Tag Archives: 1905

The Heights Casino

The Heights Casino is marked by distinctive gables, not tables: Flemish Revival style, applied to a private (and non-gambling) club. It is famed for games, though: tennis and squash; and for high society: the indoor tennis court can be converted to a ballroom.

The club’s former outdoor tennis courts were sold – on condition that the apartment building (Casino Mansions Apartments) to be built would complement the club, architecturally.

(Also see Casino Mansions Apartments.)

The Heights Casino Vital Statistics
The Heights Casino Recommended Reading

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De Lamar Mansion

The De Lamar Mansion (Joseph Raphael De Lamar House), now the Polish Consulate General in New York, is a prime example of Beaux Arts architecture in New York.

C.P.H. Gilbert designed this for Joseph De Lamar, who struck it rich in the Colorado Gold Rush and wanted a home fit to enter New York’s high society. Besides towering over neighboring mansions (such as J.P. Morgan’s home across the street), the De Lamar mansion had the unheard-of luxury of an underground garage, served by electric hoist. [See Daytonian in Manhattan]

Joseph and his 10-year-old daughter Alice – he was divorced – lived in the palatial home with nine servants.

After Joseph died in 1918, Alice moved out and sold the mansion to the American Bible Society, which later sold it to the National Democratic Club. Much later (1973), the Republic of Poland bought the mansion to house its consulate.

De Lamar Mansion Vital Statistics
De Lamar Mansion Recommended Reading

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St. Urban

St. Urban is a grandiose Beaux Arts apartment building, replete with turret, cupola and a massive mansard roof punctured by elaborate dormer windows.

It’s still an impressive sight for condo-era New York, though it has lost some of its grandeur: Gone are the two belts of balconies at the fourth and tenth floors; the slate roof was replaced with copper; rather pedestrian windows and skylights were installed above the dormers.

Why such an elaborate facade for mere apartments? Architectural historian Andrew Alpert notes that in 1905, “apartment” was still considered a French concept – so French architecture was appropriate. And Beaux Arts was the French style du jour.

The St. Urban was designed to appeal to the very wealthy: Four 12-room luxury apartments per floor, each including maids’ quarters, wall safes, libraries and other “necessities.”

The building went co-op in 1966.

St. Urban Vital Statistics
St. Urban Recommended Reading

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Manhasset Apartments

Manhasset Apartments are near-twin Beaux Arts landmark buildings on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, instantly recognizable for their two-story slate mansard roof and imposing orange brick form.

The buildings were originally designed by architect Joseph Wolf as eight-story structures – then the legal limit for apartments. When the original developer went bankrupt, the new developer hired Janes & Leo to add three stories, taking advantage of new building codes. In the process, Janes & Leo changed the decorative style to Beaux Arts.

In 1910, a new set of owners added retail stores along Broadway.

The building’s current owners rebuilt the roof starting in late 1996; while the scaffolding was still up in March of ’99, an absent-minded restaurant chef set the building on fire.

Manhasset Apartments Vital Statistics
Manhasset Apartments Recommended Reading

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