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

400 West 57th Street, aka The Windermere, looking southwest. 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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