Pomander Walk is a cooperative apartment complex in the Borough of Manhattan in the City of New York, located on the Upper West Side between Broadway (New York) and West End Avenue. The complex consists of twenty-seven buildings. Four buildings face West Ninety-fourth St., and another seven face West Ninety-fifth St., including one with a return facade on West End Avenue. The "Walk" itself, consisting of two rows of eight buildings facing each other across a narrow courtyard, runs through the middle of the block between Ninety-fourth and Ninety-fifth, with a gate at each end. Each building originally had one flat on each floor. In recent years, some buildings have been reconfigured to serve as single-family homes.
Pomander Walk was built in 1921 by nightclub impresario Thomas J. Healy who planned to build a major hotel on the site. According to city historian Christopher Gray, when Healy was unable to get financing for a hotel, he built the houses that stand on the site today, apparently to provide a temporary cash-flow while he waited to raze them and build the hotel. It was designed by the New York architecture firm King and Campbell.
In 2009 the owners completed a four-year facade renovation, restoring architectural details that had been lost for decades. In 2008 Landmark West! bestowed their Building Rehabilitation Award on Pomander Walk.
The complex is named for Pomander Walk, a romantic comedy by Louis N. Parker that opened in New York in 1910. The play is set on an imaginary byway near London. The place as built bears a tenuous resemblance to the setting described in the play as "a retired crescent of five very small, old-fashioned houses near Chiswick, on the river-bank. ... They are exactly alike: miniature copies of Queen Anne mansions". New York City's Pomander Walk is Tudoresque, a style that enjoyed a vogue in America in the years following World War I.
Pomander Walk is different in style and out of scale with the tall buildings that surround it. Author and former resident Darryl Pinckney called it "an insertion of incredible whimsy" into the Upper West Side.
Pomander Walk became a City, State, and National Landmark in 1982 after tenants banded together to block redevelopment. An earlier application for City Landmark status had been rejected in 1966.
- Gray, Christopher (January 16, 2000). "Pomander Walk, on the Upper West Side; A Tiny Street Where Interim Became Permanent". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-01-15.
- Plunz, Richard (1990). A History of Housing in New York City: Dwelling Type and Social Change in the American Metropolis. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 135. ISBN 0-231-06296-6.
- "Unsung heroes of the Upper West Side". Landmark West!. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- "Pomander Walk". Internet Broadway Database.
- "New York to have a 'Pomander Walk': Street of Little Houses, Lawns, Flowers and Fountains in Shadow of Broadway". The New York Times. April 19, 1921. Retrieved 2012-01-15.
- Parker, Louis N. (1915). Pomander Walk. Samuel French. p. 13.
- Silvers, Robert B.; Epstein, Barbara (2006). The Company They Kept: Writers on Unforgettable Friendships. New York: New York Review Books. p. 135. ISBN 1-59017-203-5.
- "Pomander Walk". Landmark West!. Retrieved February 11, 2013. Includes designation report (City) and notification letter (State and National).
- Jaffe, Eric. "Downton Abbey on the Upper West Side". The Atlantic Cities. Atlantic Media Company. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- Gratz, Roberta Brandes (2010). The Battle for Gotham: New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs. Nation Books. p. 53.