A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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“Great minds drink alike” (10/19)
“Imagine with all your mind. Believe with all your heart. Achieve with all your might” (10/19)
“The goal is to die with memories, not dreams” (10/19)
“Stop and smell the rosé” (10/19)
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Entry from March 12, 2018
Wedding Cake of the West Side (The Ansonia)

The Ansonia is a residential building in Manhattan at 2109 Broadway, between West 73rd and West 74th Streets. It originally opened in 1904 as the Ansonia Hotel. According to Women’s Wear Daily (New York, NY) on October 13, 1971:

“THE HOTEL ANSONIA ON NEW York’s upper West Side, variously described as ‘an evocation of Paris with its gay towers and great Mansard roofs,’ ‘a 17-story French chateau,’ ‘a baroque palace from Prague or Munich enlarged a hundred times’ or ‘the Wedding Cake of the West Side’ is in danger of destruction.”

The Ansonia was called “The Wedding Cake of the Upper West Side” in Newsday (Long Island, NY) on July 16, 1987,


Wikipedia: The Ansonia
The Ansonia is a building on the Upper West Side of New York City, located at 2109 Broadway, between West 73rd and West 74th Streets. It was originally built as a residential hotel by William Earle Dodge Stokes, the Phelps-Dodge copper heir and shareholder in the Ansonia Clock Company, and it was named for his grandfather, the industrialist Anson Greene Phelps. In 1899, Stokes commissioned architect Paul E. Duboy (1857–1907) to build the grandest hotel in Manhattan.

Stokes would list himself as “architect-in-chief” for the project and hired Duboy, a sculptor who designed and made the ornamental sculptures on the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, to draw up the plans.

13 October 1971, Women’s Wear Daily (New York, NY), “Glancing Blows,” pg. 20, col. 4:
THE HOTEL ANSONIA ON NEW York’s upper West Side, variously described as “an evocation of Paris with its gay towers and great Mansard roofs,” “a 17-story French chateau,” “a baroque palace from Prague or Munich enlarged a hundred times” or “the Wedding Cake of the West Side” is in danger of destruction.

16 July 1987, Newsday (Long Island, NY), “Inside the Ansonia” by Martha Miller, pg. 12:
Mullioned French windows, detailed balconies on nearly every window and the ornate Louis XIV scrolls and grillwork earned the Ansonia the nickname “The Wedding Cake of the Upper West Side.”

Google Books
The Best Things in New York Are Free
By Marian Hamilton
Cambridge, MA: : Harvard Common Press
1991
Pg. 124:
This 17-story H-shaped apartment hotel quickly became dubbed “the wedding cake of the West Side” as its confection of ornate turrets, gargoyles, carvings, balconies with intricate grillework and mansard roof was a visual delectation.

Google Books
The British on Broadway: Backstage and Beyond--the Early Years:
Follow the Footsteps of the Legendary Knights, Irving, Oliver, and Coward: A Guide to the British Invasion of Broadway

By Elizabeth Sharland
Watchet, UK: Barbican Press
1999
Pg. 87:
Originally built in 1904 to be the most elegant residential hotel in the nation, the Ansonia was quickly adopted by musicians, singers, writers, artists, teachers and coaches as a place to live and work. Because of its ornate beaux arts style, the building acquired this nickname: “The Wedding Cake” of the West Side.

There is more substance to that phrase than meets the eye, because the Ansonia truly represents a unique marriage of architecture and utility: the suites in the building, many of them circular or oval, are soundproof.

Google Books
The Sky’s the Limit:
Passion and Property in Manhattan

By Steven Gaines
New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company
2005
Pg. 153:
Known as the “wedding cake” of the Upper West Side because of its abundant terra-cotta ornamentation, it looks as if it were lifted whole from the XVI arrondissement and dropped intact onto a bend in the road at Broadway and Seventy-third Street. It is a city block long and nearly 500 feet deep, seventeen stories of Beaux Arts overkill, with row upon row of pediments, wrought-iron balconies, terra-cotta bas-reliefs, hissing demon gargoyles, and fleurs-de-lis, the Ansonia’s insignia.

Daytonian in Manhattan
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
“The Wedding Cake of the West Side” - The Ansonia
Strolling along upper Grand Boulevard (which would be renamed Broadway) in 1895, William Earl Dodge Stokes had a vision: he imagined Broadway as a wide fashionable boulevard similar to the Champs-Elysses in Paris.  Over the course of the next few years he bought the property on the site of the former New York Orphan Asylum between 73rd and 74th Streets.

Here he planned for a grand French residential hotel.  But not just any hotel.  This would be the largest, the costliest and the most ornate; and its location at the bend in Broadway would make it visible for blocks. 
(...)
Ground was broken in 1899 and construction lasted five years.  The result was a sumptuous pile, its great bulk broken up by the over-the-top ornamentation, balconies, and irregular surfaces.  The Ansonia opened for business in 1904.  Its tiers of lavish decoration quickly earned its nickname “The Wedding Cake of the Westwide.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBuildings/Housing/Parks • Monday, March 12, 2018 • Permalink