The Ansonia - 2109 Broadway - Upper West Side
When The Ansonia opened in 1904 it was called:
"the most technologically advanced apartment house in the world"
Loaded with towers, mansard roofs, ornate balconies, balustrades, and bay windows, the Ansonia is easily Broadway's most opulent structure. When it opened in 1904, this extraordinary, eighteen story Beaux Arts building provided tenants with such luxuries as electric stoves, hot and cold filtered water, freezers, a pneumatic -tube system to deliver messages, and even an early form of central air conditioning.
The building also had incredibly thick walls installed to protect against fire, which meant Ansonia suites were among the most soundproof in the city. This is the reason many famous musicians took up residence in the building. The building has a plaza in the lobby with two entrances on west 73rd and west 74th streets. A swimming pool and garage are in the basement. The building is located on a curve in Broadway and is visible from up and down The Boulevard.
In addition to its famous residents, the Ansonia has been in many movies. In The Sunshine Boys, it was Walter Matthau's Manhattan apartment. The 1919 Black Sox World series scandal was conceived in front of the Ansonia.
The Ansonia was also the spot where Bette Midler got her big break in show business. She sang danced and clowned at the Continental Baths, a gay spa that once occupied the Ansonia's basement and whose cabaret room was popular in the 1970's. Today, the Continental Baths are history, but the Ansonia is still a vital part of the Upper West Side.
Today the Ansonia is a condominium it has 462 apartments on 18 floors. Prices for condominiums in the Ansonia range from the $500's for studios to $6 million for a 6 bedroom.
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Bette Midler at the Continental Baths with Barry Manilow on piano
in The Ansonia's basement (1970-1972)