Tag Archives: Herman Lee Meader

Friends House

Friends House (originally the B.W. Mayer Building) seems Mayan-inspired in its brickwork, terra cotta snakes and skulls, and turquoise details. The architect, Herman Lee Meader, also designed the Cliff Dwelling apartments on Riverside Drive and the Mayan-inspired 154-160 West 14th Street.

As the B.W. Mayer Building, it was originally offices; then for many years it was a trade school. In 1994 the Quakers purchased the building and restored it, converting the structure to a group residence.

Friends House Vital Statistics
  • Location: 130 E 25th Street at Lexington Avenue
  • Year completed: 1916
  • Architect: Herman Lee Meader
  • Floors: 7
  • Style: Art Deco
Friends House Suggested Reading

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Cliff Dwelling

Cliff Dwelling is an oddly shaped, exotically decorated apartment building overlooking New York’s Riverside Park at W 96th Street.

The shape – dictated by the parcel of land left over after other developers picked their plots – is a thin north-pointing wedge. The decoration, white terra cotta in desert-Western motifs, is from the imagination of Herman Lee Meader (who used similar designs on the Friends House on E 25th Street). Don’t be shocked by the swastikas – they were used by the Navajo (and many other cultures) centuries before Nazism.

While the yellow brick facade is memorable, the apartments inside were not (at least in their tiny original five-to-a-floor form). After the building went co-op in 1979, residents began buying up and combining adjoining apartments. According to City Realty, the building now has just 43 units.

Cliff Dwelling Vital Statistics
Cliff Dwelling Recommended Reading

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