At Knightsbridge Park, our team is fortunate to frequently visit our clients’ residential developments. Our most recent visit to HFZ Capital’s The Belnord, located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, was a perfect reminder of the impact that world-class architecture has on our everyday lives – and how the right blend of space and time can take one’s breath away.
As one of the few full-block apartment houses in New York City, The Belnord is a rarity – and positioned between Central Park and Riverside Park, its location could not be more desirable. Robert A.M. Stern Architects has been tasked with renovating and restoring its homes, with its common spaces decorated by Rafael de Cárdenas and its courtyard garden redesigned by Edmund D. Hollander.
However, during our brief visit, it became apparent that the real superstar has been, and always will be, The Belnord itself.
Before we even entered through its lovingly restored, landmarked entry gate, we were smitten. “Walking up to The Belnord, the grand archways immediately caught our attention,” says Colin Athens, our Senior Account Manager. “The intricacy of materials, astonishing arabesques and frescoes, and hanging lanterns are the idyllic foreground for The Belnord’s private interior courtyard.”
And, oh, what a courtyard. As soon as we passed through the gate, the bustle of an Upper West Side morning – children running to catch the bus, cars making their way down Broadway, commuters kibitzing with their regular coffee cart vendors – became little more than a whisper.
It was as if we were transported out of modern-day Manhattan entirely and back into an era long-gone. Without even setting foot inside, we felt at home. Standing within this architectural icon’s massive interior courtyard, we asked one another in hushed tones if we were still in New York City at all, and together realized how special this property is.
“Since moving to the Upper West Side myself, I have never experienced such incredible quiet, outside of mornings in Riverside Park and Central Park. I think about that cliched expression – they don’t make them like they used to – which could not be more fitting than for The Belnord,” says Arthur Greenberg, Vice President.
Of course, as we entered one of the building’s spacious model residences, the masterful touch of Robert A.M. Stern captured our full attention. He and his team have preserved the residences’ generous proportions while reimagining each home for a contemporary, luxurious lifestyle.
The spacious interiors are the canvas for many fine touches and finishes – wide oak flooring, Calacatta marble in the kitchens and baths, and Dornbracht fixtures, to name a few. It was as if the classic dimensions of these prewar residences aligned spiritually with each detail of Robert A.M. Stern’s vision. Windows on both the street and courtyard sides ensure residents will enjoy charming Upper West Side views and peaceful glimpses of Hollander’s soon-to-be- completed courtyard.
“The open-style, modern layouts in this classic Upper West Side building create a wonderful space unlike any in the city,” says Zack Weinstock, our Associate Account Executive. “The inner courtyard’s renovations are nearly complete, making The Belnord the perfect mix of exclusivity and privacy.”
Our visit complete, we thanked the Douglas Elliman team for an incredible experience and stepped out onto 86th Street – back into to present. But The Belnord will stay with us – as all great architecture does.
More than a hundred years after it was built, The Belnord is being reintroduced as a slice of prewar glamor at once updated and preserved, an homage to a bygone age. Visit TheBelnord.com for the latest information and availability at this unique building.