The tributes keep pouring in for Ralph Walker, the late trailblazing architect who is back in the news thanks to Walker Tower, the 50-unit luxury condominium developed by JDS Development Group and Property Markets Group. Walker Tower is being fashioned from one of Walker’s signature pre-war Art Deco skyscrapers in Chelsea, built at 212 West 18th Street in the late 1920s. Already the subject of an architectural exhibition held at Walker Tower last spring and a career-spanning biography published in September by Rizzoli, Ralph Walker is now receiving the documentary treatment. The short film above provides a great summary of Walker’s greatest works and his impact on the New York skyline, while also providing a guided glimpse inside Walker Tower.
The film is a great companion to last week’s Wall Street Journal feature story by Josh Barbanel, headlined “In Manhattan, Downtown Looks Up,” in which Walker Tower is held up as a shining example of what wealthy buyers are looking for in today’s real estate market: Spacious and meticulously finished Manhattan homes that blend traditional Uptown sensibility with a trendy Downtown location. Ralph Walker’s pioneering Art Deco style is an important part of that appeal.
A sampling of last week’s press coverage of CORE and CORE properties.
“Top Residential Agents of the Week”
The Real Deal
“On the Market”
The history and conversion of Walker Tower was profiled as a “Haute Property.” Ralph Walker’s vision for the building, initially designed as a telephone building, was preserved and honored through the meticulous restoration and the exhibit honoring the architect’s complete body of work. The care for the original details paired with the luxury finishes and amenities make this an unmatchable residence a New York City “masterpiece.”
“House of the Day”
AOL Real Estate
Noted for its stunning views and modern, sleek styling, the combination unit at One Museum Mile was highlighted. The building’s impressive amenities list as well as its positioning near to Museum Mile’s icons make this residence a spectacular opportunity for a buyer to create their dream home.
Last week Rizzoli published Kathryn E. Holliday’s Ralph Walker: Architect of the Century, and this particular marriage of book and publisher is quite fitting. The legendary Italian publishing house was founded in 1929, just as Walker, across the ocean in New York, was in the midst of a groundbreaking run that saw him design such iconic Art Deco masterpieces as the Barclay-Vesey Building, the Irving Trust tower (now simply known as One Wall Street) and the New York Telephone Company building at 212 West 18th Street. The latter is now Walker Tower, renamed in honor of the pioneering architect, and undergoing an extensive restoration and renovation into 50 luxury residences.
This is the first book dedicated to the life and career of Walker, who was proclaimed “architect of the century” in a 1957 New York Times headline. Last spring, a public exhibition on Walker was held inside Walker Tower, based in part on materials pulled from this book. (Author Kathryn E. Holliday was in attendance and held a book-signing at the opening night reception.) The book covers Walker’s entire life and career and includes a passage on Walker Tower, a great example of Walker’s “humanistic” approach to architecture, which called for texture and ornament in design to uplift city dwellers. To purchase a copy of the book, click here, and head on over to the Walker Tower website for more on the building’s history.
A sampling of last week’s press coverage of CORE and CORE properties.
“Downtown Prices Are Set to Get Lift”
Wall Street Journal
Last week’s launch of sales at CORE’s Walker Tower development in Chelsea may prove that “ultrawealthy New Yorkers will pay some of the highest prices in the city for a spot in the funky neighborhood,” the Wall Street Journal reports. With 25% of Walker Tower’s 50 ultra-luxury condominiums already in contract, that certainly looks true. Read on for more about the project, including analysis from CORE CEO Shaun Osher.
“Developer in Chelsea Honors a Great Architect While Redesigning His Work”
New York Times
Veteran journalist and architecture historian David Dunlap explores a different path regarding Walker Tower’s launch, focusing on the complexities of the $200 million restoration and renovation of the pre-war Art Deco building, and explaining how new elements “were based on existing decorative motifs found in the building entrance and lobby or on archival drawings showing how Walker’s design evolved.” Also check out Dunlap’s great photos of some of Walker Tower’s original design flourishes.
“Walker Tower: Historic Icon + Modern Luxury Will Cost You”
New York Observer
“See The Views From Walker Tower’s Opening Party”
Completing a week of Walker Tower media mania, the building’s launch party and early sales success are covered online by The Real Deal, the Observer and Curbed, including some excellent photo galleries.
This week we’re sharing some prescient words from Ralph Walker, the late influential architect who is the subject of Ralph Walker: Architect of the Century, the new exhibit on display within 212 West 18th Street, which has been renamed Walker Tower in his honor. This sign hangs in what will soon be Walker Tower’s residential lobby, and was created by Let There Be Neon, the legendary TriBeCa signage shop. See it before the exhibit closes on May 1!
Tuesday night marked the celebratory opening of Ralph Walker: Architect of the Century, the first exhibit honoring the work of the influential architect Ralph Walker, who helped shape New York’s skyline in the 1920’s and ’30s. That name should ring familiar thanks to all the attention surrounding Walker Tower, the conversion of one of Walker’s classic buildings at 212 West 18th Street in Chelsea into 53 luxury condominiums. CORE will launch sales in the building later this spring, and the ground floor of Walker Tower is currently housing the exhibit, which is open to the public, by appointment only, through May 1. Go to the exhibition website for information on making a reservation.
The event also doubled as a book signing to benefit the Museum of the City of New York by Kathryn Holliday, whose book on Walker, also called Ralph Walker: Architect of the Century, will be published by Rizzoli in September. For more on Walker’s contributions and the exhibition, check out the fantastic coverage by Dwell and New York magazine, and to see photos from the event — including notable faces in the crowd, and the impressive model of what Walker Tower will look like when the restoration and conversion is finished — see the gallery on CORE’s Facebook page.
As Curbed points out today, some signage has just gone up at Walker Tower, where CORE will be launching sales of the 53 luxury condominiums in this grand pre-war Art Deco building later this spring. The press has been following the project closely, but the new signs reveal an exciting facet of the project that hasn’t yet been mentioned. Beginning next week, the building will host Ralph Walker: Architect of the Century, the first exhibit exploring the life and career of the influential architect Ralph Walker, whom Frank Lloyd Wright called “the only other honest architect in America.” This exhibit on Walker, designer of the Barclay-Vesey Building, Irving Trust Building (aka One Wall Street) and of course Walker Tower, will be open to the public, by appointment only. It will feature large models of Walker’s masterpieces, along with archival drawings and plans, and interactive digital displays guiding visitors through Walker’s landmark career. For a taste of what to expect, and to make a reservation, visit the exhibit website.
We’ve received an incredible amount of interest in Walker Tower ever since we pulled back the curtain on this beautiful pre-war building last November. Today we can finally say more. As the New York Times reports in its Sunday edition — the story is online right now — the ultra-luxury condominium conversion of this Ralph Walker-designed Art Deco skyscraper in downtown Manhattan will soon be hitting the market through CORE at prices of around $3,000 per square foot, with penthouses approaching up to $10,000 per square foot. The average size of these massive homes, there are 53 in total, will be approximately 3,000 square feet. The building, located at 212 West 18th Street in Chelsea, is being developed by JDS Development and Property Markets Group, and the process of turning a 1929 telephone building into a 21st century residential icon is intricate and complicated. The Times‘ C.J. Hughes touches on the transformation:
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.