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50 Riverside Drive

Southeast corner at 77th Street

50 Riverside Drive 

50 Riverside Drive

By Carter B. Horsley

This attractive, light-beige-brick apartment house was built in 1930 and converted to a cooperative in 1979.  The 16-story building has 94 apartments.

The building, which has fine views of Riverside Park and the Hudson River, has a sidestreet, canopied entrance flanked by lanterns and the facade is accented with two belt courses and topped by a pleasant small cornice.  The building has a full-time doormam. a live-in superintendent and a bicycle room.  It has inconsistent fenestration and no sidewalk landscaping.

It has designed by Gronenberg & Leuchtag.

This site has an interesting history that Peter Salwen recounts in his excellent book, “Upper West Side Story, A History And Guide,” (Abbeville Press, 1990):

“Luminous, golden-haired Laurette Taylor, the most worshipped actress of her day, occupied a large town house at 50 Riverside Drive in the twenties with her playwright husband Hartley Manners and their children, Dwight and Marguerite.  The Mannerses’ dinner parties were famous, peopled by the likes of Herbert Hoover, the Douglas Fairbankses, Alla Nazimova, John Barrymore, Herbert Bayard Swope, and Alexander Woollcott.  This was all the more remarkable since, as theater historian Sheridan Morley put it, ‘they were by all accounts a highly strung family, deeply theatrical and prone to elaborate after-dinner charades and word games which always ended in hysteria while the entire family abandoned their guests to find their own coats and way home.’  One such guest was Noel Coward, then an unknown on his first visit to America, but he didn’t mind; he used the experience as the basis of his wickedly hilarious ‘comedy of appalling manners,’ 'Hay Fever.'”

50 Riverside Drive sidestreet elevation

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