400 West 57th Street Awaits Future Renovations and Revival in Hell’s Kitchen

400 West 57th Street, photo by Tectonic

400 West 57th Street is an old architectural gem that stands at the western corner of West 57th Street and Ninth Avenue in the Manhattan neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen. The eight-story edifice, although worn out and in need of restoration, features a beautiful fenestration of red and white brick masonry, gently bulging bay windows, arched casements, a handsome cornice with one pediment on the northern roofline, and a number of detailed running bonds showing the intricate hand-laid craftsmanship. This was formally called The Windermere but has been left to deteriorate since the end of the 20th century.

A couple of photos from Tectonic show that the site still looks untouched since last summer’s update. The ground-floor doors and windows are still boarded up, while a green construction wall stands along the sidewalk on the northern elevation.

400 West 57th Street, photo by Tectonic

Years of abandonment made the property fall into neglect and disrepair, as it became a place for homeless squatters that have come and gone. The outside was previously covered in scaffolding, which was removed for the first time a few years ago. Political drama and hazy plans for redevelopment are responsible for making the revival of this once nearly forgotten New York relic a slow task.

It’s also unclear what happened to the owners, which YIMBY last reported to have left for Japan. No definitive reports show what will become of the interiors, which are most likely all gutted out at this point. It would be nice to see 400 West 57th Street converted into a mix of residential and affordable living with ground-floor retail at street level.

We still don’t know when work on 400 West 57th Street will be completed.

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TFC Horizon

12 Comments on "400 West 57th Street Awaits Future Renovations and Revival in Hell’s Kitchen"

  1. What is the reputation of New York City? Who knows? I think someone has to answer that there are a lot of tall buildings. Who would dare to deny the truth that exists: Thanks to Michael Young.

  2. David in Bushwick | April 26, 2020 at 7:34 am | Reply

    I remember seeing this building 10 years ago covered in netting and it’s still vacant? It’s time for the City to act. There must be or needs to be a vacant property abandonment law.
    How about the original building become housing for homeless families with a slender tower set way back on top? The new tower housing would help pay for the renovation below and provide badly needed housing for families without a home.

  3. Alessandra Ruiz | April 26, 2020 at 9:54 am | Reply


  4. I could see this as a small hotel, with retail and restaurant on the ground floor, and perhaps a rooftop lounge and pool?

    Hopefully there are still some period interior architectural detailing left, that haven’t been stripped or vandalized?

    It would be a tragedy to have it continue to deteriorate into something like an episode of
    “Life After People”, or God forbid another Kaufman-Chang
    piece of “crapitecture”!

    $$$ will determine it’s fate! ☹

  5. The scaffolding was only removed about 18 months ago after many many years. I was so excited when it happened thinking it was finally on it’s way to opening back up. It’s a beautiful building and I’m pissed that the owners simply walked away from it. The city should take ownership and finish it or sell it to someone who will make it into affordable housing. It’s a great location.

  6. Look for Stuart and Jay Podolsky as the real owners they can wait out till they get what they want for the community or the dumb city officials

  7. Scott Weinberg | April 26, 2020 at 3:33 pm | Reply

    While it still obviously needs a tremendous amount of work, it looks better now than it has in probably 30+ years. As long as the owners are paying their real estate taxes, not that much the city can do, short of eminent domain, and I really don’t see that (and anyway, the city is not equipped to be the developer. Hopefully some day the owners do decide to either finish or sell.

  8. This building has sat largely empty since the mid-1990’s. I used to live on that block and the original story I heard was that a few tenants stopped the owners plan for redevelopment and refused buy-outs (who knows what was really negotiated). In the late-1990’s there were still a few tenants living there and after I moved away only a few years ago noticed the entire building was then boarded/covered so assume the final tenants moved on. It is a beautiful building and with all the changes in the neighborhood, one should think that there are many possibilities here.

  9. A bldg. like this belongs not only to its present owners but to the city as well. Looks like a lot of affordable housing could be put in there. It should not be allowed to deteriorate further (or until the lot is worth more in 10 yrs. & it can be demolished & replaced w/ a glass box) Take it away from these deadbeats.

  10. Joe the fat guy | April 26, 2020 at 11:41 pm | Reply

    “It’s also unclear what happened to the owners, which YIMBY last reported to have left for Japan.“ YIMBY’s last article, almost 7 years ago, says that the Japanese owner sold the property in 2009.

  11. Great opportunity for Savy NY squatters to score if they can hold out the coming crime wave that’s about to tear through NYC!

  12. Native New Yorker | March 18, 2021 at 10:44 am | Reply

    I hope it’s turns into a nice hotel or condo. I’m as liberal as they come but paid a lot to buy my place at The Sheffield. I would not want it to be affordable housing.

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