Walker Tower: The Newest Very Old Chelsea Building

New Construction ManhattanNovember 18, 2011
The Chelsea neighborhood is in the interesting position of being one of the hippest and most modern neighborhoods in all of Manhattan, while still being decked out in equally hip and desired pre-war buildings. As we've written about before, developers often address this position by renovating old pre-war apartments to fit with a modern style and sensibility. We’ve seen this often enough, developers will buy an old apartment building, raise the ceilings, expand the windows, and put the new luxury condos back on the market, describing them as a combination of the new and the old.

Walker Tower is the most recent building to be subjected to this transformation. A massive skyscraper located on West 18th Street, Walker Tower is renowned in architect circles because of the architect who designed it: Ralph Walker, a peer and companion of Frank Lloyd Wright who contributed to several notable aspects of the New York skyline, including One Wall Street and the Barclay-Vesey Telephone Building. His namesake, the Walker Tower, has never been available as an apartment complex before, but in 2009 New York developers Michael Stern and Elliot Joseph bought space in the building with an eye towards opening it up to the public.

Another thing: Stern and Joseph have fitted the tower with 55 housing units, a number considerably bigger than these renovation projects usually yield, which they’ve used, along with the Ralph Walker legacy, to generate buzz. So far Curbed and the New York Observer have picked up the story, and a somewhat cryptic photo of the construction that CORE, the real estate company that’s handling the business side, has released has begun making rounds on the Internet. We’re interested to see how this newest addition fits into Chelsea.