The Carlyle Hotel and Carlyle House are next door neighbors on Madison Avenue, both designed by architects Bien & Prince and so closely matched you might not notice that they’re separate buildings. The hotel has the 40-story green-and-gilt-capped tower – and gilt-edged history to go with it.
The yellow brick and limestone buildings had an inauspicious start: Just two years after their 1930 opening, the hotel and apartment building were auctioned off, victims of the 1929 stock market crash. New owners kept the properties afloat financially, and in 1948 sold to Robert Whittle Downing. Downing is credited with turning The Carlyle into an elegant, fashionable address.
U.S. Presidents from Harry Truman to Bill Clinton visited The Carlyle, but President Kennedy made it the “New York White House.” He had purchased an apartment in The Carlyle’s tower when he was a Senator. You can spot the apartment today by the breakfast nook that sticks out of the north side of the tower.
Kennedy wasn’t alone in modifying the tower – scan the facades and you’ll find a number of irregular windows.
Today, the hotel tower contains 180 guest rooms and suites, and 60 privately owned residences. The apartment building has 43 residences.
The Carlyle Vital Statistics
- Location: 35 E 76th Street (hotel), 50 E 77th Street (apartments) at Madison Avenue
- Year completed: 1931
- Architect: Bien & Prince
- Floors: 40 (hotel), 17 (apartments)
- Style: Art Deco
The Carlyle Recommended Reading
- Wikipedia entry
- The New York Times Streetscapes column
- City Realty review (Carlyle Hotel)
- City Realty review (Carlyle House)
- The Carlyle website