By Carter B. Horsley
This elegant limestone-clad
building was originally the Harold I. Pratt residence. Mr. Pratt
was one of six sons of Charles Pratt, an executive of Standard
Oil and the founder of the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.
It was designed by Delano & Aldrich in a neo-classical style
that is similar but much more understated that that firm's design
for the Union Club one block north and across the avenue (see
The City Review article). Delano &
Aldrich designed many of the handsomest clubs and residences on
the Upper East Side including the Georgian-style buildings of
the Colony Club (see The City Review article),
the Knickerbocker Club (see The
City Review article) and the Willard Straight house (see The City Review article).
This building, which has very attractive octagonal windows on
the fourth floor below a cornice and the balustraded roofline
and large arched windows on the first floor, was completed in
1921. It is across 68th Street Pyne House at 680 Park Avenue that
is now the Americas Society and was designed by McKim, Mead &
White and which was the site Prime Minister Nikita Khrushev's
balcony press conferences in 1960 when the property was the U.
S. S. R. Delegation to the United Nations. The Pyne house is the
southern anchor of a row of four elegant, red-brick Georgian-style
townhouses that were threatened with demolition until the Marquess
de Cuevas, a member of the Rockefeller family, saved them.
The Council on Foreign Relations publishes the influential journal
Foreign Affairs. It has pleasant interiors and its facilities
are often available for renting for special functions.