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444 Central Park West

Northwest corner at 104th Street

Block 1840 Lot 29

444 Central Park West

444 Central Park West

By Carter B. Horsley

This handsome, 19-story, red-brick apartment building at 444 Central Park West on the northwest corner at 104th Street was erected in 1929.

It was designed by Boak & Paris whose other buildings include 5, 22, 100 and 315 Riverside Drive, 5 West 86th Street, 336 West End Avenue, 45 Christopher Street, the Brevoort East Apartments.

It has 123 apartments and was converted by Curtis Katz to a cooperative in 1976.

Entrance

Entrance

It has a very attractive one-story sandstone base and some sandstone window surrounds on the second floors. It has arched windows on the first floor and some on the third floor. Its attractive rooftop watertank enclosure has a crenellated top and arched windows with stone surrounds.

It has sidewalk landscaping but inconsistent fenestration and no garage.

View from the south

View from the south

The red-brick structure has some protruding masonry to add texture to its facades. The building has a canopied entrance, and several terraces. It permits protruding air-condtioners.

A July 15, 2001 article in The New York Times by Christopher Gray was devoted to Boak & Paris. It said that Russell M. Boak worked as a draftsman in the office of Emery Roth and that his partner Hyman F. Paris also did and they founded their own firm in 1927.

"Their early work included the apartment house at the northeast corner of 106th Street and Broadway. In the 1930's, though..., their work became more inventive. They gave 315 Riverside Drive (designed in 1930 at 104th Street) definite Art Deco overtones, including strips of half-round molded brick running up the facade and unusual window grills with stylized floral motifs. In 1932 Boak & Paris designed a pink and black terra cotta movie house on Broadway near 99th Street - now the Metro Theater, formerly the Midtown....In 1933 they did their first building for Samuel Minskoff, an apartment house at 3 East 66th Street. Many elements of their later work appear there: elegant window grills of iron with brass trim; multicolored terrazzo floors of geometric style; varicolored marble lobby fireplaces; dropped living rooms; neo-Classical details reworked in modern style; sophisticated molded plaster ceiling decoration; and elaborate iron and brass entry doors, also in modern style....Boak and Paris split up in 1942. It appears that Paris retired, but in 1944 Boak entered into a partnership with Thomas O. Raad that also produced some inventive buildings....Among them were the angular sawtooth-plan apartment buildings at 430 and 440 East 56th Street, designed for the Doelger family in the 1950s."

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