apartment building at 450 East 52nd Street is directly across from River House (see The City Review article) at the end of
this dead-end street overlooking the East River.
The 14-story, brown-brick
building is a cooperative and has only 16 apartments, a doorman and a pool.
The pre-war building has no canopy and no sidewalk landscaping. This is is an attractive block with many pre-war apartment
buildings on the south side and considerable "light and air"
because several buildings on the north side are set back in plazas
The building has superb
views of the East River with some balconies and bay windows on
its eastern fašade, but no garage.
In their excellent book,
"New York 1930, Architecture and Urbanism Between The Two
World Wars," (Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 1987),
Robert A. M. Stern, Gregory Gilmartin and Thomas Mellins provided
the following commentary on this building that was designed by
Van Wart & Wein for Joseph G. Thomas, noting that it:
squat massing of Beekman Terrace with a soaring shaft that rose
from a landing stage at the river's edge. Turning a blank wall
toward the city, where future structures might block it slight,
the Campanile was oriented toward the East River where its situation
at the edge of a bluff permitted the development of riverfront
garden apartments below the street as well as a private boat landing
on the rivers edge."
Other buildings soon followed
such as the adjoining 444 East 52nd Street (see The
City Review article). The construction of the East River Drive
in between 1938 and 1941 cut off the river views of the lower
floors of this building, but it does have a large garden apartment.
It is in the Beekman Place-Sutton
Place area that has numerous restaurants and good neighborhood
shopping. There is cross-town bus service on 49th and 50th Streets,
but subways are several blocks away as are several small parks.