REAL TRUE ACTUAL FACTS!
= 1670 apartments
= Longer & wider than the Titanic
= Sister project to the Empire State Building, both begun in 1929 as "the world's largest."
= More than 7 million bricks
= LT once had a drama club and a tenants' photo darkroom
= More to come
LONDON TERRACE HISTORY
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London Terrace was the dream of real estate mogul Henry Mandel, a flashy developer who was the Donald Trump of his day. In the late 1920's, when the American economy was still strong, Mandel began acquiring land in Chelsea on which to build the largest apartment building New York, and the world, had ever seen.
By 1929, he owned the city block bounded by Ninth and Tenth Avenues and 23rd and 24th streets. The land was once owned by Clement Clark Moore, who wrote 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, and was located across from fashionable "Millionaire's Row". Mandel hired the architectural firm of Farrar & Watmaugh to design the massive complex, which was built in two phases. The central structure, comprised of ten adjoining buildings, was completed in 1930. Later, the four corner structures were added. The complex contained 1665 apartments comprised of 4,000 residential rooms. Mandel's dream, however, was grander still.
Given the scope of the project and the achievements of its developer, Henry Mandel, there have been various stories told throughout the years about London Terrace and Mr. Mandel including one which was reprinted on this site and taken form the LTT Building site.
That version of the story was recently contested by an historian who sent me Henry Mandel’s obituary from the NY Times, published at the time of his death in 1942. So his death, rumored to have been caused by a suicidal jump from the roof, is just another dazzling piece of the embellished history of this Chelsea landmark.
In 1948, the building was divided into two parts and sold to separate management companies. The Kriesel family bought the corner towers and the ten middle buildings were sold to four partners, which included two electrician brothers and a mason. The towers went co-op in 1986 and the centre buildings, known as London Terrace Gardens, remain as rental units to this day.
From "London Terrace Stories" by Susan Singer