Multimillion-Dollar Manhattan Panoramas

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Multimillion-Dollar Manhattan Panoramas


Mike Tauber, a photographer, shoots luxurious homes for architects, real estate companies and developers.

Most of his pictures show elegant interiors, but he’ll also turn his back on a sunken living room or paneled library and point his camera out the window. More than 200 of his multimillion-dollar panoramas are collected in “Vista Manhattan: Views From New York City’s Finest Residences,” recently out from Schiffer Publishing ($45). Mr. Tauber, who lives in Rye, N.Y., spoke about his King Kong perspectives, the magic of twilight and the best places to live and look.

What will readers find in this book that they can’t see from an observation deck or very high hotel lobby?

There aren’t a lot of public places in Central Park where you get to look over the reservoir the way you can from the Ardsley, at 320 Central Park West. There are a zillion places where you see the Empire State Building, but at 845 United Nations Plaza — Trump World Tower — there’s a great perspective where the Chrysler Building and Empire State Building look like they’re the same height because the Chrysler Building is closer. And you wouldn’t necessarily be in any of those places at that magical period 20 to 30 minutes after sunset, when it’s not absolutely dark, and lights are beginning to shine through the windows, and there’s that glow. The time of day plays a large role in how a view looks. After shooting an apartment during the day, sometimes we’ll return to shoot at twilight.

With so many buildings going up, are New Yorkers losing their views?

In one of my shots you see the south side of the Essex House hotel and Hampshire House building on Central Park South reflected in 157 West 57th Street, one of the new, supertall condo towers. You get the sense that the view the people had in those buildings is no longer there.

I always knew the American Museum of Natural History was a crazy labyrinth, but just how crazy wasn’t clear until I saw your bird’s-eye photo taken from 101 West 79th Street.

It’s a mishmash of different architecture, with the Hayden Planetarium on 81st Street and the castle on the southeast corner.

Do you think residents of these towers ever get tired of their views?

It’s never come up, but I think there’s no doubt they get used to it. Especially when you’re living above the clouds, you’re almost not even part of the city, everything is so small below you. That’s the perspective you get from the upper floors of the new 432 Park Avenue building, that pencil that sticks up. You can see it from everywhere. It’s so tall, I have to shoot wider or else I’d chop off the top of it.

Are there any pictures you regret not including?

There’s a great shot in my Instagram feed of 1 World Trade Center from 100 Barclay Street, sort of straight up the north side of the tower. Because of the way the sides of 1 World Trade are designed, the top just sort of disappears into a point. And then 100 Barclay and 7 World Trade Center are reflected in the glass.

Where would you like to live, for the view?

Central Park West on the reservoir is great. But so are the views from Battery Park over southern Manhattan, with the Statue of Liberty, Governors Island and the Verrazano Bridge. The scene is constantly changing because of the boat traffic and the light at different times of day. I could sit there for hours and watch the world go by.




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