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
- Location: 243 West End Avenue at W 71st Street
- Year completed: 1925
- Architect: Emery Roth
- Floors: 16
- Style: Renaissance Revival
- New York City Landmark: 2013 (West End-Collegiate Historic District Extension)
243 West End Avenue Recommended Reading
- Wikipedia entry (Emery Roth)
- NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission designation report (pp. 201-203)
- Dolkart Report – Proposal for Historic District
- City Realty review
- Street Easy NY listing (includes floor plans)
- Emporis database