This apartment house was built in 1929 by Arthur
Brisbane, a journalist who four years developed the far larger
and more prominently located Ritz Tower on the northeast corner
of Park Avenue and 57th Street.
This neo-Romanesque structure was designed
by Schultze & Weaver, the architects of the Sherry-Netherland
Hotel at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street. It was converted to a cooperative
in 1978 and now contains 62 apartments.
"Brisbane was the highest-paid newspaperman
of his day, perhaps of any day in terms of purchasing power of
money. In the early 1930's William Randolph Hearst paid him two
hundred fifty thousand dollars a year to write a six-day-a-week
column entitled 'Today,' which appeared on the front page of the
Hearst tabloids and hundreds of other newspapers in the United
States," wrote Jerry E. Patterson in his book, "Fifth
Avenue, The Best Address," (Rizzoli International Publications,
"Brisbane," Patterson continued,
"was astonishingly prolific: he wrote five hundred thousand
words a year; in fifty-three years of journalism, he calculated
that he had written 25 million words. Most of them might as well
have been written on the wind so far as posterity was concerned.
He was a master of superficiality and platitudes; his columns
required the minimum effort on the part of readers; no long words,
no opinions that would bewilder them. Although his superficiality
was complete, he was energetic; he had a dictaphone (one of the
earliest) in his car and crews of secretaries and messengers to
rush his copy to the office of the New York Journal, his hometown
outlet....Brisbane built 1215 in 1929 as an investment with a
triplex apartment for himself on the fourteenth, fifteenth, and
penthouse floors that could be reached by a private elevator from
the street floor. The two-story living room measured twenty-six
by sixty feet....A handsome bronze portrait medallion of Brisbane
is set as a relief in the wall along the Fifth Avenue side of
Central Park at 101st Street."
The building has a four-story limestone base
with a large arched window above the attractive, canopied avenue
entrance and arched windows on the first floor. The first floor
windows have slightly indented top corners, a subtle touch.
Brisbane died in 1936 and the building, which
is just to the north of the Mt. Sinai Hospital, was foreclosed
three years later and his spectacular apartment, which also had
a two-story-high, 33-foot-long dining room, was subdivided.
The building is just to the north of Mt. Sinai
Hospital. It has no garage and is not close to the subways.