By Carter B. Horsley
The richly articulated facades
of this 9-story apartment building are neatly contained by rounded
corners at the sidestreet and, unusually, midblock. Although the
building is missing its cornice, usually a design disaster, it
remains quite attractive. The cornice was rather unusual in that
it was highly articulated with tall, pointed cartouches, or anthemia.
The red-brick building, which
has a two-story limestone base and a beige-brick, third story,
was erected in 1910. It was designed and built by William B. Franke
and remodeled by the Excelsior Savings Bank to designs by J. M.
Berlinger in 1935.
It was converted to a cooperative
in 1990. It now has 61 apartments. The top floor has very attractive
The building has a four-step-up
entrance that leads to very interesting, wrought-iron entrance
doors that lead to a step-up lobby and some decorative balconies.
It has no doorman, no concierge, no roofdeck and no garage.
In his fine book, "New
York's Fabulous Luxury Apartments with Original Floor Plans from
the Dakota, River House, Olympic Tower and Other Great Buildings,
(Dover Publications, Inc., 1987, Andrew Alpern notes that the
building's original, very handsome, colonnaded, entrance porch
"This building is distinctive
both in plan and in outward appearance. The facade is a curious
combination of styles. The entrance porch is Roman and the balconies
and quoins Italian renaissance. The corners are rounded in the
French manner, while the anthemia above the cornice line are pure
Greek. The original floor plan...was unusual for a middle-class
apartment house in that it provided separate freight and service
elevator entrances to each apartment as well as additional master
bath facilities. The circulation pattern for each apartment was
more straightforward than most, with an entrance hall, off of
which opened the major rooms, and a single straight inner hall
leading to the bedrooms. A small garage for the residents' automobiles
was provided adjacent to the building on 79th Street. In 1942,
the appendage was converted for use as a synagogue....Unhappily,
the original 10- and 11-room apartments have been cut into smaller
units, seven to a floor, and the facade mutilated through the
removal of the cornice and the entrance porch," Alpern wrote.
The building's location is
excellent as it is one block east of Riverside Park and one park
west of a local subway station on Broadway. This neighborhood
has excellent shopping as well as many interesting restaurants.