579 West 215th Street: Inwood’s Indian Park Towers


579 West 215th Street, also known as Indian Park Towers, has the distinction of being one of the newest buildings in northern Manhattan.

Indian Park Towers 1960’s Brochure (Courtesy of the New York Real Estate Brochure Collection, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University)

Architect Joseph H. Belfatto designed the Inwood coop, constructed in 1965.

Taking full advantage of the building materials of the day, Belfatto built a thoroughly modern apartment house on a $600,000 budget using a fireproof steel and concrete design.

579 West 215th Street, Inwood, New York City.

According to the original real estate brochure, “From the moment you enter the sumptuous lobby, you will feel a quiet confidence in knowing you have selected an apartment residence of distinction.

579 West 215th Street lobby, Inwood, New York City.

The beauty of the lobby keynotes the luxury and grandeur of the apartments themselves.

Planned with utmost taste and skill, these air conditioned suites could not help but please the most demanding and discerning families.”

579 West 215th Street lobby, Inwood, New York City.

Described repeatedly in the prospectus as having “breathtaking views” of “Indian Hill Park,” instead of Inwood Hill Park, one has to wonder if the red brick building, with entrances on both 215th Street and Seaman Avenue, might have come by its name accidentally.

579 West 215 Street 1960’s brochure (Courtesy of the New York Real Estate Brochure Collection, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University)

Despite this amusing aside, the construction of 579 West 215th Street was both deliberate and elegant.

In the mid-sixties architect Joseph Belfatto was a prolific and highly sought after builder.

Known as a Modernist, the American architect and his firm, Belfatto and Pavarini, were also responsible for other 1960’s landmarks including St. Brendan’s Church in the Bronx and The Church of the Epiphany in Gramercy Park.

St. Brendan’s Church in the Bronx.

St. Brendan’s Catholic Church, named after the patron saint of navigators, was built to resemble the prow of a ship.  Built in 1966, Saint Brendan’s is located on Perry Avenue between East 206th and East 207th Streets.

Church of the Epiphany in Gramercy Park.

The Church of the Epiphany, also Roman Catholic, was described in the AIA Guide to New York City architecture as, “The most positive modernist religious statement on Manhattan Island to date.”

Of course, unlike his famous houses of worship, Belfatto would have to focus on more worldly needs in constructing his Inwood project.   Paying attention to the desires of the modern consumer, Belfatto installed two elevators, a parking garage, dishwashers, television outlets and countless other amenities.

According to the 1960’s sales brochure “Distinctive Features” included:

Our continuous structural concrete floors afford the highest resistance available to sound transmission. We feature—The Highest Rating—100% Fireproof Construction

579 West 215th Street apartment ad, New York Amsterdam News, October 10, 1992.
  • AIR CONDITIONED By Welbilt With Individual Room Control
  • Garage on Premises with Direct Access to Elevators
  • Beautiful Custom Decorated Lobby
  • Built-in Wall Ovens
  • Dishwashers available
  • Two elevators
  • Custom Bi-Fold Floor-to-Ceiling Closets
  • Custom Kitchen Cabinets
  • Vinyl Kitchen Floors
  • Carpeted Halls
  • Fully Equipped Laundry Room
  • Refrigerator-Freezers
  • Master Television Outlets
  • Free Gas
  • Closets Galore

The brochure also made great mention of “breathtaking views of the Hudson River and the Palisades from the upper floors.”

Then there was the amazing description of local transportation, shopping and outdoor activities, like golf and skiing, that must have made the new resident wonder if the writer of the prospectus had ever even been to Inwood.

579 West 215th Street map.

“At the corner of West 215th Street and Seaman Avenue, Indian Park Towers offers a location of rare charm and convenience.  You are a short walk to the IND and IRT Subway Lines, the High Bridge Station New York Central Railroad, uptown-downtown-cross-town buses…     

There is excellent shopping and nearby Fordham Road in your immediate neighborhood, as well as a selection of the finest Public, Parochial, Academies, High Schools and Colleges.

579 West 215th Street floorplan (Courtesy of the New York Real Estate Brochure Collection, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University)

World Renowned Cloisters, Fine Trails in nearby Indian and Isham Parks, Boating facilities on the Hudson and Harlem Rivers, Boating Races, Football and Baseball at Columbia’s Baker Field—all nearby.  The proximity to never-ending recreation facilities from golf to riding and skiing, assures year-round fun for the entire family.” 

579 West 215th Street roof terrace.

Recently, this charming, 77-unit Inwood co-op has undergone a full-blown renovation.  Starting in the lobby the improvements go all the way to the roof, where a terrace has been installed for the enjoyment of residents and their guests.  The panoramic views from the roof deck include Inwood Hill Park, the Henry Hudson Bridge, the Spuyten Duyvil, the Cloisters, the George Washington Bridge as well as anything visible to the north, south, east and west.

579 West 215th Street apartment ad, New York Amsterdam News, October 10, 1992.

If you are interested in buying or selling an apartment in Indian Park Towers, please contact me using the below form.  I am a licensed real estate salesperson with New Heights Realty and Inwood is my backyard.  (All inquiries will be kept confidential)

Contact Cole Thompson

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