400 West 57th Street’s Exterior Re-emerges After Decades Behind Scaffolding, in Hell’s Kitchen

Undeveloped conditions at The Windmere (400 West 57th Street) - Photo by Michael YoungUndeveloped conditions at The Windmere (400 West 57th Street) - Photo by Michael Young

The scaffolding that had obscured 400 West 57th Street for years has finally been removed, exposing its ornamental masonry walls and arched windows. Once called the Windermere, the property has had a long and complex history, standing both as an architectural gem for the neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen and as a crumbling and almost-abandoned relic. The eight-story structure, which is located at the corner of West 57th Street and Ninth Avenue, suffered decades of neglect, deterioration, and attracted a large number of homeless squatters in the past. The façade was covered up with blue scaffolding and netting, and the building’s fate was unknown for some time after the disappearance of its owners, who reportedly left the country for Japan. The redevelopment was an arduous process, due to political drama and the task of getting the handful of remaining tenants to vacate the structure.

The northern elevation of 400 West 57th Street. Photo by Michael Young

The eastern elevation. Photo by Michael Young

Mark Tress purchased the dilapidated structure back in 2009. Despite the recent progress, all the windows and doors on the ground floor remain boarded up and a portion of the green construction fence is still standing along the northern elevation. YIMBY last reported almost six years ago that it received word from DNA Info of a possible hotel conversion, but that plan may have changed by now.

Even in the current structural state, it still looks beautiful on the outside. Its location offers a lot of possibilities as a center for business, retail, dining, and even residential use.

A completion date for the renovations and redevelopment of The Windermere has not been announced yet.

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12 Comments on "400 West 57th Street’s Exterior Re-emerges After Decades Behind Scaffolding, in Hell’s Kitchen"

  1. I make concentrating any easy on your photos to show beautiful progress, I had enjoyed exploring your views as being flowers I needed at least several look-in. The only one thing was which would check in the building, towards its deep-color or impressive windows; I caught sight of your reported seeing the best pleasure had showed me. And settled onto me that I began thinking about the structure characters in its idea, which I’d often fantasize over; I used to imagine to train or plane or bridge. As I pressed my eyes on development I pictured myself to submitting on it changes, off duty as I am a reader. (Thanks to YIMBY)

  2. Amazing1 Can’t believe that this building hasn’t been bulldozed for a supertall..on 57th and 9th, are you kidding me??

  3. Bette Slutsky | May 18, 2019 at 12:54 pm | Reply

    Hopefully once the building has been restored for residental,etc. Statis there will be an opportunity for a few low income apartments. This would be a wonderful opportunity to help bring and keep long term renters back to the city. Looking forward to updates and progress of this long awaited property. Keep me in mind.

  4. Gorgeous.

  5. Jack Liberman | May 19, 2019 at 11:19 am | Reply

    It’s probably a height restriction to 500′ west from Eight Avenue. Ninth Avenue is still a Hell Kitchen, so they are buildings there not taller than 42-49 floors. Yes sound unbelievable just a mere 700 feet (one block) from Central Park Tower supertall. And 100 feet from Hearst Tower skyscraper. It’s happening in NY, sometimes.

  6. Jack Liberman | May 19, 2019 at 11:25 am | Reply

    My correction, this is about 700 feet from Hearst Tower (1 block) and 1,000 feet from Central Park Tower supertall(1 1/2 block). 1200 feet from BIG Pyramid building.

  7. Jack Liberman | May 19, 2019 at 11:34 am | Reply

    300 feet to the nearest 49 storied, on 58th/59th.
    It’s happening still in United States, but not in China.

  8. This building is beautiful and a landmark. I was so worried about the tall, granite columns that guard the doorways, but I see they mostly remain intact. The neighborhood can use more businesses, affordable restaurants, and boutiques, as well as affordable apartments. I love this building and always have and would hate to see anything terrible happen to it. I hope the developers can get their act together, get this finished, and help renovate this busy and important intersection between Lincoln Square and Clinton. It’s actually seven blocks away from Hell’s Kitchen.

  9. A true Victorian jewel! A true ornament to the streetscape. I hope the base gets a respectful, appropriate restoration.

  10. This “renovation” has been going on for 6 plus years; still noisy. The person in charge is a loud mouth……..he is always yelling at the workers. The place is still a mess inside: what is going on? Is the “owner” still looking to flip the building? The City should step in and take it over and finish it and rent the units. Enough nonsense.

  11. I lived in that building on 1979. It was very weird then, lots of strange things going on: murders, etc. I was told to leave because the building had been condemned. Nice to see its resurrection after decades of abandonment.

    • Joe, would love to hear more stories about that building. I’ve been fascinated by it for years. Trying constantly to peak in when I lived across the street. Now, a few blocks away, I still search for articles about it’s interior and what secrets it holds.

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