Master Apartments is the tallest building on Riverside Drive, and reputedly the first building in New York City to have corner windows. But the most interesting side of this Art Deco architecture is that it was built as a personal museum for a prolific Russian artist and philosopher, one Nicholas Roerich. The name “Riverside Museum” still rises above the Riverside Drive entrance.
As reported in The New York Times, Roerich set up a school – Master Institute of United Arts – at a mansion owned by a wealthy follower, Louis Horch. The mansion also housed the Nicholas Roerich Museum – displaying the artist’s prolific output.
In 1928-29 Horch replaced the mansion with this 27-story tower. The first three floors contained museum, theaters, libraries and more devoted to Roerich; the rest of the building was apartments. Following the stock market crash, Horch was in and out of control; Roerich’s popularity waned and in 1938 the museum became simply the “Riverside Museum.”
The building became a cooperative in 1988 – and became a NYC Landmark the following year. The museum moved to a brownstone on W 107th Street.
Master Apartments Vital Statistics
- Location: 310 Riverside Drive at W 103rd Street
- Year completed: 1929
- Architect: Harvey Wiley Corbett
- Floors: 27
- Style: Art Deco
- New York City Landmark: 1989
Master Apartments Recommended Reading
- Wikipedia entry
- NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission designation report
- The New York Times Streetscapes/The Master Apartments; A Restoration for the Home of a Russian Philosopher (January 29, 1995)
- City Realty review
- Emporis database
- Master Apartments website