By Carter B. Horsley
This very distinguished, large, light-brown-brick
apartment house with very fine terra-cotta decoration in a neo-Gothic
style was designed by Emery Roth for Bing & Bing, one of the
city's major developers of luxury residential buildings in the
first half of the 20th Century.
The building is in good condition although
part of its cornice line along the avenue has unfortunately been
cut away and replaced with a railing, as shown in the above photograph
at the top right, and also close to the avenue on the sidestreet
as shown in the photograph at the bottom of this article.
The building has a canopied, one-step-up entrance
flanked by small wall lanterns and an impressive terra-cotta surround.
There are bandcourses, some with depictions of squirrels, on the
second, third and eleventh third floors, attractive spandrels
and fine gargoyles.
Roth collaborated with the Bings over four
decades and in 1915 they commissioned him to design three buildings,
601 West End Avenue and 570 and 1000 Park Avenue.
In his book, "Mansions in The Clouds,
The Skyscraper Palazzi of Emery Roth, (Balsam Press, Inc., 1986),
Steven Ruttenbaum wrote:
"Flanking the main entrance on Park Avenue
are two Gothic figures, one a medieval warrior and the other a
builder, replete with masonic symbolism. Legend has it that Roth
modeled these two figures after his clients, Leo and Alexander
Bing. There are additional terra-cotta figures, executed in a
grotesque manner, that depict the builders of Greek temples and
medieval cathedrals. Proving even more visual interest are heavy
terra-cotta loggias, string courses carved in luxuriant foliate
motifs and punctuated with owls and squirrels, and spandrel panels
molded with coats of arms and Gothic-style tracery. All this unusually
styled ornament brings rich visual pleasure to the walls of this
The building has 70 cooperative apartments.
It has a doorman and some decorative balconies and permits protruding
air-conditioners. It has no garage and no health club. It has
a fine location close to public transportation and numerous schools
and religious and cultural institutions. There is good local shopping.
It has considerable light and air because there
are low-rise religious structures to the south and north. This
building has an exposed rooftop watertank.