Tag Archives: 1906

Morgan Library

The Morgan Library and Museum on Madison Avenue comprises three classical, landmark buildings and a fourth, modern addition that joins the three into a complex that’s doubled in size.

The original buildings are J. P. Morgan, Jr.’s House (1853, originally built for Isaac N. Phelps), on the SE corner of Madison Avenue and E 37th Street; J. Pierpont’s Private Library (1906, designed by Charles McKim of McKim, Mead & White), mid-block on E 36th Street between Madison and Park Avenues; and J. Pierpont’s Private Library Addition (1928, designed by Benjamin Wistar Morris), on the NE corner of Madison Avenue and E 36th Street. The library addition was built on the site of J. Pierpont Morgan, Sr.’s mansion, after his death. (J. Pierpont Morgan, Jr. opened the library to the public in 1924.)

In 2006, the museum built a further addition, planned by Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners. The modern addition connected the three original buildings and also filled the lot east of the 1853 brownstone.

In 2010, the museum restored the original library – the McKim building – to its original splendor under guidance of Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners. The interior restoration included new lighting and the re-installation of the original chandeliers, deep cleaning, and replacement of plexiglass exhibit covers with non-glare acrylic. You can see before and after photos of the interior here.

Incidentally, the lionesses guarding the Morgan Library entrance on E 36th Street – Prudence and Felicity – were carved by Edward Clark Potter, the same sculptor who created the New York Public Library lions Patience and Fortitude.

Morgan Library Vital Statistics
  • Location: Madison Avenue between E 36th and E 37th Streets
  • Year completed: 1853 (house), 1906 (private library), 1928 (addition), 2006 (second addition)
  • Architect: McKim, Mead & White (private library), Benjamin Wistar Morris (addition), Renzo Piano Building Workshop (second addition)
  • Style: Italian Renaissance (private library), Florentine Renaissance (addition)
  • New York City Landmark: 1966
  • National Register of Historic Places: 1966
Morgan Library Suggested Reading

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69th Regiment Armory

The 69th Regiment Armory, aka Lexington Armory, is notable for its design and its events. Unlike earlier armories in New York City, it is built in the Beaux-Arts style instead of mimicking a medieval fortress (though, for Beaux-Arts, the armory has very little ornament). The armory made history as the site of the 1913 Armory Show – where modern art was first publicly presented in the United States.

The armory is located on Lexington Avenue between East 25th and East 26th Streets; it was designed by the firm of Hunt & Hunt and erected in 1904-1906. The armory became a NYC Landmark in 1983, joined the National Register of Historic Places in 1994, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1996.

Besides the famous art show, the armory has hosted track and field events, roller derby, basketball games (NY Knicks between 1946 and 1960), Victoria’s Secret fashion shows, and Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art Festivals.

69th Regiment Armory Vital Statistics
  • Location: 68 Lexington Avenue between E 25th and E 26th Streets
  • Year completed: 1906
  • Architect: Richard Howland Hunt and Joseph Howland Hunt
  • Floors: 5
  • Style: Beaux Arts
  • New York City Landmark: 1983
  • National Register of Historic Places: 1994
69th Regiment Armory Suggested Reading

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Chatsworth Apartments and Annex

The Chatsworth Apartments and Annex are magnificent Beaux Arts buildings at the foot of West 72nd Street, overlooking the Hudson River and Riverside Park. The eight-story annex was built two years after the 12-story main building; the two are distinctively separate except for a unifying limestone base. Although not apparent from the front (W 72nd Street), the Chatsworth itself is two buildings. The second, with a less elaborate facade, is now visible only from W 71st Street. Donald Trump’s Harmony House condo (2003) blocks the buildings’ west facades, which used to overlook the abandoned West Side rail yard (and the Hudson River, beyond).

The most lavish of Chatsworth’s 66 apartments ranged from five to 15 rooms, which rented for $900 to $5,000 per year (1904 dollars!). The smaller Chatsworth Apartments Annex had one apartment per each of its eight floors.

Take time to read the Daytonian in Manhattan piece for some fascinating history; The New York Times three pieces detail tenants’ battles with the landlord and with Donald Trump.

Chatsworth Apartments and Annex Vital Statistics
Chatsworth Apartments and Annex Recommended Reading

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