The revolutionary Waterside Plaza complex turns 40

The Waterside Plaza complex
The Waterside Plaza complex

WEEKENDEDITION When the Waterside Plaza complex in Kips Bay was built in 1974 there was nothing like it in the city; now the four brick towers are celebrating their 40th anniversary.

The cluster of 1,470 apartments on the East River was one of the first developments to undo what many see as Robert Moses’ mistake of cutting New Yorkers off from the waterfront with highways, by building directly on the water.

The 37-story towers were also architecturally significant, tapering from top to bottom, the opposite of almost all other buildings at the time.

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Finally, the development mixed low, middle and high income apartments within the same tower at a time when buildings where rarely income diverse, according to the New York Daily News.

“This was all my fantasy,” Waterside developer Richard Ravitch said. “This was going to be the most densely integrated, dynamically designed development in the whole city.” [NYDN]Christopher Cameron