The Story

Aman New York Residence

Over the years, Aman has served as guardian for some of the most naturally beautiful and historic settings in the world. The product of a meticulous yet sensitive restoration project by long-time Aman collaborator and acclaimed architect, Jean-Michel Gathy of Denniston, Aman New York continues this journey, breathing new life into one of Manhattan's most remarkable buildings.

Rising from the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, the Crown Building was built in 1921 at a time of sweeping change - the Roaring 20s ushering in a new era of independence and advancement, and the low-rise mansions south of Central Park giving way to the now famous New York skyline. Business leader and philanthropist, August Heckscher, acquired the site in 1913 and in 1919, he commissioned Warren & Wetmore – the iconic architects of Grand Central Station - to bring his vision of 'a Cathedral of Commerce' to life.

This they did, masterfully navigating the era’s strict building regulations. On completion, critic C. Matlack Price commended their success, comparing the building to “great Babylonian buildings, with terraces and gardens flaunting themselves hundreds of feet in the air”. Topped by a copper-clad tower, the new Heckscher Building as it was named, rose from a podium-like base with a Neo-Classical façade and French Renaissance detailing.

Above the building’s crown-like finial – its eponymous feature in later years – perched a 12-foot gold-plated weathervane in the form of a rooster which stood as a beacon of progress until its removal in 1942 to serve a higher calling: It was melted down to support the war effort. 

One of the finest examples of Beaux-Arts architecture ever built in the US, the building had no trouble finding prestigious tenants to fill its floors. Newspaper advertisements for space were fashioned as letters from August Heckscher, who pointed out that “the corner on which this building stands will always be the most valuable and most coveted. There is no finer location in New York.” This reputation was cemented in 1929, when the site became the first home of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

As decades passed, the building gained prestige and worth, just as its address came to represent the finest real estate in Manhattan and in the early 1980s, was renamed once again, this time, most aptly, to the Crown Building. Lighting designer Douglas Leigh was commissioned to gild the ornamental façade, for which he used 30 gallons of liquid gold.

The Crown Building’s lustre continued to attract the most luxurious retail brands, yet over the next 25 years, changed hands several times. In 2015, almost exactly 100 years after August Heckscher bought the property, the building was acquired by Vlad Doronin, Chairman and CEO of Aman, representing the beginning of a new chapter. The building’s monumental restoration and transformation into an urban Aman sanctuary began in 2017 and it welcomed its first Aman New York guests in August 2022.

Today the Crown Building still maintains links to its commercial origins, with its lower floors housing the flagship stores of some of the finest luxury brands. From the seventh floor up however, the Crown Building is now the 83-suite Aman New York hotel. At the pinnacle of the building, 22 exceptional Aman Residences redefine urban living with peerless views of Central Park, bringing the Crown Building full circle as the city’s elite once again call this midtown crossroads home.