By Carter B. Horsley
There are surprisingly few apartment buildings
on Park Avenue that occupy an entire blockfront. Those at 655
and 1185 do as does this Italian-Renaissance-palazzo-style building
that was erected as a cooperative in 1923. Interestingly, these
three buildings are very different from one another: 655 has a
large garden and a major setback; 1185 is one of the city’s
few great remaining buildings with a very large central courtyard;
and this building is a narrow slab.
This is one of the more attractive designs
by J. E. R. Carpenter, the leading architect of luxury apartment
buildings in the city of his generation. His other Park Avenue
buildings include 550, 625, 630, 635, 640, 655, 812, 950, 960
and 1050. His Fifth Avenue buildings include 810, 825, 907, 920,
950, 988, 1030, 1035, 1060, 1115, 1120, 1143, 1150, 1165 and 1170
as well as 2 East 66th Street.
This very elegant and imposing apartment building
was erected as a cooperative in 1923 with 52 apartments and it
now has 60 apartments.
The 14-story building has a four-story, limestone
base with a large entrance and lobby in the middle of the avenue
frontage flanked by professional offices. The lobby has a marble
floor, coffered ceiling and a few steps lead up to a balustraded
hall. It has a canopied entrance with a doorman and sidewalk landscaping,
but no garage, no sundeck and no health club. The building's quoins
According to James Trager, the author of "Park
Avenue, Street of Dreams," (Atheneum, 1990), "each apartment
had a separate laundry-and-storage room in the basement, and there
were thirty extra servants’ rooms in the penthouse."
This section of Park Avenue is very desirable
because it has several very handsome low-rise buildings and churches
that make it architecturally quite interesting and also provides
more open views. It is also very close to midtown and convenient
to many fashionable boutiques and restaurants along Madison Avenue
and is not too far from Central Park.