September 4, 2020

NoMad Piazza Grows Expands

The NoMad Piazza grows in popularity and size, as New York City’s Open Street program expands. New Yorkers have come to know the stretch of Broadway between 25th Street and 28th street as the NoMad Piazza – a wonderful outdoor Manhattan destination in NoMad.

Based on the success of NYC’s Open Streets, NoMad Piazza now extends north up to 31st Street, offering even more reasons to visit and partake of the neighborhood’s unique offerings. The southern tip continues to be closed to cars from 8:00 in the morning to 11:00 at night, allowing pedestrians to amble as they please most any time of day.

NoMad Piazza Grows Expands

Outdoor eating areas and colorful umbrellas have been set up by a number of New Yorker’s favorite restaurants. At the heart of this new favorite destination, they continue to serve up tasty dishes with impeccable service under the summer sky. Some of the snacks, treats, and meals visitors can enjoy along the way are from eateries like:

In the expansion of NoMad Piazza, notables now include The Breslin and Casa Nomad.

Many of the neighborhood restaurants are offering special deals as part of the city’s All In NYC efforts. Check them out here.

The NoMad Piazza offers visitors more than delicious foods and beverages. Stop in Fellow Barber, sit in one of its vintage barber chairs, and get a haircut, buzz cut, trim, shave, or the “hangover treatment.” Or relax the mind and body with something from Standard Dose and get recommendations on plant-based wellness and CBD products. Those in search of the next great summer read can browse the incomparable Rizzoli Bookstore.

As NoMad Piazza grows in popularity, it easily accommodates more people with plenty of wide-open space on Broadway from 25th Street to 31st Street. The NoMad Piazza has room for everyone to enjoy the best of the season in New York City.

August 26, 2020

Nomad international talent Mitchell Denburg

NoMad attracts international talent and resources from around the globe – from Dutch lighting to Finnish fashion and Japanese confections. Among the globally diverse companies, the Mitchell Denburg Collection stands out.

Its extraordinary textiles support Guatemalan artisans and makers who employ traditional techniques. At the same time that Denburg is bringing these beautiful fabrics to a world market, he also is helping to keep centuries-old customs and traditions alive by supporting the artisans who create them instead of using mass production. The authenticity makes the gorgeous pieces all the more meaningful.

The company prioritizes the use high-quality materials – but the materials must also be natural, renewable, and eco-friendly. Even when sourcing, The Mitchell Denburg Collection works with suppliers from many cultures, encouraging them to preserve heritage processes and the ways of life that support such endeavors.

Its founder, Mitchell Denburg was recently profiled by Mitchell Owens in Architectural Digest. He describes how in 1980, Denburg as a 22-year old photographer became enamored with the city of Antigua in Guatemala – its people and its crafts – and soon began an atelier with five workers and three looms.

Today, the company has 175 artisans and 50 looms. It is a company of multi-talented, skilled individuals, who continuously seek ways to create new designs and products – all while maintaining a commitment to excellence.

The Mitchell Denburg Collection’s New York flagship in the rooftop loft of the historic St. James in NoMad manifests the appreciation of individual artistry and reverence for history. The New York showroom is headed by Christian Jaillite, himself a talented photographer.

Nomad international talent Mitchell Denburg

NoMad attracts such diverse international talent with a creative approach to their industry and social justice. That is why it continues to be a bastion for companies with similar core values and a dedication to bringing the best of global artistry to a wider audience.

August 19, 2020

Num Pang NoMad, reopens, NoMad Piazza

Num Pang NoMad reopens to cheers from those who crave the renowned kitchen’s casual eating with serious flavor. Even more reason to celebrate, Num Pang is offering 10% off to anyone who shows a Kew building ID now through August 23rd.

Founded in 2009 under the culinary direction of chef Ben Daitz, Num Pang specializes in Southeast Asian-inspired sandwiches, bowls, soups, salads, and sides. Num Pang means “Cambodian Sandwich” and the incomparable Pulled Duroc Pork sandwich – served with cucumber, pickled carrots, and chili mayo or soy – is just one of the many culinary highlights offered. Every sandwich comes on a quinoa or semolina baguette baked fresh daily in New York City. It’s no wonder Zagat has ranked Num Pang as the “#1 Fast Casual in New York.” Check out the menu here.

The reopening of Num Pang NoMad at 1129 Broadway is another welcome addition to what neighborhood regulars are dubbing “The NoMad Piazza,” a stretch of Broadway between 25th Street and 28th Street that has come to life under New York City’s Open Street program. Locals and NoMad visitors enjoy the blocks along Broadway, which have been closed to vehicular traffic, allowing for outdoor dining and leisurely strolls under the summer sky.

As the summer continues to unfold and Num Pang NoMad reopens, New Yorkers are savoring the flavors of NoMad.

March 9, 2020

Spring brings the reincarnation of the famed flea market at 29 West 25th Street (between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue).

Ten years ago, our neighborhood was covered with flea markets on the weekends. They afforded two benefits.  First, they provided curious shoppers – from the casual tourist to the most discerning shopkeepers – a huge market to scour for very special treasures, which can only show up in a New York City flea market. Second, they gave parking lots a nice income on weekends when the lots were vacant.

But as real estate market pressures increased, these lots closed and the properties saw high-rise developments. At the end of last year, this last of the neighborhood flea markets on 25th Street closed when the owners’ lease was not renewed.  It appeared that yet another facet of what made New York interesting to so many different types of people had disappeared forever into the past.

That’s why the neighborhood cheered with surprise and relief when it was announced that beginning the weekend of April 4 and 5, over 60 vendors will again be selling their wares at the 25th Street weekend flea market, and will continue to do so year-round, come rain or come shine.

The new market, christened Chelsea Flea, will offer high-quality antiques, unique vintage finds, found architectural objects, and hard-to-find collectables. Plus, select food vendors will make sure you don’t go hungry as you hunt for treasures (including eats which are gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and more).

The team who brought us Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg is behind the resurrection of this storied flea market, which was shopped by designers, celebs, and style icons like Andy Warhol. Those in the know look forward to the revival of this invaluable resource, and dealers look forward to working with the new team.

Savvy shoppers appreciate the real deals go early and go fast. It’s $5 to enter Chelsea Flea 6:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. After 9:00 a.m., the entry fee is $1 per person. Dogs and service animals are welcome free of charge.

This matchless shopping experience builds on the forty-year heritage of its location. Recognized for its exceptional bargains and lively negotiating, the new Chelsea Flea Market is New York deal-hunting at its best. Whether you’re a serious shopper or dabbling in deals, it’s history repeating itself in all the right ways.

March 4, 2020

Kew is proud to count acclaimed beauty and wellness brand Rituals among its tenants at 11 West 25th Street. Rituals is built on the philosophy of “finding happiness in the smallest of things.” Its message has particularly resonated with the public amid a growing desire for products that don’t just improve your body but foster a deeper sense of self-improvement and care. It is no surprise that the company’s popularity has blossomed from its home European market to international fame in the last two decades, with stores in Asia, the Middle East, and North America.

By its own definition, Rituals merges advanced modern technology and cosmetics with ancient Asian traditions, yielding an array of luxurious products that seek to nourish both the body and the home. But the company doesn’t draw the line at just physical changes — it encourages people to create real and positive change in their lives by cultivating better habits.

The Brand’s Collections — or ‘Rituals’

Each Ritual is designed to elicit a particular effect in its user. Here are three examples from the Aweleven Rituals currently available.

Its Ritual of Jing line, for instance, is named after the Chinese concept of the same name and is meant to bring calmness and inner peace. The line includes serums, creams, and fragrances that promote sleep and relaxation, with accompanying tips, recipes, and yoga exercises available on the company’s website to further complement the products with these meaningful daily activities.

Its Ritual of Samurai, by contrast, draws from its ancient Japanese namesake and is designed to invigorate and boost confidence, with offerings geared towards male grooming.

Its Ritual of Happy Buddha collection begs to differ with naysayers who think cosmetics can’t create happiness, with an excellent assortment of oils, scrubs, balms, scented candles, and perfumes that celebrate positivity through the sweet scents of orange and cedarwood. These also come with four-step instructions for how to use them to build mood-enhancing routines, solidifying the brand’s message of comprehensive self-care.

Sustainability and Eco-Friendliness

Part of the company’s appeal is its efforts to use as many natural ingredients as possible and ensure its growth is sustainable and eco-friendly. As it notes on its site, Rituals is just as committed to caring for the planet as it is to caring for the individual body and mind. And there’s no need to look any further for gift ideas, as the company’s artfully arranged and reusable boxes are the perfect answer to making toiletries a personalized and thoughtful present for friends and family.

Good Things Ahead

In an age when online shopping has become increasingly more common, and brick and mortar commerce seems to be increasingly obsolete, Rituals still attracts customers to its stores by creating interactive shopping experiences. This can include anything from giving customers a cup of herbal tea at the door to a quick massage of their hands while waiting — unique touches that enhance the brand’s goal to “transform daily routines into meaningful rituals,” according to its UK Managing Director Penny Grivea.

Even though it has already enjoyed a rapid expansion across the globe, with locations in 27 countries, Rituals has no intention of stopping — it plans to open over 300 stores in the next two years, with a target of 1,040 stores by the end of next year. It is eyeing new stores in Singapore, Paris, Stockholm, and Arnhem in the near future, with a particular focus on boosting its presence in the Asia-Pacific region via more points of sale at major hotels and airports in key cities. Clearly, good things lie ahead for the Rituals brand and its growing base of devotees.

We eagerly await the opening of the company’s bigger and better stand-alone locations, as it seeks more room to display its constantly expanding collections. In the meantime, we are happy to visit the Rituals store at 172 Fifth Avenue to appreciate the soothing atmosphere and enjoy some real-time pampering as we shop for things that will bring the beauty and tranquility of a spa into the comfort of home.

February 26, 2020

Hiten Manseta has taken his family business from Bombay to New York, achieving success through the fine quality established by his family tradition and the foresight of using modern Japanese designers and branders to broaden his company’s appeal. From its humble beginnings, Hitten has made Tusk a premier source for leather goods including handbags and travel accessories for both men and women and established a showroom at the St. James Building in Suite 531. As a fellow tenant, you might want to stop by and see the extraordinary products Tusk offers.

Raised in a typical Indian family in Bombay, Hiten Manseta grew up surrounded by family members in the textile industry. Family dinners always revolved around business talk, and Hiten quickly developed a passion for the industry. He was well-prepared to take over his family business, and when he did in 1993, he surprised his family by moving to New York to launch his brand.

Realizing the importance of design appeal, Hiten started working with a friend and artist from Japan to design the brand’s logo and signature Tusk zipper pulls that are now trademarked as an original Tusk product. It is this marriage of contemporary design with the highest quality of leather that has led to the company’s growth and recognition, even being featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things.

However, despite all the changes, Hiten has maintained the family tradition — an incontrovertible commitment to integrity in and sourcing the best materials and maintaining high-quality manufacturing practices.

Materials

Only the finest leather is used at Tusk. Customers can select leather from American buffalo, which is known for strength and durability, French calf, known for being soft and smooth, and Egyptian buffalo, which is elastic and durable.

Processes

The Leather Working Group is a group that has set environmental standards to promote appropriate environmental business practices within the leather industry. All of the leathers that are selected at Tusk have earned Gold and Silver ratings from this group. Each material and process involved in the making of a Tusk bag and accessory is selected with the environment in mind.

Manufacturing

Tusk’s factory in Mumbai, managed by Hiten’s sisters, still produces all Tusk products from tanning, and dyeing through the finishing process.  These craftspeople working at Tusk are not simply workers making thousands of pieces for a super brand, they are the heads of small families who have grown up with the leather making factory and are part of a culture that respects its artisan tradition.  In fact, Tusk is so proud of its operations that they invite visitors to their factory to see the sustainable and ethical ways in which their products are made.

Uniquely symbolic of the care and commitment of the company, customers receive superior customer service and a personal thank you letter with every Tusk purchase. Customers have reciprocated with wonderful testimonials to Tusk products and services , which can be found on its website. Our favorite is this:  “I made my first purchase of a TUSK wallet more than a decade ago, that is in perfect condition. Since then, I purchased the black lizard, a small billfold for a tiny purse, and now the wood colored Donington wallet.”

Tusk 

1133 Broadway, Suite 531
New York, NY 10010
(212) 242-8485

tusk.com

Hours:
Monday-Friday: 11:00 am – 6:30 pm
Saturday: 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sunday: Available by Appointment

January 17, 2020

To celebrate the impressive development of NoMad over the past 12 years, our neighborhood organization the NoMad Alliance launched an exciting new website this week at experiencenomad.com. If you aren’t familiar with this site, or haven’t explored it before, it is a great place to learn about the neighborhood’s history, all it has to offer, and what is going to happen next.  We urge our tenants to spend time on the new website and take advantage of its many features, because it’s a great resource for all of us who work and/or live in NoMad. Discover:

 

The Latest Neighborhood News
Fun, informative Historical Stories
An interactive Map of NoMad
A Broad Calendar of Events
Listings of Resources and Governmental Agencies to Help You
Profiles of Area Businesses
Transportation Information

The newest update of the website has a fresh, bright, and streamlined look. Improved organization of information and navigation, making it easier and more fun to use. One of the best features of the new experiencenomad.com is the several contact points that will allow you to reach members of the Alliance directly.

The NoMad District

The Nomad District, first recognized as far back as 1999 by The New York Times, has grown into one of  New York City’s most exciting neighborhoods. Once the center of Gilded Age New York, as you have read on this website, NoMad was ”forgotten” for many years, but once again its enduring strengths are drawing people, businesses, developers, and tourists here:

  • Great transportation.
  • An inventory of historic buildings.
  • The city’s finest small park.
  • A balanced live/work community.

As a tenant, you are sure to have noticed these enormous changes as tech and design businesses flood into the area, new skyscrapers rise, beautiful architectural gems are restored, and the inventory of world-class restaurants, hotels, and nightspots swells. Businesses, such as Nomad Tower, Virgin Hotel NoMad, Arlo NoMad, Sweetgreen NoMad (to name a few), recognize that “NoMad” signals something new and powerful; it is a brand that has and will continue to bring attention and growth to our area.

January 8, 2020

We start off the new year with some great news: St. Sava has posted a construction advisory sign stating that the completion of the reconstruction is slated for Spring 2020.

After the devastating fire on Easter Eve 2016, there was some question as to whether the structure could be saved and given the expense whether it would be restored.  A landmark building, the beautiful St. Sava was designed by noted architect Richard Upjohn in English Gothic Revival style, and originally served as an uptown chapel of Trinity Church on Wall Street.  It was sold by the Episcopal Church to the Armenian Orthodox Community in 1942 and became the Mother church of the Serbian Orthodox faith in America, as well as a social center for emigres.  You can read more about the fire and the history of the church here here.

Photo 1: orthochristian.com / Photo 2: © David Lubarsky – All rights Reserved

The reconstruction has been delicate, much like that at Notre Dame with the structural integrity of the building often in question.  A full review of the work can be found here. Briefly, it started with the hazardous task of clearing out all of the post-fire debris at ground-level—including scattered stone and charred-timber wreckage. Then, the loose and otherwise compromised structural and non-structural materials overhead were methodically removed in order to render the building site as safe as possible, before the actual reconstruction work could begin.

Since then, construction has progressively continued with the installation of steel beams and the placing of aluminum structs across the entire roof.  With this base in place, vertically placed sheets of corrugated metal and sheeting were installed and covered with marine board and an asphalt membrane, all of which is part of the permanent roof.

Photo: © David Lubarsky – All rights Reserved

A new floor has been laid.  The base consists of massive 27” deep steel I-beams to which are riveted sheets of 7” deep corrugated galvanized steel.  This will be covered with a cement base, surmounted by floor heating elements, and a final finishing layer.

It is heartening to see the interior lit at night, albeit with construction lamps and to see the temporary plexiglass windows installed throughout the church.   Soon the doorways will be framed and temporary, substantial metal doors will be installed.  You can read more about the construction challenge at easterndiocese.org.

Donations to help restore this beautiful landmark neighbor, can be made here: orthochristian.com

Saluting our Tenants

St. James Tenant Zivkovic Connolly Architects PC is the architect for the St. Sava Project.
Thanks to St. James Tenant David Lubarsky for sharing some of his documentary photos of St. Sava.

January 6, 2020

NoMad’s Tin Pan Alley is proud to house five new landmarks after eight months of debate by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Take a stroll from Broadway to Sixth Avenue on 28th Street to admire the buildings at 47-55 that represent Tin Pan Alley—the birthplace and fountainhead of popular music.  From these blocks, love songs, comic and novelty songs, ballads, cakewalk, Ragtime, jazz, and showtunes flowed around the globe at the turn of the twentieth century, making innovations in the music industry that endure today.

The landmarked townhouses, built in NoMad between 1839 and 1859, sheltered the growing publishing houses that promoted persecuted African American and Jewish composers, giving them the space to create beloved American classics such as ”Maple Leaf Rag,” “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” and “God Bless America.” The street saw the rise of Duke Ellington, Scott Joplin, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, and other greats, who brought diversity into the mainstream music industry and became immortalized in the Great American Songbook.

Historical feats aside, the structures also have architectural significance, as they feature the bracketed cornices and projecting stone lintels characteristic of the Italianate style that peaked in popularity during the 1850s.

Photo: Noelle Penas—Untapped Cities

Preservationists have been lobbying to landmark the buildings since 2008 to avoid their potential demolition after being listed for sale for $44 million. The properties were sold to a developer in 2013, but grassroots campaigns and continued legal efforts culminated in a long-awaited win for the neighborhood.

Commissioner members noted that landmarking these buildings serves as a solemn reminder of a difficult time in U.S. and global history, intertwined as it is with violence and discrimination, while still celebrating the cultural richness and accomplishments that emerged from the period. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer was one of several prominent figures who applauded the decision, calling Tin Pan Alley “an indelible part of not only our city’s history, but also national identity” that will be preserved “for generations to come.”

July 30, 2019

With its central location, easy subway access, abundant eateries, and the beautiful and tranquil Madison Square Park, NoMad is a great neighborhood to work in, but also a great place to live. In the past few years, numerous new and renovated apartment and condo buildings have added to the stock of great apartments available in our neighborhood. If you find the work-to-work lifestyle alluring and you’re thinking about moving closer to your office, here are five residential buildings within walking distance that you might consider.

 


Prism at Park Avenue South

(via streeteasy.com)

One of NoMad’s newer residential communities, this unique 40-story glass tower was designed by architect Christian de Portzamparc to create a one-of-a-kind luxury New York living experience. Individual units feature floor-to-ceiling windows with skyline and river views, stainless appliances, wide-plank wood floors, in-unit washers and dryers, and more. The list of building amenities is long and includes a 24-hour concierge, fitness center, children’s play area, lap pool (inside), steam room, sauna, yoga/spin room, screening room and in-building access to the 6 line. You’re also steps away from many great dining options, including Pret a Manger and Tarallucci e Vino on-site. Units are available to rent ranging from small studios to three-bedroom, two-bath apartments, all with no broker fees.

Prism at Park Avenue South
50 East 28th Street
New York, NY 10016
(646) 989-8723

Visit Website

 


The Capitol

(via The Capital website)

If you are looking for the ultimate in city living (and you happen to have a dog), you’ll want to check out this particularly pet-friendly high-rise. This 370-unit building was built in 2000 and offers a selection of sleek, modern, no-brokerage-fee apartments ranging from studios to two-bedrooms, many with stunning city views. Apartment units feature wood floors, stainless appliances and marble baths.  In addition to valet services, the building itself offers such amenities as a 24-hour attended lobby, fitness center, billiards room, a screening room, library, and dog-`wash station. The Capitol has also recently renovated its community lounge areas, including a rooftop lounge and terrace with a dog run.

The Capitol
776 Sixth Avenue
New York, NY 10001
(212) 447-4477

Visit Website

 


Chelsea Landmark

(via chelsealandmark.com)

Another centrally located high-rise, this 2005 apartment building is designed with busy New Yorkers in mind. The 36-story Chelsea Landmark features no-brokerage-fee studio, 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom apartments, each with open floor plans, luxury finishes, and plenty of natural light from oversized windows. Building amenities include 24-hour concierge services, on-site fitness center, party room, library and game room with billiards, and golf simulator. You’ll particularly want to check out the landscaped rooftop deck with stunning panoramic views of the city. Best of all, with its easy access to NoMad and nearby Chelsea and Flatiron, you’re steps away from some of the best dining, shopping, and nightlife in Manhattan.

Chelsea Landmark
55 West 25th Street
New York, NY 10010
(646) 453-4401

Visit Website

 


True North NoMad

If you’re looking for a bit more historic charm in your living space, check out this restored pre-war apartment building at 80 Madison Avenue. Originally built in 1923, this eight-story elevatored building has been modernized and updated while retaining its original structural feel. Each of the 56 loft-style units, ranging from studios to two-bedroom apartments, is uniquely designed. Most include oversized windows, stainless appliances, walk-in closets, and 13-foot ceilings. Building features include laundry facilities, video security, and a live-in super. Residents also receive a discounted membership to New York Health & Racquet Club.

True North NoMad
80 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016
(212) 248-3333

Leasing Information

 


Instrata Nomad

(via Instrata NoMad website)

This 50-story residential rental high-rise exudes sophistication and luxury. On a quiet street across from one of New York’s most famous historic churches and a few blocks from verdant and exciting Madison Square Park, Instrata Nomad is in the center of one of the city’s hippest neighborhoods. Studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments all feature gorgeous finishes and convenient features, including stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, Kohler fixtures, hardwood floors, marble bathrooms, and sizable closet space. Balconies are found off many of the 392 apartments. Building amenities include a full-service concierge, 24-hour attended lobby, fitness center, 360° roof deck and resident roof lounge on the 50th Floor, valet, and parking, and in-house laundry.

Instrata Nomad
10 East 29th Street
New York, NY 10016
(646) 590-0080

Visit Website

January 9, 2019

With a beautiful showroom at Kew’s 255 Fifth Avenue building, Ernest is a dynamic collective that offers the most inspiring Belgian-European architecture and design brands to North American architects and designers.  The company has built its business on its core values of personal responsibility and a down-to-earth attitude. Co-founder and partner Thierry Herbert explained that the very name of the company was chosen to underscore these special qualities.  He said that a leading interior designer commented to him that it was wonderful doing business with the firm, because it was so “earnest.”  We think it fits the company so well that management adopted it as the firm’s corporate name.

Ernest Looks for Specific Characteristics in Choosing Products to Import

In crafting its portfolio, Ernest first and foremost only presents products that will be exclusively available through them — these are not products you will find elsewhere in North America.  They must also have several key qualities:

  • Be more architectural than simply “decorative.”
  • Have a design that can be characterized as clean, timeless, and forward-thinking.
  • Be a medium to high-end quality product that is well-made.
  • Offers longevity both in design aesthetic and construction.
  • Be manufactured as a sustainable product using sustainable means.

Ernest Customers Have a Special Perspective

Herbert described Ernest’s clients like this: they are “people who are generally internationally driven, who like architecture and culture, who value quality, longevity, sustainability, and consider the evolution of product development.”  He also noted that they have “a certain partiality to imported goods and materials — those that are not be as accessible and as common as local products.”

The problem of course is that not everyone understands that investing in a better product pays off multifold as time goes by.  Herbert quoted Ben Franklin: “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.“  He also referenced the story of The Three Little Pigs —”the first two build their homes out of lesser materials and make fun of the third for working so hard, but of course, in the end, the one made of the strongest materials is the only one to survive.”  It’s amazing how many people don’t learn that childhood lesson.  However, it’s the people who did learn it who are Ernest clients.

Offering Four Broad Product Lines

The company offers a huge range of products covering four main categories: furniture, lighting, architectural products and materials.

1. Furniture — Ernest offers furniture from Royal Botania, which has earned an acclaimed worldwide reputation for creating a refined and diverse choice of outdoor furnishings, engineered to offer a perfect blend of precision, functionality and sustainability.

2. Lighting — Ernest represents Delta Light, a Belgian family business, which creates innovative lighting designs recognized throughout the world for their subtle blend of ambiance, elegance, and functionality, both in interior and exterior lighting.  Besides, individual products, Ernest also handles Delta Lighting projects for small- and large-scale houses, hotels, offices, public buildings, retail and hospitality environments.

3. Architectural Products — Renson is a Belgian family business creating healthy spaces with innovations in ventilation, sun protection, and terrace coverings. Renson products focus on sustainable energy efficiency, acoustics, and design in creating systems for homes, apartments, offices and healthcare facilities.

4. Materials — In Ernest’s showroom you can see a broad range of building materials, including reclaimed wood, tile, and carpet flooring.

A Must Visit Engaging Showroom at 255 Fifth

Ernest’s showroom reflects the firm’s vision.  It is set up to act as a one-stop shop for developers, specifiers, architects, designers, and individuals seeking design-focused, residential and commercial furnishings suitable for both indoors and outdoors. The showroom is divided into different spaces – a living room/lounge, kitchen, dining room, outdoor furniture area, and bathroom – all using Ernest’s products, so that buyers can see, feel, and experience products in situ. Herbert stressed, “We want designers to come here and see the full range of how we can work.

As a means of promoting dialog, with the New York design community, Ernest uses the space to play host to multidisciplinary cultural and social experiences such as screenings and social events throughout the year.  To make the space exciting and flexible to accommodate these events, it is cutting edge, with experimental creations; drop-down media screens, adjustable LED lighting solutions and retractable privacy screens.  (It’s also stocked with Belgian treats so you can get a literal taste of Belgium while you’re there too!  We told you it was a great, inviting space as well as a great resource.)

Forward Thinking

“Through our strong brand partnerships, we have been able to offer a rich and distinctive collection of inspiring Belgian-European products. We wanted to build on that successful base and enhance it with a fresh new name and concept that is emblematic of our shared philosophy.”

He notes that there have been some barriers, which are changing.  Europe has been much more forward-thinking in terms of sustainability, but America is catching up and that is good for Ernest.  Not only do Ernest products offer longevity — they are meant to last, but are produced with the environment in mind.  That is becoming more and more important in America, and Ernest is well positioned for the future in this regard.

The company approach to showing products in use also helps.  The company’s showroom parties have been a great success, not only in terms of business but also in terms of creating a forum for discussion and synergies among members of the design community.  So to, its Ernest Cabin, outside the main entrance of the Architectural Digest Design show in 2017, and its mini-house have proved great venues for attracting audiences and showing Ernest products effectively.  Both have helped designers and architects see many Ernest products at once and in use.

Ernest and NoMad

Ernest has been a Kew tenant here in the NoMad area for almost three years now. Herbert describes NoMad as “a perfect area for architectural design,” “a central location for business,” and “very alive and thriving.”

Herbert pointed out that there are also some very talented furniture, lighting, and architectural designers whose creations are on display in showrooms here in NoMad.  It wasn’t like that a few years ago, but the changes have been significant — it went from “no man’s land to NoMad.”

Blue Dot,  Liaigre, Jung Lee, Porcelanosa, Marimekko, Archlinea, ddc, and Natuzzi, are just a handful of the many firms catering to the interior design and architectural professionals that have located in NoMad, making the area a center for people interested in finding the ideal solutions for their projects.  That puts Ernest in the center of New York City’s newest design center.

Thierry Herbert especially welcomes Kew’s architect and interior designer tenants to call upon him and visit the showroom just a few blocks away — there is a lot to see and learn that may be useful in your next project. 

Ernest
255 Fifth Avenue, 6th Floor (between 28th & 29th Streets)
New York NY 10016
(212) 334-5045
info@ernestny.com

www.ernestny.com

Hours:
Monday through Friday: 9:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m.

December 28, 2018

If you’re looking to make an end-of-the-year contribution to an organization, whether for tax deduction purposes or otherwise, allow us to make a suggestion: Consider giving back to the neighborhood by making a donation to the Madison Square Park Conservancy.

Madison Square Park is arguably the crown jewel of NoMad, and it plays a huge part in why this neighborhood is such a remarkable place to live and work. It provides us with wonderful views, a place to stroll during lunch or break times, year-round family-fun and cultural, a place to walk the dog, world-class art exhibits, and so much more.

The park doesn’t stay beautiful on its own. Although this is a city park, the Madison Square Park Conservancy raises 100 percent of the money required to plant the park’s flowers, maintain and keep the park grounds, as well as put on the numerous programs that benefit the community all year. That is why it is one of the most beautiful, well-maintained, and active park in the city.  The Conservancy is currently planning for its upcoming calendar—and the budget they can raise plays a significant role in what decisions are made.

If you have taken time out of your day to walk the park, eat a picnic lunch, relax on a bench or attend a special event at any time during the last year, you have already benefitted from the good will of others who have and are supporting the park. If you’re not already a supporter, why not take this opportunity and do your share for the upcoming year?

Madison Square Park Conservancy is a non-profit organization, and all donations are tax-deductible. They’ve made it easy to donate – just click here to fill out their convenient online form. Let’s work together to help keep our park looking amazing—and in so doing, we’ll help keep NoMad one of the best places to live and work in NYC.

December 10, 2018

In the second half of the 19th Century, the small Worth Hotel stood where the Townsend is today and the elegant, very famous St. James Hotel was located at the site of the St. James.

The Worth was owned by the Townsend family who decided to replace the hotel with a larger commercial building. They hoped to purchase the two adjoining brownstones to add to the building site. The brownstone nearest their building agreed, but the second brownstone was owned by Edward T. King, who held out. The design and building of the Townsend proceeded without King’s property. The St. James Hotel, at the other end of the block, was purchased by Joseph and Abraham Pennock, who planned a second office building on the block. They too approached King to incorporate his property into their site, but again he refused.

That’s how 1129 Broadway became one of the first holdouts in New York City history, and for a few years the five-story brownstone was wedged between a 12-story building and 16-story building.

King should have realized the neighborhood was changing as residents, hotels, and private clubs began moving further uptown and businesses increasingly took their place. It was only a short time before the family recognized their mistake. Less than 12 years after the Townsend and St. James were finished, the Pittsburg Life and Trust Company persuaded the Kings to sell. The brownstone was immediately torn down, and the one-story building that is now on the site was built. (You can still see the white ghost of the old King brownstone on the sides of 1123 and 1133.)

Now housing Num Pang, this one-story building was originally occupied by the renowned and popular Carl H. Schultz mineral water shop at “The Sign of the Siphon.” Schultz was famous for his artificially flavored waters and patrons could enjoy their drinks in long-stemmed glasses served from marble counters decorated with Tiffany lamps. Just across the store a wooden bar, putatively from the then recently demolished Fifth Avenue Hotel, served ice cream sodas and egg creams.

Since 1952, all three buildings have been under Kew ownership. In an ironic twist, a passage was created across the roof of the one-story “holdout” in the 1980s, connecting the Townsend and St. James. And despite the frustration of the original builders, the King holdout enforced a space between the two tall buildings providing today’s tenants with more light and air than they would have had if the buildings abutted each other as the Townsends and Pennocks had hoped.

September 13, 2018

If you live or work in NoMad, chances are you’ve dined at (or at least walked by) La Pecora Bianca, the delightful Italian eatery in the historic St. James Building at 26th and Broadway. But save for a few faint reminders, one would never suspect that this site once was home to the Havana Tobacco Company, frequently described in its time as “the finest store in the world.”

Opened in 1904, the Havana Tobacco Company became one of the most popular New York cigar shops of its day. Surrounded by other fine shops at the top of Ladies Mile, and in the center of world-class hotels and the homes of high society, this store had to present an image of exclusivity and sophistication.  So, it wasn’t just the fine cigars and tobacco products that made it the “finest store;” it was the architecture and ambience.  The shops décor included: tall marble columns. ornate furnishings, luxurious cigar lighter stands, lush palm trees and greenery, and fine oil paintings depicting Havana Harbor. And of course, long rows of glass cases displaying the finest cigars money could buy. Everything about the interior of the store evoked the look and feel of an opulent tropical terrace, transporting patrons back to another time and place—back to old Havana itself.

New York’s Finest Architects

The style of the Havana Tobacco Company can be accredited to the combined work of the most noted architects of New York’s Gilded Age. The St. James was designed by Bruce Price, known for NYC landmarks like the American Surety Building and the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City.   The grand scale Price provided for the ground floor shops was enhanced by the classic but simple grandeur that was the hallmark of McKim, Mead & White.  The nation’s leading architectural firm, known for buildings like the original Penn Station and the Brooklyn Museum, among many others, created a powerful but retrained space that gloriously reflected Gilded Age style and elegance, branding the space perfectly for its wealthy local clientele and visitors from abroad.

Fine Landscape Paintings

For the upper walls surrounding the showroom, the tobacco company commissioned a mural comprised of seven or eight oil paintings by Willard Metcalf (1858-1925), a famed artist of the American Impressionist school best known for his landscapes. Metcalf reportedly traveled to Cuba in 1902 to create the original studies for the series, which depicted scenes from Havana Harbor, adding a tasteful touch of brilliance to the showroom.  Only one of the original Metcalf panels survives, and it is currently on display at The Art Institute of Chicago.

The Space Today

A few years ago, when La Pecora Bianca owner Mark Barak looked over this storefront as a possible location for his restaurant, he was intrigued by the story of the McKim, Mead & White cigar shop and sought to recapture at least some of the original feeling of the space. Unfortunately, not much of the original store survived the more than 100 intervening years, but Barak chose to build on the bones that were left.  If you look at photos of the dining room today compared to the historic photos of the cigar shop, it’s not an exact replica, but one can certainly see the resemblance.  Very few changes were made to the shape of the room and the current counter is placed as the original cigar counter was.  Perhaps most reminiscent of the original shop are the columns that La Pecora Bianca retained and its ceiling, which is classically beautiful while humanizing the scale of the enormous space.  Barak was largely successful at creating a modern functional space for the demands of a new age, while retaining key elements that still make the space graceful and charming just as they did back when Teddy Roosevelt was President.

September 5, 2018

Sitting near the heart of NoMad at 1133 Broadway, the historic St. James Building stands as a reminder of New York in the height of the Gilded Age—a time when this neighborhood first became a gathering spot for noted authors, financiers, statesmen and others among New York’s elite. These days, however, few people realize the deeper historic significance of this building—namely, that Bruce Price, the man who designed the St. James and kept his offices here, was also one of the most influential architects of his time.

Beginnings and Career

Born in Maryland in 1845, Price studied at Princeton before eventually settling in NYC in 1877. During his career, Price gained great renown for both his commercial and residential projects across the Northeastern U.S. and throughout Canada.  He also had a profound impact on shaping the emerging NYC skyline. A master of refinement in architecture, Price was known for his Neoclassical/Beaux-Arts and Romanesque designs as well as his innovations in Shingle Style and Modernist architecture—his buildings reflecting the elegance and abundance of the Gilded Age itself.

Along with the St. James Building, Price is credited with designing numerous Manhattan buildings. Among the most notable: the Bank of the Metropolis; the International Bank; the American Surety Building, a landmark considered one of NYC’s most important early skyscrapers; and the Richard Morris Hunt Memorial in Central Park (in collaboration with sculptor Daniel Chester French).

Price’s influence can also be seen across Canada, particularly the numerous hotels and stations he designed for the Canadian Pacific Railway. The Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City, arguably his crowning achievement, is listed as a National Historic Site of Canada and is one of the most photographed hotels in the world.  It has become so completely identified with Quebec that it has become a de facto symbol of the city.

A master of design on a small scale as well, Price also designed, patented and built the unique parlor bay-window train cars that were used by the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Boston and Albany Railroad during this time.

Tuxedo Park

Another of Price’s notable achievements, perhaps the most influential of his career, was Tuxedo Park, located north of New York City. A planned community consisting of “cottages”  (more like mansions) built between the late 1800s and the turn of the century, Tuxedo Park Estates became a haven for some of the most notable people of the time. As the prime architect for the project, Price designed more than two dozen structures in the community, including the post office, the library and the since-demolished Tuxedo Club. Price’s cottages would eventually house his own family along with notables such as Mark Twain, J.P. Morgan and Dorothy Draper. Perhaps most importantly, Price’s cottages would eventually be cited as a major influence on Frank Lloyd Wright and other modern architects such as Robert Venturi.

Daughter Emily Post

Among the famous residents of Tuxedo Park’s was Price’s own daughter, Emily Post. A noted author and columnist, Post echoed her father’s legacy in her own way by establishing herself as a “social architect”—a renowned expert on all things etiquette and manners. Her book Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics, and at Home, her first etiquette book of many, solidified her reputation as a national symbol of manners for modern society.

St. James

As for our building at 1133 Broadway—completed in 1896, the St. James is rapidly approaching its 125th birthday. At 16 stories, this building was among the first high-rise office structures in the neighborhood that would eventually become known as NoMad. Not only did Price keep his own offices here, but the St. James became a hub for other notable architects—including Henry Pelton, Daniel Burnham (who designed the Flatiron Building/Fuller Building), and John Russell Pope (who also contributed to the Tuxedo Park project). Today, as part of the landmarked Madison Square North Historic District, 1133 Broadway continues its legacy as a haven for businesses focused on creativity and design—including the many numerous architects found among our tenants.

All photographs of 1133 Broadway are © David Lubarsky, 2016 — All Rights Reserved.