The Astor Court

The Astor Court – otherwise known as 305 West 45th Street – is one of the oldest buildings on West 45th between 8th and 9th Avenues. This Astor Court is not to be confused with the other Astor Court on the Upper West Side.

Although construction occurred mostly in 1914, the year 2015 marks the 100th year anniversary of the opening of the building. Over the years, we’ve acquired many clippings on the building, some of which are posted below. From the research on the building, tenants were able to obtain legal victories entitling them to a security guard and basement storage cages.

Astor Court, facade photo, approx. 1915

Astor Court, application for construction, May 1914

Astor Court, simplified plot plan

NY Sun article, September 10, 1943

Detailed plan view, 305 W. 45th Street

Architectural Record vol 51 p249

Rescheduled Fall Block Association Meeting – Nov. 12th

Rescheduled
West 45th Street Block Association Meeting
Monday, November 12

6:30 P.M.
at 45th Street Theater
354 West 45th Street
Downstairs theater, next to the parking lot on the south side of the block

  • What’s happening with the Charley O’s space on the SW corner of 8th and 45th? The owner of the new restaurant has been invited to attend.
  • When and how will Con Ed restore the sidewalks from the ‘Big Dig’? We asked Con Ed to send a representative to our original meeting date, but given the ongoing impact of the hurricane, we don’t expect them this time.
  • What happened at the fire at the Aladdin Hotel?
  • What’s with the barkers? (the guys on the corners handing out invites to Private Eyes)?
  • Bike Sharing? Has DOT given much thought to blocking access to buildings?
  • Other block issues (email us with your issues)

Get on the Block Association Email List for updates
email block45@hellskitchen.net or use the Contact Us page
web site http://west45thstreetblockassociation.org/

We appreciate the West 45th Street Theater donating the use of their space.

Fall 2012 Block Association Meeting October 29

West 45th Street Block Association Meeting
Monday, October 29, 2012

6:30 P.M.
at 45th Street Theater
354 West 45th Street
Downstairs theater, next to the parking lot on the south side of the block

  • What’s happening with the Charley O’s space on the SW corner of 8th and 45th? The owner of the new restaurant has been invited to attend.
  • When and how will Con Ed restore the sidewalks from the ‘Big Dig’? We have asked Con Ed to send a representative to our meeting.
  • What happened at the fire at the Aladdin Hotel?
  • What’s with the barkers? (the guys on the corners handing out invites to Private Eyes)?
  • Bike Sharing? Has DOT given much thought to blocking access to buildings?
  • Other block issues (email us with your issues)

Get on the Block Association Email List for updates
email block45@hellskitchen.net or use the Contact Us page
web site http://west45thstreetblockassociation.org/

We appreciate the West 45th Street Theater donating the use of their space.

Lamp Posts, Martin Beck and Summer Meeting

From this to this:

Every so often we make an effort to clean up the lamp posts on the block. They’re a magnet for flyers for available apartments and for many other purposes. The Midtown Community Court has a program where those who committed minor offenses and whose sentences include community service will clean and paint the posts. They are good as new, at least for a while.

Lamp posts on the north side of the block have been done and we’re hoping the south side will get painted soon.

The large branch from the damaged tree in front of 359 W. 45th St. is still sitting on the sidewalk seven days later. We’ve called it in several times. But being August, perhaps city government is on vacation more than usual. We’ve also asked the Parks Department to determine if the rest of the tree that is still standing can be saved.

Martin Beck Theater through the years

Yes, it’s now the Al Hirschfeld Theater (302), but to many of us, it’s still the Martin Beck Theater. Similarly, the Aladdin Hotel (317) is still the Longacre Hotel and the Sherrie Arts (341) is still the Hildonia. We came across this web site showing the Martin Beck at various times going back to 1935. http://www.broadwayspotted.com/theater-by-theater-the-al-hirschfeld/

Summer Meeting

We had hoped to schedule our regular summer Block Association meeting, but our regular meeting place at the 45th St. Theater is unavailable. We’re glad to see the theater booked, even though it’s not good for us. Charley O’s (an occasional back-up location) is gone and we really don’t want to go back to St. Luke’s Church on 46th Street.

So instead we’ll have an Executive Committee meeting this coming Thursday, August 9th. Most likely we’ll grab a booth at the Westway Diner on 9th Avenue (43-44) around 6:30 PM. If anyone is interested in joining us (as space will be limited), please send us an email or call to 212-581-9022. We’ll confirm by email one way or another when we decide where we will be.

We will cover block issues and you can raise problems on the block. If you can’t make it and have issues to raise, please send us an email or use the contact form on the web site at http://west45thstreetblockassociation.org/

West 45th Street blocked today July 27

If you’re sitting in a car waiting to turn left onto 45th Street, today isn’t your day.

 

For the next few hours, the street will be blocked off (at 8th Avenue) due to Verizon work being done at the intersection of 9th and 45th. They’re in the process of bringing FIOS into the building 359 W. 45th St. (but unfortunately, not for the other buildings that still lack the cable/phone service).Estimates of when the street will re-open range from Noon to 3 PM. Delivery vehicles are being allowed onto the street, but they must back out again at 8th Avenue.

This comes just as the Con Ed work is starting to get underway. While that construction will be on the sidewalks, materials and support vehicles will be on the street, and backhoes will be on both the street and sidewalk.

If that’s not enough, we lost a large branch on the tree in front of 359 W. 45th., most likely due to the storms. However the rest of the tree appears to be all right. The Parks Department is being notified.

Con Ed upgrade expected to block sidewalks in August, or longer

We’re seeing the early signs of the Con Ed West Side upgrade. Last week workers started cutting up the sidewalks between 8th and 9th Avenues, and yesterday a large pile of gas pipes appeared on the block. A few test holes have already been dug and repaired with tar patches.

According to Con Ed and its sub-contractor, Network Infrastructure Inc. (NII), we will soon see crews digging up our sidewalks in order to lay-in new gas mains. You can already see where they will be working by the white paint marks on the sidewalk. They say the pipes must go under the sidewalks as the street is already full of infrastructure.

The gas lines will start on the north-east corner of 9th and 45th; crossing the street to the south side, going eastward to mid-block, then crossing the street again to the north side in front of the Whitby, and continuing on to Eighth Avenue intersection. Beyond that, the pipes will go to 46th Street and connect to a larger main line.

The crews are now on the west side of Ninth Avenue. They had expected to be on our block by now. But according to one of the foremen, the work has been going slower than expected. Another source tells us they might make the move to our block as early as Thursday. So getting accurate information is seemingly elusive. The permits were to expire on July 24th, but they have been extended to August 29th.

According to NII, entrances to buildings are expected to be blocked for a short time only. They said they would place steel plates over the open holes so residents may enter or exit their buildings.

Once they jump Ninth Avenue, work is expected to last about three weeks. Holes and trenches will be temporarily patched. NII tells us that about 30 days after the work is completed, they will restore the sidewalks to their original condition, using concrete instead of tar.

From the looks of things, this work is likely to last the better part of August. We can only hope it goes quicker. If we’re able to get more information, we’ll pass it along.