By Carter B. Horsley
This attractive apartment building is one on
the citys most impressive blocks. It is directly across
93rd Street from the citys finest Georgian-style mansion
and a little to the east of the citys finest Adamesque mansion.
The former was originally built for Francis F. Palmer by Delano
& Aldrich and then expanded with a large courtyard and ballroom
wing by the same firm for George F. Baker Jr., a leading banker,
and is now the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church
Outside Russia at 69-75 East 93d Street. The latter was originally
designed by Walker & Gillette in 1932 and was occupied for
a while by showman Billy Rose and is now the Smithers Alcoholism
Center at 56 East 93rd Street.
This 15-story building was erected in 1926
and converted to a cooperative in 1956. It has 45 apartments.
It was developed by Michael E. Paterno, one
of the citys leading developers of luxury apartment buildings,
and designed by Rosario Candela, the citys leading architect
of luxury apartment buildings of his era.
"It had living rooms 30 x 20,
bedrooms 18 x 17, and woodburning fireplaces in each
living room and library....Most apartments were of eleven or twelve
rooms with five baths. The twelve-room penthouse had fourteen-foot
ceilings and a living room thirty-two feet long; its first owner,
Mrs. William Amory, sold it in the spring of 1927 to Mrs. Leonard
K. Elmhirst, the former Mrs. Willard Straight (nee Dorothy Whitney,
sister of Harry Payne Whitney, sister-in-law of Gertrude Vanderbilt
Whitney), who had sold her mansion on the corner of 94th Street
and Fifth Avenue subject to a restriction that the house would
not be razed," noted James Trager in his superb book, "Park
Avenue, Street of Dreams," (Atheneum, 1990). Mrs. Elmhirst's
Fifth Avenue house is now the International Center for Photography
and had formerly been the headquarters of the National Audubon
The building has a one-step-up, canopied entrance
flanked by very handsome wall lanterns but no sidewalk landscaping.
The beige-brick building ahs a three-story rusticated base, and
no balconies and no health club.
This Carnegie Hill neighborhood is one of the
most desirable in the city with many fine schools, museums and
religious institutions as well as many attractive restaurants.