Strange History with Scott Cardinal
The Belnord was built as a real estate speculation project by the Astor Family. The Belnord is an important early example of apartment building design. It was planned for gracious living and was one of several large projects built at the turn of the century that set the standard for luxury apartments. It is 13 stories tall and features Italian Renaissance architecture.
The building has a smooth, limestone rusticated base and is crowned in a very grand manner with a dentil cornice. The archways, two stories in height, have keystones decorated with cartusions and three heavy amber chandeliers.
The legendary 22,000-foot courtyard provides the residents with a priceless sense of privacy and security.
An early advertisement said that the courtyard eliminated for all time undesirable elements and the possibility of intrusion. The New York Times noted that no tradesmen’s wagons will be allowed to drive into and stand around in the courtyard.