By Carter B. Horsley
Not all buildings in the city need be ostentatious
and very often simplicity and understatement can be very effective.
This 18-story building is an excellent example
of a low-key building that has enough finesse to be quite distinguished.
On a fairly steep slope, but Manhattan standards,
at the base of Carnegie Hill, this building has a three-story
limestone base on the cross-street and a very attractive, high-end
storefront faced with polished green granite at the corner. The
buildings canopied entrance is on 86th Street. The lobby
is tall and rather spartan, but quite elegant, with the elevators
around a corner of the lobby.
The buildings facade above the limestone
base is a dark brown brick that is very handsome and has aged
well. There are no balconies and except for the top few floors
no setbacks. The top of the building, however, is asymmetrical
with some angles and a tall, slab chimney.
The building conjures the image of a tall,
dapper gentleman with a slightly cocked hat in a conservative
brown suit wearing spats, the proper sort who might be found in
a novel by Louis Auchincloss, who was a resident on a high floor
in the building for a while.
The 48-unit building, which was erected in
1931 and converted to a cooperative in 1967, is one of several
Art Deco structures along Madison Avenue in the 80s, although
its decorative embellishment is quite minimal.
The building, which is a bit taller than most
in the area, has good views down Madison Avenue because the building
directly across 86th Street is only two-stories tall. It has sidewalk
landscaping, a canopied, one-stepup entrance and a doorman, but
no garage and no sundeck. The building's entrance is at a crosstown-bus
stop and an express subway station is two blocks to the east.
The top of the building has two buttress-like
openings and it appears that a large oculus was filled in on the