Tag Archives: Emery Roth

10 Sheridan Square

10 Sheridan Square

10 Sheridan Square, aka Shenandoah Apartments, is distinctive West Village architecture. The two-story base blends stone and brick, and the wedge-shaped building rises 14 stories above a predominantly low-rise district.

The Emery Roth-designed structure remains a rental building of primarily studio and one-bedroom apartments.

Emery Roth designed four other residences in Greenwich Village: 1 University Place, 28 E 10th Street (Devonshire House), 59 W 12th Street, and 299 W 12th Street.

10 Sheridan Square Vital Statistics
10 Sheridan Square Recommended Reading

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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
888 Grand Concourse

888 Grand Concourse

888 Grand Concourse has seen better days. But even in decline, the curvaceous Art Deco landmark is striking and memorable. The bold corner treatment, in particular, stands out for its concave gilt and mosaic entry.

The Emery Roth-designed apartment building stands at E 161st Street, across the “Boulevard of Dreams” from the old Bronx County Courthouse. In 2009, The New York Times called 888 “a particular stunner, a medley of curves, scallops and concave spaces executed in black granite, bronze, stainless steel, marble mosaic and gold stripes.”

Since then, the building has fallen on hard times. In 2013, the Daily News reported that the apartment house had 341 open violations and was one of the Bronx’s ten worst buildings. In February 2016 tenants staged a rent strike, and the building is in foreclosure, according to The Real Deal. The New York Real Estate news site described the building as “rat-infested.”

One can only hope that the landmark emerges from foreclosure with an owner that can rehabilitate the building.

888 Grand Concourse Vital Statistics
888 Grand Concourse Recommended Reading

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65 Central Park West

65 Central Park West

65 Central Park West is one of nine Central Park West landmarks* designed by famed Emery Roth. Less dramatic than Roth’s towered San Remo, Beresford, or El Dorado, this Neo-Renaissance co-op is still impressive New York architecture.

The building’s location, across from Tavern on the Green and just a three-block walk from Lincoln Center, is idyllic.

Apartments here are currently listed at between $975,000 and $5.5 million.

* One of the Emery Roth landmarks, Mayflower Hotel (1925), was demolished in 2004 to make way for Robert A.M. Stern’s 15 CPW. Roth’s other Central Park landmarks are still standing. Besides 65 CPW they are (moving uptown): San Remo (1930), Beresford (1929), Alden (1926), 275 CPW (1930), 295 CPW (1940), El Dorado (1931), and Ardsley (1931).

65 Central Park West Vital Statistics
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San Remo

San Remo is one of the high points – literally and figuratively – of the Central Park West skyline, and of the career of architect Emery Roth. The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) gushed that the building “…epitomizes Roth’s ability to combine the traditional with the modern, an urbane amalgam of luxury and convenience, decorum and drama.”

Following closely after his triple-towered Beresford (1928), San Remo became the first twin-towered apartment building on the avenue. But where the 22-story Beresford’s stubby “towers” were mainly to hide water tanks, 27-story San Remo’s towers had 14 floors of deluxe apartments. This was possible because a new (1929) building code raised the height limit for residential buildings.

Roth also designed the Oliver Cromwell (1928) on W 72nd Street, was a consultant on the twin-towered El Dorado (1931), and designed the Normandy Apartments (1938) on Riverside Drive.

The San Remo was praised by architectural critics for its height, for the classical Greek-styled “temples” atop the towers, and for the “foyer plan” that minimized hallways.

“Despite its popular success,” said the LPC, the property “…fell prey to the pervasive economic mayhem of the 1930s. A full year after it had officially opened, nearly a third of its apartments remained vacant, and the Bank of the United States which held its $5 million mortgage had collapsed, its officers charged with recklessly ‘gambling’ on the San Remo.”

The building bounced from one owner to another via bankruptcy until 1940, when San Remo and Beresford were sold in a package for $25,000 over the mortgage. Now, individual apartments cost tens of millions of dollars.

San Remo Vital Statistics
San Remo Recommended Reading

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Towne House

Towne House stands out in the Murray Hill Historic District. Amid blocks of low rise brownstones, Towne House towers 25 floors in Art Deco brick. It replaced five mid-1800s row houses, and touched off a lawsuit by neighbors who tried to block construction.

Despite its height and architectural style, at street level the building does blend in with the block; the most remarkable aspect is Towne House’s colorfully detailed tower, which catches the eye from blocks around.

Towne House Vital Statistics
Towne House Recommended Reading

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The Ardsley is one of a handful of Art Deco apartment buildings on Central Park West – and considered by some to be Emery Roth’s finest Art Deco building, even surpassing his Eldorado, one block south. It’s a sharp departure from the styles Roth used in his other famous Central Park West apartment towers: Alden, Beresford, and San Remo.

The Ardsley Vital Statistics
The Ardsley Recommended Reading

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El Dorado

El Dorado (aka The Eldorado*) is among New York’s most fabled apartment buildings – for its celebrity residents as much as for its stunning twin-tower Art Deco architecture.

Despite (or because of?) the building’s impressive design, El Dorado (The Golden One) got off to a rocky start – foreclosure following the stock market crash. Though the apartments were luxe enough to include maid’s quarters, the building was economy-minded enough to use cast stone instead of the real thing in the three-story base. And original notations of gold leaf for the towers’ pinnacles were never executed.

After reorganization, the building successfully attracted luxury-minded tenants; in 1982 El Dorado turned co-op. Unlike other pricey New York cooperatives, El Dorado welcomes celebrities. Famous tenants and former tenants include (in no particular order) Bruce Willis, Tuesday Weld, Barney’s founder Barney Pressman, Faye Dunaway, Garrison Keillor, Michael J. Fox, U2’s Moby, Sinclair Lewis, Marilyn Monroe, Groucho Marx, and Alec Baldwin.

One celebrity the apartments could have done without was the resident of apartment 9B – you can read the gruesome details in The New York Times and New York Daily News stories!

*El Dorado is Spanish for “The Golden One,” so THE El Dorado is redundant; the official name is Americanized as The Eldorado – but the canopy on Central Park West has it El Dorado. The name is inherited from an earlier (1902) eight-story luxury apartment house on the same site, El Dorado.

El Dorado Vital Statistics
El Dorado Recommended Reading

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Hotel Belleclaire

Hotel Belleclaire was one of the first residences designed by Emery Roth, who went on to become one of New York’s most important apartment house architects.

Although Roth’s later work was primarily in Beaux Arts and Art Deco styles, Belleclaire was designed in Art Nouveau. The original design included a domed turret on the corner, which was removed in the ’50s. The ground floor restaurant and hotel office windows have been replaced with storefronts, and the original Broadway entrance was moved to the W 77th Street courtyard.

Belleclaire began life as an upper class apartment hotel – families lived there more or less permanently, relying on hotel services for housekeeping and meals. Over the years the hotel’s clientele – and facilities – changed. Transients were accepted; kitchenettes were added; for a time it was among New York’s “welfare hotels” for indigent families.

Fast forward to 2008: owners embarked on a total renovation and upgrade, now (May 2014) nearly complete. Later this year they plan to open a rooftop restaurant.

Hotel Belleclaire Vital Statistics
Hotel Belleclaire Recommended Reading

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243 West End Avenue

243 West End Avenue was built in 1925 as Hotel Cardinal, an apartment hotel designed by Emery Roth, one of New York’s foremost residential architects. The red brick facade is embellished with elaborate polychrome terra cotta window treatments on the bottom three and top three floors – recalling the classic base-shaft-capital design of early tall buildings.

The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) notes in its West End-Collegiate Historic District Extension Designation Report that the original cornice and windows have been replaced. Originally, the windows were six-over-six double-hung sashes (archi-speak for 12-paned windows).

For a time, the building was also known as the Coliseum Plaza.

LPC adds a musical note: Music publisher Frederick Benjamin Haviland, whose songs included “The Sidewalks of New York,” lived here before his death in 1932. Fast forward to 2015: there’s a song titled “243 West End Avenue” performed by The Virgin Lips. You heard it here first!

243 West End Avenue Vital Statistics
243 West End Avenue Recommended Reading

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