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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Emery

Astor Court, Home

Some years ago, before I was in the picture, my husband had the foresight and good taste to purchase an apartment in the Astor Court on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. For the past 15 years, I have been privileged to make this unique building my home. While there have been times over the years when we have considered moving, looking for something more modern, with more amenities and rooms to fit our growing family and stuff, everything else we saw always fell far short.

The gorgeous ivy covered facade at Astor Court, as viewed from inside the courtyard.

The Astor Court building was completed by architect, Charles A. Platt in 1916. Like Astor Row (written about in a previous post), Astor Court was commissioned by the Astors, the family of prominent real estate developers who were also responsible for the famed Waldorf-Astoria, among other buildings. Not only are the apartments beautifully scaled with large rooms, high ceilings and fireplaces, but Platt also constructed the building around a gorgeously landscaped courtyard. It's a lovely place to read the paper, meet with friends and enjoy the outdoors in a tranquil, private setting.

Astor Court courtyard!

The Apthorp and the Belnord are two other architectural icons on Manhattan’s Upper West Side that were built around landscaped courtyards. They were also built in the early 1900s and feature many Italian Renaissance decorative elements. The Apthorp was also built for a member of the Astor family, but unlike Astor Court, the courtyards in The Apthorp and The Belnord are drive-ins.  

The Apthorp at 2211 Broadway.

The Belnord at 225 W 86th Street.

Cars can pull in and unload–a great convenience for the residents, but in my mind not the same kind of tranquil haven we have at The Astor Court. It really feels like a little piece of the country in the city. I guess I must be partial!

If you're interested in a little Astor history and the story of Astor Court, read this NYTimes article.

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