299 West 12th Street at Abingdon Square
Circa 1931 // ARCHITECT: Emery Roth // BUILDER: Bing & Bing Cons. Co.
This may be the most expensive prewar apartment building downtown, but in a nod to the less stuffy world of Greenwich Village, this building is a condo rather than a coop. As such, unlike a coop where you must pass muster with the board of directors, at 299 W. 12th, all you have to do is have the money for the apartment you want — although, at this address, the admission fee will be steep.
The site of this building is truly enviable, facing south on West 12th Street and over Abingdon Square — the west side fronts Hudson Street. There is only one small 19th century building to the east, so most of the Eighth Avenue side is open — as is the north-facing back of the building — offering great light and views to the majority of the apartments (perhaps, this is why these apartments trade at such a premium?).
Architecturally, the building is the least interesting of the five important Bing and Bing buildings in the Village. The facade is vaguely Tudor/Jacobean with quite subtle detailing. The first two floors are interesting in the use of stone details with heavy stone lintels above the windows and stone blocks randomly set into the brick facade. There are a pair of sculpture niches on the second floor above the main entrance holding classical urns.
Emery Roth is known for this eclectic decorative vocabulary, combining all sorts of historical references. 299 W. 12th Street is very different in character from what Roth was generally doing at the time (1930-1931) at buildings like the San Remo on Central Park West or the nearby building at 59 W. 12th Street. Both of these buildings exhibit a classically influenced, yet subtle Art Deco style. When one looks at 45 Christopher Street or 302 W. 12th Street, both designed by former Roth employees Boak and Paris, we see a greater confidence with the then trendy Art Deco vocabulary.
The typical floor at 299 W. 12th consists of 11 apartments, a single southwest corner two bedroom, two bathroom unit, six one bedroom, one bathroom units, and four studios. The apartments are well laid out and gracious, with most units having a wood-burning fireplace,and a step-down Living Room.
A celebrity sighting at 299 West 12th from Curbed:
“Jennifer Aniston Closes on Second West Village Apartment”
WHAT A BUYER CAN EXPECT TO PAY: A high floor corner two-bedroom, two-bathroom will cost at least $3M