Books could be written, and several great ones have already been written, about the impact on Manhattan of the famously hard-headed urban planner Robert Moses. During his decades as New York City’s unofficial urbanist in chief, Moses made numerous controversial decisions, but perhaps none that worked out better for the city -- or for Manhattan real estate -- than did Lincoln Center. The iconic performing arts center, which is home to the Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, New York City Ballet and The Juilliard School, went up on a formerly nondescript stretch of the lower Upper West Side and changed the neighborhood indelibly. The sophisticated, upscale neighborhood that has risen around Lincoln Center, and which runs from West 59th Street to West 72nd Street between Central Park West and the Hudson River, goes by the name of Lincoln Square, and it’s home to some of the most sought-after condominium listings in Manhattan. All in all, it’s not bad for a neighborhood that scarcely existed in the 1950s.
The Lincoln Square apartment scene is defined, for most Manhattanites, by the iconic and ultra-exclusive co-ops that run along lower Central Park West. But recent decads have seen Lincoln Square develop in more ways than one -- new Lincoln Square luxury condominiums such as The Hudson and The Element have modernized the neighborhood, while the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle has created a new retail and dining mecca just a stone’s throw from Central Park. With Riverside Park on Lincoln Square’s westernmost edge, Lincoln Square offers an unusual amount of green space for so vertical and urban a neighborhood. Which, in the end, may be just how Robert Moses planned it.