Stokes stopped building after the 17th floor, claiming he “liked the view” and wanted to get on with the rest of the interior construction. Stokes may have lacked charm, but there was no limit to his ambition.
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The real opulence came with the other extras Stokes chose.
Among them was a fountain in the front lobby replete with live seals; a shopping arcade in the basement, various cafes, a Turkish bath, a palm court, and a tailor.
In addition to that, the Continental Baths found a home at the Ansonia and a young Bette Midler got her start there, singing for the gay male clientele.
Eventually, the citizens did get their way and, due to their work, the Ansonia still stands in all its glory, though if talk of Plato’s Retreat or the Continental Baths piques your interest, you’re out of luck-the city ordered both venues closed in the 1980’s in light of the growing AIDS crisis.
Naturally, John the Skrull soon found himself warming to humanity and decided that he rather liked this Insignificant Little Blue Planet.
He joined MI: 13 to try and protect the Earth (specifically the UK) from paranormal threats.
Each morning, a staff member would deliver fresh eggs and milk to the guests or tenants of the building. Starr was no great sweetheart either, and by the time he got hold of the Ansonia, it was a mess—the roof leaked like a sieve, the pipes and ductwork were seriously deteriorated, windows were rattling and drafty, and floors were buckled and warped.
The tenant history of the Ansonia is rich, too; Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey, Arturo Toscanini and Al Adams, a notorious millionaire, all lived for a time in the building. When he found out that it would cost millions in renovations and repairs before the city would even consider granting him the certification necessary to run the Ansonia as a residential rental building, Starr opted instead to let the building molder until it was a grim, decrepit shadow of its former glory. A weeklong protest and demonstration eventually followed; a petition drew 25,000 signatures, calling for Mayor John V. The finale of the week was a five-hour live performance held in the middle of 73rd Street, which was closed to traffic, starring many of the building’s tenants.
Du Boy was instructed to create a masterpiece in the Beaux-Arts style, characterized by classical form, symmetry, rich ornamentation and grand scale—all elements that were high on Stokes’ list of priorities.