The San Remo (145 Central Park West) is a luxury, 27-floor, co-operative apartment building in Manhattan located between West 74th Street and West 75th Street, three blocks north of The Dakota.
The San Remo is described by Glen Justice of the New York Times as “a dazzling two-tower building with captivating views of Central Park.” As a housing cooperative, its board has a “reputation for lenient admissions standards” compared to the conservative, old-money boards on the other side of the park.
When the San Remo was originally designed, it had a wide range of relatively luxurious apartment configurations. The apartments were accessed from opulent twin lobbies which contained terrazzo floors, marble walls and custom light fixtures of bronze and frosted glass. The building has two addresses, 145 and 146 Central Park West, because the building was designed so that each half of the structure is served by separate lobbies, eliminating the need for long hallways across the main floor. Most of the San Remo’s first floor is used by the building’s staff or leased out as doctors’ offices.
The average apartment contained eight rooms spread over approximately 3,000 sq ft (280 m2). Ten and eleven foot ceilings were the norm. As originally designed, the lower 14 floors were typically divided into seven apartments – two on each of the side street wings of the building and three laid out along the front of the building facing Central Park West. There are numerous setbacks built into the far ends of each wing of the building, allowing for terraces for several of the units. The original layout of the Park-facing units was unusual; most full-block buildings on the avenue divided the park frontage into four units, not three. This allowed the San Remo’s apartments to have very generous frontage along the park in addition to typically spacious interior layouts.
The largest units on these lower levels are the “C-line” units, which occupy the southeast corner of each floor. The C-line apartments contain 620 sq ft (58 m2) living rooms, 300 sq ft (28 m2) libraries and 500 sq ft (46 m2) dining rooms all facing the park. C-line apartments typically had four bedrooms arranged along the 74th Street (south) side of the building. These units are approximately 4,500 sq ft (420 m2) in total.
Above the 14th floor, the building began a series of setbacks, which allowed for terraces for the various units from floors 14 through 17. These units were typically larger floor space, with larger rooms, than the units on the lower floors.
At the 18th floor, the building splits into the San Remo’s iconic 10-floor towers, which were inspired by the drum of the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates. The twin tower design was innovative when first developed, and inspired a number of imitators over the years (including The Majestic, The Century, The Eldorado and—most recently—the Time Warner Center).
In the north tower of the building there is one apartment per floor of approximately 2,500 sq ft (230 m2). These are typically two-bedroom units, with all of the public rooms facing the park.
The floors of the south tower are slightly larger, and these apartments as originally designed were all duplexed units. In total, these two-story units were approximately 5,800 sq ft (540 m2), rivaling the apartments in the best buildings of Fifth and Park Avenues (e.g., 834 Fifth Avenue), which typically range from 5,000 to 7,000 sq ft (460 to 650 m2).
The San Remo’s south tower units have their public rooms on the lower level. The public rooms include 800 sq ft (74 m2) (36′ x 22′) living rooms, 290 sq ft (27 m2) (14′ x 20.5′) libraries, and 400 sq ft (37 m2) (17′ x 24′) dining rooms. There are also a breakfast room, kitchen, and several servants’ rooms on this level. A semi-circular staircase leads past windows facing the park to the second level. Upstairs are four bedrooms, including a master suite with a bedroom of 360 sq ft (33 m2), and a large dressing room and bathroom, for a total of over 500 sq ft (46 m2), and additional servants’ rooms. A separate back staircase connects the rear portion of the apartments, linking the servants’ areas.