Named after Anson Green Phelps, the industrialist and grandfather of the
building's developer, this exuberant Beaux Arts hotel and apartment
building was inspired by French hotels. However, at eighteen stories it
is much taller than its 6-story models. The largest
and grandest of the New York apartment-hotels, it functioned as a place
where one could live temporarily, but in grand style.|
In addition to the ample apartments, the Ansonia featured a grand ballroom, several cafes, tea rooms, writing rooms, a lobby fountain with live seals, a palm court, a Turkish bath and the world's largest indoor swimming pool. These amenities enticed many famous cultural personalities to take up residence in the building. The Ansonia's enormous bulk is somewhat reduced by its complex massing and its intricate ornamentation. Light courts break up the monumental facade and allow the maximum amount of light and air to penetrate the interior.