By Carter B. Horsley
This very handsome, 16-story
cooperative apartment building was designed by Emery Roth in 1929
and occupies a very prime location in the Carl Schurz Park/Gracie
It is the easternmost apartment
building on 86th Street. It is across 86th Street from the very
attractive townhouses of Henderson Place. It is across East End
Avenue from the main entrance to Carl Schurz Park. It is just
to the north of 120 East End Avenue, the most elegant building
on the avenue.
The building is notable for
its symmetrical facade facing the park and the East River, its
double bandcourses above the second floor, its double piers on
the top three floors at the corners, its nicely sculpted watertank
enclosure, its two-story entrance surround and, most particularly,
its awnings above the center two window bays above the entrance.
In pre-air-conditioning days, many luxury apartment buildings
employed window awnings to reduce heat loads from the summer sun,
but since the invention of air-conditioning units most such awnings
have disappeared. They remain here, although they are rolled up
above the windows.
The building, which is also known as 552 East
86th Street, has 48 apartments.
In 1931, Irving Berlin, the songwriter, moved
into this building's penthouse.
The building has a canopied entrance, a doorman
and very attractive entrance doors. It has discrete air-conditioners.
Although the neighborhood is relatively inconvenient
for public transportation, its devotees swear by the very pleasant
park and the celebrated nearby schools such as Brearley and Chapin.