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175 Riverside Drive

Between 89th and 90th Streets

173-175 Riverside Drive 

173-175 Riverside Drive

 By Carter B. Horsley

One of the more monumental edifices along Riverside Drive, this 16-story building occupies an entire blockfront and like many of its neighbors facing Riverside Park has an asymmetrical plan because of the drive's curves.

Built in 1926, it was designed by J. E. R. Carpenter.

The 167-unit building has large apartments and is large mass is tempered by three major courses that run across its facade as well as chamfered corners.  It stretches from 89th to 90th Streets and has entrances on both sidestreets.


The spectacular renaissance that began in the 1980's along Broadway, especially in the 80's has made such solid buildings as this significantly more desirable. Indeed, it is amazing that Riverside Drive, with its attractive and large park and Hudson River vistas could ever have fallen in value, especially since the walk to the Upper West Side's main thoroughfare, Broadway, is much nicer, and shorter, from Riverside Drive than from Central Park West.

The building, which was converted to a cooperative in 1986, has one of the most elegant settings along the drive as it is across from the Soldiers and Sailors Monument that was designed by Stoughton & Stoughton with Paul Emile Marie Duboy and based on the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates in Athens.

The building has a 24-hour doorman, a live-in superintendent, a children's playroom, recreation/game room, a bicycle room, a gym, and a laundry.

It has no sundeck, no garage and no balconies.


Entrance

Entrance

The building has a three-story limestone base and a beige-brick fašade.  The ground-floor, 4th and top-floor windows have arched elements above the windows and the building has bandcourses above the third and top floors. 

There is a balustraded roofline and the fašade has limestone quoins and sidewalk landscaping.
A handsome entrance surround is flanked by pairs of fluted Corinthian pilasters.

The building is a landmark and has an "English-style" garden with a fountain.


The original floor plan for an 11th floor four-bedroom unit had a 26-foot-wide entrance gallery that lead to a 25-foot-long living room with an electric fireplace, a 22-foot-long study, a 22-foot-long dining room next to a 12-foot-wide pantry and a 17-foot-long kitchen, a 13-foot-long servants’ hall and two maid’s rooms.


Penthouse 16F is a three-bedroom unit with a 10-foot-long entry foyer that leads to a 24-foot-square living room with 96-foot-long, angled terrace on one side and a 25-foot-long, angled terrace on the other side and is next to a 16-foot-long dining room next to a 20-foot-long kitchen.  Two of the bedrooms has small sun rooms.


Apartment 7H is a three-bedroom unit with a 15-foot-long entrance gallery that leads to a 24-foot-long living room with a fireplace and an 18-foot-long dining room next to a pantry and kitchen and a 10-foot-long maid’s room.


According to Andrew Alpern, “the land for this building had been brought in 1921 by Francis Paterno, who in turn sold it to” Anthony Campagna and it “had been site of two important houses: the 1900 neo-Georgian Clark-Potter mansion designed by Ernest Flagg, and the 1887 turreted rough-stone pile of Cyrus Clark."


In his very fine book, “The New York Apartment houses of Rosario Candela and James Carpenter,” Mr. Alpern noted that “originally specifications called for the penthouse to be quarters for the resident superintendent and janitor,” adding that the building’s Gothic-inspired ornamentation, proportions and chamfered corner give it an appearance that bears an uneasy similarity to Rosario Candela’s apartment house at 47 Plaza Street in Park Slope, Brooklyn.”


The building is across 89th Street from the very handsome red-brick former Isaac L. Rice mansion that was erected in 1903 and bought by Solomon Schinasi in 1907 who sold it to Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim (later Yeshiva Ketana).

 

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