being enlarged to accommodate
the modern tastes of today’s buyer. Resolving the
poor ventilation that existed in these homes decades
ago, all new residences are being equipped with a
sophisticated heating and cooling infrastructure,
seamlessly integrated into the fully restored interior
décor of the homes.
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The restoration work in the common areas will
improve the public foyers, lobbies, elevators and
courtyard. All of the original stone and marble floors,
plaster ceilings and wall décor are being brought back
to life by carefully reproducing, restoring, painting and
glazing to reinstate their original grandeur, while the
outside 12,000!square!foot courtyard garden is being
rejuvenated with lush landscaping. The courtyard’s
signature cobblestones, fountains and benches are
also being restored. One surprising finding during the
courtyard’s refurbishing was the discovery of the origi!
nal wrought!iron lanterns, which Birkhofer, Papale and
their team were able to restore.
And if all of the detail work isn’t enough, buyers also
have the option of further customizing their homes
by choosing among di#erent kitchen and bathroom
finishes which include natural stones such as Calacatta
Gold, Nero Marquina and White Carrara marble. O#!
setting these traditional European finishes are state!
of!the!art kitchen appliances such as Sub Zero, Miele,
and Wolf. Adding to the building’s modernization are
amenities such as a fully renovated garage with valet
service, a central laundry room, concierge services,
gym, sauna and massage rooms, and a conference
meeting room.
Refurbishing this one!of!a!kind creation is, accord!
ing to Papale, unlike anything he has designed before,
or ever will again. “The Apthorp has survived years
of surrounding development because it is something
special,” he says, “and it always will be.”
The first 32 residences are currently being o#ered
at attractive introductory prices from 2 to 15 million.
During this first o#ering, there is a rare opportunity to
purchase apartments ‘as!is’ or lightly renovated. “This
is a once!in!a!lifetime chance to own something that,
other than The Apthorp, is essentially non!existent in
this city; a true ‘home’ that is striking, pre!war, archi!
tecturally special, newly renovated and also a condo,”
stated Elliman’s Mansour.