By Carter B. Horsley
Just to the north of the Metropolitan Museum
of Art across Fifth Avenue, this is one of the larger pre-war
buildings on the avenue in terms of units. Erected in 1926 and
converted to a cooperative in 1954, the 16-story building has
78 good-sized apartments.
It was handsomely designed in Italian-Renaissance-palazzo
style by J. E. R. Carpenter, the architect also of 810, 907, 920,
950, 988, 1030, 1060, 1115, 1120, 1143, 1165 and 1170 Fifth Avenue
among others. It has a very finely detailed, 4-story limestone
base, extensive sidewalk landscaping, and an attractive balustraded
top. Its canopied entrance leads to a large lobby overlooking
a large garden.
It is on the former site of a 7-story building
that was known as the Fifth Avenue Apartments. That building,
which had a rusticated lower two floors and an arched two-story-high
entrance, was considered "startling and unwelcome" when
it was erected in 1890, wrote Jerry E. Patterson in his book,
"Fifth Avenue, The Best Address," (Rizzoli International
Publications, Inc., 1998).
Above its limestone base, this buildings
facade is mostly buff-colored brick but the over-all effect fits
well and elegantly within the context of its all-limestone neighbors.
The sidestreet here is a busy entrance to the
Central Park westbound transverse road at 85th Street so there
is considerable traffic. The sidestreet of the building is very
nice with a low ledge. Directly across the avenue, a large playground
occupies the "island" between the east- and westbound
transverse roads through the park. Cross-town bus service, obviously,
is very convenient. Two supermarkets are nearby on Madison Avenue.
The building has very impressive sidewalk landscaping,
great views, and is across from a limited Fifth Avenue bus stop.
It has a doorman and a concierge, but no garage and no health
club. It has an exposed rooftop watertank. In 1948, many years
in the rear of the building were subdivided by architect Horace
In 2006, the building's facade was cleaned.