Wednesday, March 30, 2005

New Yorkers, Keep Reading

I need your help. Do you recognize this building:

It is on the corner of Centre Street and Broome Street, smack in the middle of Chinatown, and is maybe the grandest building in the whole city after the Apthorp and the Frick. It's crazy.

I've passed by it a number of times, and yesterday it seemed open. A friend and I moseyed on up the front steps, where a guard resembling the last face I'd see if I were to ever betray the Russian Mafia refused to let us in to possibly the most grand entryway in Manhattan. Eventually, pathetic smiles and waves forced him to crack the door open 2 inches.


Me: "Hi! What is this beautiful place!? I always pass it and wonder."

Him: "You live here? In city?"

Friend: "Yes."

Him: (Launches into 25 minutes lecture about how it used to be the former NYPD Headquarters until 1974. He refused to go into more detail, but insisted on repeating 1974 over and over again, a la Arnie Schwartzenegger in Total Recall: "And do you have any fruits or vegetables with you?" "Twooo Weeeeeeks." If you don't get the reference, rent it ASAP. We made our move to leave at least three times, but he kept luring us back in with the saaaaame stooory, not getting the things we really wanted to know about, namely, what the fuck it was.)

Eventually, he explained that now it's an apartment building with 56 apartments. If you've seen this place, you understand my obsession with it. There's a garden that looks like it could host a swell 19th Century Costume Gala.

A few minutes later, we ran into an old buddy of ours who also added this tidbit: Calvin Klein lived there, and you didn't hear it from me, but let's just say he's "invited" a lot of "young boys" to his "gorgeous domed mansion" for "gay sex." Cough.

Has anyone ever been inside this fantastic building? Does anyone live there and enjoy spending afternoon tea with the middle class? Does anyone know if this place has a fancy French name? I need stories.

Thanks to Gina, I was able to do a much more thorough Google search. What I learned about "The Police Building":
It's exact address: 240 Centre Street
2-bedrooms for rent at $7,000 - $11,500
2-bedrooms for sale at $1,050,000 for 1,750 sf to $1,500,000
(which seems like a steal to me - Under $2 mill, and walking distance to Joe's Shanghai/fish gutters.)

Here's what a million dollars (+$2,000 maintenance) will get you (according to one listing I found):
Spacious loft duplex
1 Bedrooms
1.5 Bathrooms
Double Height Living Room with Second Floor Loft Bedroom
Top of the Line Kitchen
Double Height Windows Lead to Terrace with Amazing West Sunset Exposure
Building information: Elegant Beaux-art landmark building built in 1903. Former police headquarters for all five boroughs of Manhattan, from 1920's to 40's. 24-hour concierge and doorman, health club, common English Garden. Pets okay.

UCH. TO DIE FOR! (emphasis and language my own.)

Some more pics of my dreampartment:

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