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33 Riverside Drive

Northeast corner at 75th Street

33 Riverside Drive
33 Riverside Drive

By Carter B. Horsley

George and Ira Gershwin had adjoining penthouses in this handsome, 17-story building that was erected in 1927 and converted to a cooperative in 1989.

Their penthouse apartments were scenes of many famous parties and were partly responsible for the new sense of glamor that began to be associated with roof-top apartments in the Jazz Age in the late 1920’s. 

In his fine book, “Upper West Side Story, A History and Guide,” (Abbeville Press, 1989), Peter Salwen recounts how Ethel Agnes Zimmerman, a stenographer from Brooklyn, went to one of the Gershwin penthouses for an audition for a part in a play, “Girl Crazy” in 1930: “She didn’t know which was more thrilling - a shot at stardom or a glimpse of the fabulous Gershwin penthouse.  She got both.  When she opened in ‘Girl Crazy’ as Ethel Merman, her clarion voice carried every syllable of ‘I Got Rhythm’.... to every seat in the house.”

The building has 143 large apartments with a total of 537 rooms.

Base and entrance

Entrance to 33 Riverside Drive

The Italian Renaissance-style building has a limestone base, stringcourses, a small cornice and a few decorative balconies.

 In addition to its fine views of the Hudson River and being directly across the street from Riverside Park, the doorman building is not too far from the express subway station at 72nd Street and Broadway.

With pre-war construction, water vistas, a doorman, a laundry room, nd a convenient, central Upper West Side location, this is a desirable building.
It has no sundeck, no health club, and no garage.



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