Tag Archives: architect

Emery Roth : Wikipedia photo

Emery Roth

Emery Roth was a preeminent New York architect, best known for his luxury apartment buildings – most of which are landmarks. Indeed, he helped define the Central Park West skyline with seven major buildings.

According to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, Emery Roth was born in 1871 at Galzecs, Hungary. Orphaned at 13, he was sent to the United States. He first immigrated to Chicago and then to Bloomington, Illinois, where he apprenticed. Later he assisted with drawings for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. He moved to New York several years later, joining the firm of Richard Morris Hunt. In 1895, Roth opened his own offices and three years later, he bought the architectural practice of Theodore G. Stein and Eugene Yancey Cohen, which became Stein, Cohen & Roth. Soon after the turn of the century, Roth returned to independent practice, specializing in luxury apartment houses.

The Hotel Belleclaire (1901-03, 2171-2179 Broadway, a designated New York City Landmark) that exhibits elements of the French Beaux-Arts and Viennese Secession styles, is considered Roth’s first major work in New York City. In the 1910s, he experimented with the Art Nouveau style, and in the 1920s, his designs became more classically-inspired and often incorporated elements of the Art Deco style.

Emery Roth Representative Buildings
Emery Roth Recommended Reading

Cass Gilbert

Cass Gilbert

Cass Gilbert (1859-1934) designed seven New York City landmarks between 1900 and 1934, among dozens of his notable works of architecture across the U.S.

← 1907 photo in Minnesota Encyclopedia (source: Wikipedia)

While best known to New Yorkers for the Woolworth Building, Gilbert also designed the Capitols of Minnesota, Arkansas and West Virginia, and the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

Born in Ohio, Gilbert rose to prominence in Minnesota when he was selected to design the new State Capitol in St. Paul. His Brazer Building in Boston led to a commission to his first New York commission, the Broadway Chambers Building. During that building’s construction, Gilbert moved to New York.

(Don’t confuse Cass Gilbert with his son – Cass Gilbert, Jr. – or with C.P.H. Gilbert. Cass Gilbert, Jr. supervised completion of the Thurgood Marshall US Courthouse that his father designed before he died. C.P.H. [Charles Pierrepont Henry] Gilbert is best known for mansions and townhouses.) Trivia: Cass and C.P.H. do have a connection, via Frank W. Woolworth: Woolworth hired Cass to design the Woolworth Building, but hired C.P.H. to design his personal mansion.

Cass Gilbert Representative Buildings
Cass Gilbert Suggested Reading

C.P.H. Gilbert

230px-C_P_H_GilbertC.P.H. Gilbert (1861-1952), is best known for his lavish mansion and townhouse architecture for New York’s wealthiest citizens. Charles Pierrepont Henry Gilbert, a native New Yorker, studied engineering and architecture in the U.S. and abroad, including at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Gilbert initially designed buildings in Colorado and Arizona, but returned to New York in 1885.

(portrait photo source: Wikipedia)

C.P.H. Gilbert designed more than 100 mansions in Brooklyn and Manhattan, several of which are designated New York City landmarks. A few of his Fifth Avenue mansions have been converted to institutional use – notably the Ukrainian Institute (former Harry F. Sinclair House) and the Jewish Museum (former Felix M. Warburg House).

Don’t confuse C.P.H. Gilbert with Cass Gilbert. Cass Gilbert is best known for monumental commercial and civic architecture. Trivia: Cass and C.P.H. do have a connection, via Frank W. Woolworth: Woolworth hired Cass to design the Woolworth Building, but hired C.P.H. to design his personal mansion.

C.P.H. Gilbert Representative Buildings
C.P.H. Gilbert Suggested Reading

Helmut Jahn

Helmut Jahn (1940 – ) is a German-born, Chicago-based architect of international renown, with five colorfully distinctive New York towers (and one mid-rise) under his belt. The proposed but not built Television City would have been a record-breaker on behalf of The Donald (Trump). A new Jahn-designed tower – 50 West Street – is now underway.

After emigrating to the U.S., Jahn studied at the Illinois Institute of Technology under famed Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. He joined the firm of C.F. Murphy Associates in 1967. The roof of Jahn’s first major project, Kemper Arena (1974), collapsed in 1979. But his practice hardly skipped a beat: Eight major projects filled the years 1980-1986. In 1987-1989 he exploded on the New York scene with six projects: Office towers 425 Lexington Avenue, City Spire, International Plaza, and Park Avenue Tower, plus America Apartments. A smaller project – the 12-story Metropolitan Transportation Authority Building located in Brooklyn – was completed in 1989.

Jahn also designed Donald Trump’s proposed 150-story Television City.

After nearly 30 years’ absence, Jahn design is again under construction in New York. The long-dormant 50 West Street project, a 63-story mixed-use tower, is slated for 2016 completion.

Helmut Jahn New York Buildings
Helmut Jahn Suggested Reading

Rosario Candela

Rosario Candela (1890-1953) is considered one of the masters of New York City apartment architecture. If you’ve never heard of him before, it’s only because outwardly his buildings aren’t as flashy as more famous works such as the Dakota, Dorilton, Ansonia or Chatsworth.

Candela made his mark in the late 1920s with luxury apartment buildings – stately and grand on the outside, luxurious on the inside, often with the scale and planning appropriate for mansions. Many of his high-ceilinged apartments contained libraries, servants’ quarters, four and five bedrooms and more. Further, apartment plans separated public (entertainment) areas from private areas and both separate from service areas. House guests could not wander into the boudoir, and maids stayed discreetly out of sight of guests and master.

Candela was an early developer of the penthouse – his way of turning the building code into extra luxury/profit. The building code required setbacks; setbacks became private wrap-around terraces for larger, opulent apartments.

When business slacked off during the Great Depression, Candela developed another profession – cryptology. He even found time to write two books on the subject.

Candela’s body of work is remarkably intact. Many of his buildings are protected by NYC landmark status; his 81 apartment buildings are reportedly all still standing, so you can go see them. To see the interiors, look for a copy of “The New York Apartment Houses of Rosario Candela and James Carpenter” by Andrew Alpern; it contains floor plans and interior photos (and it’s the source that other authorities quote).

Rosario Candela Representative Buildings
Rosario Candela Suggested Reading

Harde & Short

The firm of Harde & Short designed intricate apartment building facades for nearly a decade – 1901 to 1909 – then abruptly split up with no exceptional buildings between them.

London-educated Herbert Spencer Steinhardt (later shortened to Harde) designed upper west side tenements until 1900; he met Richard Thomas Short in the offices of James E. Ware & Son. Harde, son of a real estate entrepreneur, owned and developed buildings in addition to designing them. In fact, the team’s first significant building – the 1903 Red House – was owned by a Harde subsidiary.

Red House led to a commission for 45 E 66th Street, which led to 44 W 77th Street, which in turn led to a complete change of pace – Alwyn Court Apartments.

Harde & Short Representative Buildings
Harde & Short Suggested Reading

Napoleon LeBrun

Philadelphia-born Napoleon LeBrun (1821-1901) entered architecture at age 15, working in the office of Thomas Walter. He began his own practice just six years later, and designed several Philadelphia landmarks before moving to New York in 1864.

LeBrun is best known for churches and civic buildings; LeBrun and sons Pierre and Michel designed more than 40 buildings for the Fire Department of New York between 1880 and 1895. The firm also designed the landmark Metropolitan Life Building and the annex Tower, Home Life Insurance Company Building, and, further afield, upstate New York’s sprawling Mohonk Mountain House.

Napoleon LeBrun Representative Buildings
Napoleon LeBrun Suggested Reading

De Lemos & Cordes

De Lemos & Cordes – Theodore William Emile De Lemos and August William Cordes – were German-born and -educated architects who came to the United States in the 1880s, setting up their firm in New York in 1884.

The pair achieved success quickly, specializing in commercial buildings and department stores. Their Cooper-Siegel department store (1897), and Macy’s department store (Broadway building)(1902) were both, at the time of their construction, the largest department stores in existence.

According to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, “The firm tended to favor a Renaissance Revival stylistic vocabulary, and its commissions were often executed in a picturesque manner with notable ornamentation and a mixture of materials, including brick, stone, and terra cotta.”

De Lemos & Cordes Representative Buildings

* The original Empire State Building, named for the Empire State Bank

De Lemos & Cordes Suggested Reading