55 Central Park West
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
|Filming locations adjacent to this one will be included on this page. That includes: Holy Trinity Lutheran Church|
History - written by Chris Buchner (used with permission)
55 Central Park West came to be during the Art Deco movement of the early 20th Century. In the late 1920s, construction surged on Central Park West in anticipation of the new IND subway line which opened in 1932. Between 1929 and 1930 before construction waned, a handful of architects adopted the new Art Deco style and the results were significantly prominent.
Designed by Schwartz & Gross for Victor Earle and John C. Calhoun, the building features a stylistic fluted theme in its overall design. The building fašade was done in a variety of different color tones going up from darker hues to a brilliant color, creating the effect of a flame or the illusion that the sun is always on the building. Completed and opened in 1930, the building contains 109-unit cooperative apartments ranging from 3-9 rooms. They also feature the radical dropped living room design created by Earle and his brother, Guyon, which created a feeling of special change without taking up any more space by having the living room 2 steps lower than the rest of the apartment.
Notable early residents included Rudy Vallee and Raymond Lowey, and current residents include the Central Park West Fertility Center and the Donna Karan (DKNY) Condominium Complex. In 1990, the building was designated a landmark by the Central Park West Historic District.
HOLY TRINITY LUTHERAN CHURCH HISTORY
The first stone was laid in November of 1902 and construction was completed on the church in May of 1904. Noted New York architect and German immigrant William Schickel designed the building, filling it with ornimentation and sanctuary furnishings. The Gothic revival style of the building reflects that of German origins. Complimentic the stylish facade are various other works of art including their new freestanding altar and stained glass windows.
Holy Trinity worships in the evangelical Catholic tradition of the Lutheran Mass. Their teachings emphacize mostly music and outreach. It's widely known for their Vespers with Bach series, started in 1968. From late fall through Easter, they play the cantats of Bach as well as other appropriet music and have performances by professional singers and instrumentalists. Mass occurs on Sunday mornings, Wednesday evenings, and on all major holy days.
- During the earthquake scene at the end of the movie, seamless editing allowed a perfect blend of both the New York location and a set on the Columbia Ranch in Burbank, CA that was an exact replica of the street and ground floor of the building. After it was done, while the California set was really "destroyed", the New York location was dressed up with fake chunks of ground and a police car cut in half to look like it was in a sinkhole.
- Shooting time had run out in New York, so Peter's entrance into the Shandor Building for his date with Dana was actually done on the LA set with a replacement doorman who resembled the one in New York.
- In reality, the building is only 19 stories high. It was increased to 22 floors and given its distinctive roof cap in the movie through the magic of miniature scale models and matte paintings. (text written by Chris Buchner)
- Schwartz & Gross also designed a very similar building at 241 Central Park West and 84th Street. (text written by Chris Buchner)
- 20 Years Later: Deterioration at the roof level led to a massive facade-by-facade restoration by Israel Berger & Associates starting in 1998. The work averaged $100,000 per side. (text written by Chris Buchner)
- Originally, the filmmakers had been planning to use 1 Fifth Avenue, the first building north of Washington Square Park, for Dana's apartment. Not only is it much taller, it also features a roof that would lend itself naturally to a temple - especially compared to the top of 55 Central Park West. Also, it was perfectly located for an iconic shot of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man passing by (or perhaps destroying) the Washington Square Park Arch. Unfortunately, the 1 Fifth Ave condo association couldn't come to an agreement on filming, and shooting was moved uptown. (text written by Nick Carr)
"The Out Of Towners" (1970)
George and Gwen Kellerman (Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis) go into the church (the one Mr. Stay Puft will step on fourteen years later) to pray a little bit. As if everything else weren't already going wrong for them, this too presents a problem: a television crew is setting up their equipment inside in preparation for a broadcast. As such, there will be no praying for the Kellermans today. As they leave, we get to see 55 Central Park West next door.