Nearly 50 members of the Foreign Press Association recently turned out for a presentation about the history of Lower Manhattan hosted by New York City historian and architectural expert Tony Robins. The event was held at 20 Pine The Collection, a luxury-condominium conversion of the former Morgan Guaranty Trust building (later Chase Manhattan Bank’s headquarters) – itself a landmark.
Members who attended the event represented publications from as far away as Nigeria, Japan, Israel, Uruguay, Germany and Poland – to name a few. Many chose to attend the event as a way of enhancing their own historical knowledge and to provide the basis for future stories about this nationally significant region.
Chris Gisiger, U.S. editor of the Zurich-based Finanz und Wirtschaft, said one of the highlights of the presentation was a tour through the impressive amenity spaces at 20 Pine, some formerly bank vaults for gold replete with original vault doors weighing 45 tons each.
“It’s exciting to learn about the history and architecture of the Downtown Financial District,” Gisiger said. “Robins really brought the history to life.”
The lecture was held inside what was once a banking office – now an oversized two-bedroom, 1,800-square-foot home with dramatic views of the New York Stock Exchange, and two giant King Tut sculptures jutting from the balcony, priced at $2,415,000. Following the presentation, Robins led the group on a walking tour of some of the great sites and landmarks.
A former member of the New York Landmarks Commission, Robins delivered a visually compelling presentation, with highlights of the neighborhood’s nearly 400-year-old history.
“It’s the oldest part of New York in terms of the where the city was built,” said Robins, speaking about Lower Manhattan. “Downtown started as a Dutch colony and later became the site of the first archeological build and the first skyscrapers, the nation’s first capital and a hub for Internet technology. It’s rich and complex.”
As part of the presentation, Robins spoke about how recent historical events played a role in transforming Lower Manhattan into a thriving and popular residential neighborhood – noting that tax abatements in the 90’s helped encourage residential redevelopment as the prevalence of the Internet began uprooting financial firms from their homes in the Financial District.
Today, half of Wall Street is no longer financial; and the area is teeming with both residents and tourists.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase the building and the surrounding neighborhood to members of the foreign press,” said Lori Ordover, managing member of the Ordover Group, a consultant for 20 Pine, noting that 40 percent of the building’s buyers are foreigners. “This neighborhood has such a rich history; we are proud that 20 Pine is an integral part of Lower Manhattan’s past, present and future.”
The Armani/Casa-designed 20 Pine provides luxury living on an unprecedented scale. With 67 unique floor-plan designs, buyers have the ability to choose homes to match their lifestyles. Units offer nine- to-13-foot beamed ceilings and oversized windows that provide an abundance of space and light. All residences are outfitted with custom-designed kitchens by Bontempi, a premium Italian manufacturer. Kitchens feature a Sub-Zero refrigerator, Fisher & Paykel dishwasher and stainless steel Miele cook top.
20 Pine has 409 homes and 30,000 square feet of amenity spaces that include four lounges, state-of-the-art gym, indoor pool and spa. Other amenities include a golf-simulation room, billiard room and private subway access. Residents on floors 25 and above have access to 24-hour concierge service provided by Quintessentially. The property is over 90 percent sold. Warburg Marketing is the exclusive sales and marketing agent for 20 Pine.