Here’s the first glimpse inside Walker Tower, the transformation of 212 West 18th Street into a collection of 53 expansive residences set within a pre-war building designed by the trailblazing architect Ralph Walker. Walker created iconic Art Deco landmarks such as the Barclay-Vesey Building and One Wall Street in Lower Manhattan. He was hailed as the “architect of the century” in the New York Times, and Frank Lloyd Wright referred to him as “the only other honest American architect.” Now his 18th Street high-rise is being both painstakingly restored and thoroughly modernized to become one of the most extravagant and sought-after residences in New York City. Walker Tower is being developed by JDS Development and Property Markets Group. CORE will launch sales in the building in spring 2012.
Walker Tower could not be built today, nor could it ever be built again. Constructed in 1929 for the New York Telephone Company, the Art Deco skyscraper’s lavish entryways, ornate detailing and sweeping interior spaces are unheard of in today’s construction practices. The building exceeds all of the attributes one would desire in the ideal residential conversion. Huge new tilt-and-turn windows throughout the building (some measuring nearly 10′ tall and 5′ wide) will give even the lowest residential floors stunning views protected by contextual low-rise zoning districts on one side and a landmarked historic district on the other. The building’s soaring ceilings, approaching 15′ high, will create airy residences with incredible proportions. Literally and figuratively, Walker Tower stands tall above its neighbors.
Ralph Walker helped pioneer the use of architectural setbacks in skyscraper design to allow for more light and air to reach the streets below, and at Walker Tower those enormous setbacks will become equally enormous private terraces. Overall, half the apartments will boast sizable and dramatic private outdoor spaces. Below is a look at some of Walker Tower’s original architectural detailing as well as a behind-the-scenes photo of the building’s transformation, which includes a penthouse expansion. From top to bottom, Walker Tower will offer breathtaking views of Manhattan’s past, present and future architecture.