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895 West End Avenue

Southwest corner at 104th Street

895 West End Avenue

895 West End Avenue

By Carter B. Horsley

This very distinguished Italian Renaissance-palazzo-style building was erected in 1917 and converted to a cooperative in 1983. It has 48 apartments.

Marketing for the residential condominium conversion of the 13-story apartment building at 905 West End Avenue on the northwest corner at 104th Street began in 2008.

It was one of three similar buildings designed by Gaetano Ajello for the Paterno Brothers in this attractive stretch of the Upper West Side. The other two at 885 and 895 West End Avenue.

In a June 24, 2007 article in The New York Times, Christopher Gray noted that the "three apartment houses on the same side were built by the Paterno family, all designed with a bold elegance by their favored architect, Gaetano Ajello, who left his name in each cornerstone. But these near triplets have aged quite differently. The northernmost, 905, has a desolate, blighted look, especially over the entrance, where leaks from high up have come out through the brick, leaving behind great whitish salt stains called efflorescence. The cornice has been ripped off, the brick patching at the edges is a sad mismatch, and a crude line of electrical conduit runs from the original grand lamp bases to smaller fixtures set about six feet too low. By comparison, 895 West End Avenue, across 104th Street, has had all the luck. Its windows are original; their wooden frames have a texture that even expensive metal replacements cannot approach. In the 1990s, the firm of Walter B. Melvin Architects replaced a missing cornice with an estimable reinterpretation, using off-the-shelf brackets, but to good effect. Best of all, the first two stories are in limestone in big rusticated blocks - it's sort of a mini-University Club - and the stone is blessedly unpainted. Bring a loupe, or even just a good pair of eyes, and peer up close at the ancient shells and other sea creatures from millions of years ago. There is a particularly scary spiderlike specimen below the second window to the left of the main entrance, and the whorls and patterns even run through the building's cornerstone. This part of West End has many good stretches of marine sediment turned to rock. The last of the three Ajello-Paterno projects, No. 885, has a fancy canopy and far too fancy replacement doors, but no one has stripped the stone of its paint. Who knows what delights hide under it?"

Ajello's other buildings in Manhattan include 473, 505, 514, 575, 645 and 884 West End Avenue, and 160 and 373 Riverside Drive ad the Alameda and Avonova apartments on the Upper West Side.

The white-brick, 12-story building has a two-story rusticated limestone base with a two-story, arched entrance with a canopy flanked by globular lanterns that leads to a step-up, creamy white marble lobby that has a large and handsome stained-glass window. The building, which has a large cornice, has a concierge and sidewalk landscaping.

The building is close to Straus Park at the intersection of West End Avenue and Broadway and the superb Garden of Eden gourmet food store at 107th Street and Broadway.



The building's facade has some decorative balconies and consistent fenestration. Most of the windows are large and have seven panes.

This is a very attractive and quiet stretch of West End Avenue and is convenient to public transportation and one block from Riverside Park. Neighborhood shopping is convenient and steadily improving as high-end retailers continue to advance up Broadway.

This building has a very handsome marble lobby with stained glass window and a concierge. The building has sidewalk landscapingand permits protruding air-conditioners. It has a step-up lobby and no roof deck, no garage and no fitness center.

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