249 West End Avenue stands squeezed between apartment buildings three times its height, thanks to the perseverance of its owner, Mary Cook.
The five-story building, once typical of West End Avenue townhouses, was constructed as one of five homes designed to look like one large building (see the Daytonian in Manhattan blog for the “before” picture).
Mrs. Cook, a widow, declined offers from developers both north and south of her home. In 1915, 255 West End Avenue rose 14 stories to her north. In 1925, 243 West End Avenue rose 15 stories to her south.
Mrs. Cook died in 1932; the building became home of the Continental Club, and in the late 40s it was converted to apartments.
249 West End Avenue Vital Statistics
- Location: 249 West End Avenue between W 71st and W 72nd Streets
- Year completed: 1893
- Architect: Clarence Fagan True
- Floors: 5
- Style: Romanesque Revival
- New York City Landmark: 2013 (West End-Collegiate Historic District Extension)
- NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission designation report (pp. 203-204)
- Daytonian in Manhattan blog
- Untapped Cities blog
- Emporis database
- Holdouts!: The Buildings That Got in the Way