BY MARTHA WILKIE | You’ve probably walked by London Terrace, a massive complex of 1,700 rental and co-op apartments in West Chelsea that takes up an entire city block. Those in the know understand it’s actually two entities that are managed separately: London Terrace Towers (co-ops) and London Terrace Gardens (rentals).
Construction began in 1929 and the complex once boasted not only porters and doormen, but a bevy of hired help, including nursemaids and pageboys — which you can see today in charming vintage films on the complex’s Facebook page. It was, briefly, the largest apartment building in the world.
Bruce Wayne Solomon is an agent with Douglas Elliman and the unofficial “mayor” of London Terrace. He’s lived in four apartments there and brokered sales and rentals in the buildings for more than 20 years.
“It’s been my pleasure to welcome almost half of the current residents,” he said. “We all boast about the half-Olympic-sized indoor heated pool that I call the ‘crown jewel’ of the building.”
A resident told me, “I’m often the only person swimming in the pool. I do swan dives and languorous laps and feel like a glamorous 1930s movie star.”
The complex has always been popular with the creative set and was home to such notables as Debbie Harry, John O’Hara and Susan Sontag.
“London Terrace is filled with some of the nicest, smartest and most creative residents — from actors to neurosurgeons,” Solomon said. “It’s the West Chelsea version of The Dakota.”
Along with the spectacular pool, amenities include steam rooms and saunas, a gym, a landscaped, furnished roof deck with stunning views, 24-hour attended lobbies, and parking (additional fees apply for some). Pets are welcome. Street-level retail offers convenient shopping, plus a post office. However, the days of ringing for a telegraph boy are sadly long gone.
A sunny fifth-floor studio co-op with charming views of 19th-century townhouses across the street has an elegant foyer, dressing room and bed alcove. 465 W. 23rd St, Apt. 5I. $625,000.
A 15th-floor alcove studio co-op offers Empire State Building views and lovely paneled walls. Heat, hot water, gas and electricity are included in the maintenance. 410 W. 24th St, Apt. 15D. $495,000.
This studio co-op has 9-foot beamed ceilings, a dressing room, oak flooring and original steel-frame doorways. $555,000.
A rental studio has beamed ceilings, a charming black-and-white bathroom with a vintage look, a dressing room and a sweet little kitchen. $3,000.