By Carter B. Horsley
The city's best "studio"
apartment building, this slender, 16-story building between 7th
Avenue and Broadway was completed in 1905, a couple of years after
several "studio" buildings were erected on West 67th
The Gainsborough has only
34 apartments, most with spectacular, double-height living rooms
facing north towards Central Park.
Designed by Charles W. Buckham,
the building was developed by a group of artists led by August
Franzen and is named after Thomas Gainsborough, the English artist,
whose bust appears on the façade above the entrance as
does an allegorical frieze by Isidore Konti.
The building's façade
is dominated by the huge, double-story windows, each of which
has a small, attractive, pediment-topped doorway with decorative
lattice-like masonry at their base that originally overlooked
decorative, semi-circular, iron balconies that are now missing,
giving the facade an almost Venetian look, which is further enhanced
by the use of colored Moravian tiles on the building's top two
floors. The building has a scalloped crown molding at its roofline.
Its facade is particularly strong because of the three dark red-brick
piers that frame the windows and give the relatively small building
a strong sense of verticality.
In the 1950's, the building
commissioned Donald Deskey to redesign its lobby and entrance,
but in the late 1980's spent about $1 million to restore them
to their original appearance. In 1988, the building was designated
an official city landmark.
Although it is not the city's
grandest "studio" building in terms of apartment sizes
and materials, it is the best looking and has the best views.
It is close to Columbus Circle and the Time
Warner Center that opened in early 2004. It has no garage and