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255 West 90th Street #2C
Coop, six rooms; 3BR/2BA
Asks $2,095,000; Maint. $1,532
Halstead describes this Cornwall three-bedroom as a classic six. That’s a misnomer, as the apartment is a carve-up. The original “C” line is a sprawling nine. #2C comprises about two-thirds of the original footprint: the four front rooms plus the kitchen and servant’s quarters. The northwest wing has been severed. The original parlor – complete with mantel – now serves as the master bedroom, and shares a bathroom with the adjacent bedroom. The maid’s room has annexed some adjacent space and become a serviceable third bedroom, equipped with a video projector as an alternative to mounting a flat-screen TV on scarce wall frontage.
The most obvious deficiency of this layout is the lack of a bedroom wing. The master is reached through the dining room. The other two bedrooms are accessed directly from the foyer and entry hall, respectively. Split bedrooms usually appeal to families with older children. Unfortunately, the jack-and-jill master bath might undermine that appeal.
What #2C lacks in flow it largely makes up in style. The apartment is handsomely finished and meticulously maintained. The 2007 renovation shows very little wear, and was done with great respect for the apartment’s WWI-era heritage. Details have been preserved where possible, and the modern updates – particularly in the kitchen and baths – are sufficiently neutral to maintain harmony. #2C looks beautiful in the listing, and it’s just as nice in person.
Keep in mind that those elegant front-facing rooms perch over a busy stretch of Broadway. The owners have done everything possible to mitigate noise and traffic, with City Windows and tasteful shutters along the apartment’s eastern edge. There is little to suggest the close proximity of the M104 bus or the City Diner. They are out there, however, and they always will be.
#2C will need a buyer who doesn’t mind the low floor and odd layout. That buyer will enjoy an important bonus each month: a maintenance bill more commonly associated these days with smaller, weaker apartments in less attractive buldings. Do the nice renovation and low monthlies justify a $2.1MM price for an apartment that sold for $1.425MM in 2007? It's hard to say. Unique apartments like #2C are notoriously difficult to price.
One additional note about the "C" floorplan: I've seen intact apartments in this line with the public spaces in the front, overlooking Broadway, and others with the living room facing west, in the space that has been detached from #2C. The latter layout works nicely on higher floors that clear the low buildings along 90th Street toward West End. The front-facing layout is more typical of 1920 construction, but some of the rear-facing units look like they were built that way. I'm pretty sure #2C's public spaces have always faced the front, in enfilade along Broadway.
Right, like 8C, with the public rooms in the back. The detail looks original. When that one was being discussed, I think I found a plan somewhere with the alternate layout. It wasn't the NYPL plan, but maybe somewhere in Google Books. Then again, my mind's shot so could be remembering the SE plans.
Again kudos for another excellent open house report. The price appears to be somewhat wishful but who knows.
NWT: Here's the piece of #2C that was apparently shaved off to create #2D:
#2D was listed with Corcoran until a month ago. If I'm reading the floorplans correctly, the neighbors might have missed an opportunity to collaborate. Reassembled, with the kitchen of #2D converted back into a master bathroom, I think the original #2C would be worth at least $3MM. (That's based on the sale of #8C, which needed a new kitchen and some bathroom updates, for $3.675MM.)
Actually, the folks in #2D did collaborate with their neighbors, but the went in the other direction: They sold to the owners of #2B.
OK, so the then-landlord who did the cut-up used the shaving-sink plumbing for the kitchen.
The windows of the northwest room differ as the layout changes. Next OH somebody needs to get into that little courtyard, or up on the roof, and see which floors have which layout.
NWT: Below the sixth floor, west-facing windows would have a view of a brick wall, so I doubt the LR on low floors ever faced that direction.
Duh, now I see. Was in Google Maps on 91st, trying to see the back of the Cornwall, and never noticed that that building on 91st is older.