Our Story Starts Here
History of Park West Village
Park West Village (PWV) was created in the late l950s and early l960s as part of a government-subsidized urban redevelopment plan. PWV’s role was to provide affordable rental apartments with fresh air, good light, and attractive landscaped grounds for middle-income people.
The government, under the 1949 Federal Housing Act’s Title I (Slum Clearance and Urban Development), reimbursed the developer for the cost of the land, the buildings to be demolished, and the demolitions.
The developer, Webb & Knapp, Inc., entered into a redevelopment plan with the city that included a covenant not to commence “change in the project” for 40 years without prior approval of the City Board of Estimate and the City Planning Commission.
Aerial view looking west from the Park in 1966.
In the early 1960’s PWV was bought by Alcoa. In 1972 PWV was bought by Harry Helmsley. In 2000 PWV was sold to Lawrence Gluck and Joseph Chetrit.
There are seven buildings with about 2,500 apartments in PWV. Four buildings are in the 97th to 100th Street super-block between Central Park West (CPW) and Columbus Avenue; they have a CPW address. The other three buildings are in the 97th to 100th Street super-block between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues; they have a Columbus Avenue address.
Until 1987, all PWV apartments were rent-stabilized. In l987, the buildings at 372 and 382 Central Park West were converted to condominiums; the buildings at 392 and 400 CPW became condos in 1991. The first two conversions had been opposed in the state courts by the PWVTA, the Board of Estimate, and the State Attorney General, on the ground that condominium conversion was an illegal change in land use, but the courts ruled in favor of the landlord.
The four condominium buildings still include rent-stabilized tenants who had lived there before condo conversion and chose not to buy their apartments, as well as individual owners and tenants who rent at non-stabilized rates from owners. The rent-stabilized apartments in the condo buildings are still owned by the owners of the rest of Park West Village, Lawrence Gluck and Joseph Chetrit.
Park West Neighborhood History Group
Additional material on the history of Park West Village is included in the Neighborhood History Collection at the New York Public Library (Bloomingdale Branch), 160 West 100th Street. These materials were organized by the Park West Neighborhood History Group, and are available for reference in the Neighborhood History Research Drawer in the back of the Library.
Park West Village Archived Files at NYU
Winifred Armstrong of the Park West Neighborhood History Group issued a draft report to the PWVTA Executive Board at their monthly meeting January 18, 2011 that the Tamiment Library of NYU, in the Bobst Library at 70 Washington Square South, now holds boxes of Park West Village papers and files contributed by more than twenty PWV residents.
Documents with PWVTA’s history will be indexed in 2011 and available to everyone. Tamiment Library would like to organize an exhibit and an evening program based on the archives of the three tenant organizations it holds: PWVTA, Westgate Tenants, and Met Council (Metropolitan Council on Housing).