Today, one of the greatest works by New York City architects Schwartz & Gross is being transformed into a portrait of modern luxury celebrating 21st-century advances, while still paying homage to the past. 212 Fifth Avenue, one of Manhattan’s first skyscrapers, is about to become its newest residential masterpiece. A partnership led by developer Madison Equities has honored the legacy of Schwartz and Gross as the iconic building elegantly reemerges with 48 new and unique luxury residences.
Simon I. Schwartz and Arthur Gross might find themselves in the news today as 212 Fifth Avenue makes headlines, but their story is woven into the fabric of New York City itself. In the early 20th century, this prolific pair masterminded countless iconic Manhattan buildings on the Upper East Side, Upper West Side, and in Morningside Heights.
After meeting at the Jewish Technical Institute in the 1890s, Schwartz and Gross were quick to develop a working relationship. In 1902, they founded their own firm, which went on to shape the landscape of Manhattan. The Schwartz & Gross architectural firm was responsible for eight of Central Park West’s most prominent historic buildings, including 55 Central Park West, better known by many as the “Ghostbusters Building” after its appearance in the 1984 blockbuster. The architects were also responsible for the Prohibition-era brothel and gentleman’s club located at 212 West 75th Street, formerly known as the Majestic. The staircase-filled bordello, which was carefully constructed to include secret hideaways for use during police raids, was eventually renamed “Majestic Towers” and became a co-op in 1989.
Those familiar with big business know the name Isidor Straus, the cofounder of Macy’s. After he and his wife died on the maiden voyage of the Titanic in 1912, Schwartz and Gross designed the ornate Clebourne on the site of their former mansion located at 924 West End Avenue. Schwartz and Gross went on to design the equally impressive 101 Central Park West, the Art Deco-inspired 241 Central Park West, and 1185 Park Avenue, one of the city’s only luxury residential complexes built to fully encompass a landscaped courtyard, as well as 370 Riverside Drive, a massive building that housed noteworthy politicians, culinary visionaries, and inventors, including political theorist Hannah Arendt and Clarence J. Lebel, inventor of the fluorescent light bulb.
212 Fifth Avenue, which sits on the edge of Madison Square Park and offers some of the neighborhood’s most enticing amenities, including a state-of-the-art fitness center, golf simulator, screening room, and catering kitchen, will undoubtedly be home to a number of New York’s most valuable players, helping to ensure the creativity of Schwartz and Gross and the timeless integrity demonstrated by their architectural masterworks will always be a part of New York City’s skyline and heritage.
For more information about 212 Fifth Avenue and its available luxury condominium residences, visit www.212FifthAvenue.com/availability.