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1172 Park Avenue

Southwest corner at 93rd Street

1172 Park Avenue

By Carter B. Horsley

This attractive apartment building is one on the city’s most impressive blocks. It is directly across 93rd Street from the city’s finest Georgian-style mansion and a little to the east of the city’s finest Adamesque mansion. The former was originally built for Francis F. Palmer by Delano & Aldrich and then expanded with a large courtyard and ballroom wing by the same firm for George F. Baker Jr., a leading banker, and is now the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia at 69-75 East 93d Street. The latter was originally designed by Walker & Gillette in 1932 and was occupied for a while by showman Billy Rose and is now the Smithers Alcoholism Center at 56 East 93rd Street.

This 15-story building was erected in 1926 and converted to a cooperative in 1956. It has 45 apartments.

1172 Park Avenue entrance

It was developed by Michael E. Paterno, one of the city’s leading developers of luxury apartment buildings, and designed by Rosario Candela, the city’s leading architect of luxury apartment buildings of his era.

"It had living rooms 30’ x 20’, bedrooms 18’ x 17’, and woodburning fireplaces in each living room and library....Most apartments were of eleven or twelve rooms with five baths. The twelve-room penthouse had fourteen-foot ceilings and a living room thirty-two feet long; its first owner, Mrs. William Amory, sold it in the spring of 1927 to Mrs. Leonard K. Elmhirst, the former Mrs. Willard Straight (nee Dorothy Whitney, sister of Harry Payne Whitney, sister-in-law of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney), who had sold her mansion on the corner of 94th Street and Fifth Avenue subject to a restriction that the house would not be razed," noted James Trager in his superb book, "Park Avenue, Street of Dreams," (Atheneum, 1990). Mrs. Elmhirst's Fifth Avenue house is now the International Center for Photography and had formerly been the headquarters of the National Audubon Society.

The building has a one-step-up, canopied entrance flanked by very handsome wall lanterns but no sidewalk landscaping. The beige-brick building ahs a three-story rusticated base, and no balconies and no health club.

This Carnegie Hill neighborhood is one of the most desirable in the city with many fine schools, museums and religious institutions as well as many attractive restaurants.

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