majest1.gif (40654 bytes) New York Architecture Images-Upper West Side



Jacques Delamarre
Like the Century Apartments, the Majestic was developed by Irwin S. Chanin (who was also behind the Chanin Building in Midtown).


115 Central Park West 




Art Deco


The base is of limestone, with the upper facade clad in light brown brick. The designer from Chanin's namesake building, René Chambellan, designed the patterned brickwork of the facade. The main mass below the setbacks and towers has columnless corners which form glazed solariums within the corner apartments.
The wall on the slightly protruding tower facades extends as piers to the top to form riblike protrusions. On the west side, the wings of the tower have similar, albeit curved, tops of true Art Deco nature.


Apartment Building




The Majestic is a housing cooperative located at 115 Central Park West in Manhattan in New York City. The apartment building was constructed in 1930-1931 in the Art Deco style by real estate developed by Irwin S. Chanin. The building has 238 apartments in 29 storeys. Like the San Remo cooperative three blocks north, it has two towers facing the Central Park.

The apartment building replaced the Hotel Majestic designed by Alfred Zucker in 1894. The steel framed building was originally planned as a 45 story hotel, but the plans where changed mid way in the construction due to the depression and the passing of the Multiple Dwelling Act.


After the 1929 stock market crash, fortunes and styles changed overnight.  No example could be a clearer illustration of this sobering up than the Majestic Apartments.

The Majestic was originally designed with an opulent exterior of sleek sharp lines, dramatic corner windows, and twin tower tops meant to appear as abstract sculpture.  The interior, on the other hand, was planned to contain lavish Old World style eleven to twenty-four room apartments.

The Majestic's steel work had been only partially erected when the market fell, and Chanin and Delamarre quickly reworked their building into an assortment of smaller, less opulent three to eleven room units.

Construction methods new to the times were used in the building of the Majestic Apartments. There was a new form of concrete construction that eliminated the need for beam drops in ceilings. Cantilevered floor slabs now eliminated the need for corner columns, allowing for wrap around windows and wider terraces.

Inside, Chanin and Delamarre has some new ideas too. The times had changed, seemingly overnight. Opulence was out, simplicity, or rather a dignified order, was in. Architects and the general population alike had to consider something written some fifty years prior by William Morris.

"Believe me," Morris wrote, "if we want art to begin at home, as it must, we must clear our houses of troublesome superfluities that are forever in our way; conventional comforts that are no real comforts, and do but make work for servants and doctors; if you want the golden rule that will fit everything, that is it: have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."

The Majestic, along with the Century, redefined how the affluent could live.  "The apartment," the Majestic's floor plans said, "is not an enclosed, comprehensive environment, but a sensible foothold in a larger, exciting one."