The masterpieces of Central Park South are myriad: The Plaza, the St. Moritz, the Gainsborough Studios and the Essex House all come to mind.
One property that barely registers is the Park Lane Hotel. Built in 1971 by Harry B. Helmsley, the hotel has stood since then as the tallest building on the three-block stretch — which is about its only distinguishing feature.
And yet a quiet campaign is in the works to secure landmark protection for the 46-story limestone and glass tower. It is not being led by the usual suspects, like preservationists, community groups or politicians. The charge, what little of it there is, is spearheaded by a TriBeCa architect who works mostly on downtown loft buildings; a real estate lawyer from Montclair, N.J.; and a former State Senate candidate from Queens who worked in the Giuliani administration.
Those following the effort are fairly certain that it has a particular purpose: halting plans to replace the hotel with yet another cloud-buster overlooking Central Park. But what remains a mystery is whether the three men are campaigning alone, or in concert with some as-yet-unknown party, perhaps a rival developer or wealthy condominium owner trying to protect his or her own valuable views of the park.