Tag Archives: Rosario Candela

47 Plaza Street West

47 Plaza Street West is often described as Brooklyn’s own Flatiron Building – and the similarities are striking: Both have a triangular footprint, but 47 Plaza Street West is a little more complex – its eastern side gently curves to follow Grand Army Plaza’s perimeter. The 1928 Brooklyn apartment building and the 1902 Manhattan office building both overlook a pedestrian plaza and a park (though the Brooklyn Plaza and park are MUCH more impressive). Both buildings are in Renaissance style – though 16-story 47 Plaza Street West is Italian Renaissance to 21-story Flatiron’s French Renaissance.

Brooklyn’s Flatiron has something that the original lacks – a sibling on the same block. Berkeley Plaza, the 14-story apartment building at 39 Plaza Street West, was also designed by Rosario Candela, in the same style, at the same time.

47 Plaza Street West Vital Statistics
47 Plaza Street West Recommended Reading

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Rosario Candela

Rosario Candela (1890-1953) is considered one of the masters of New York City apartment architecture. If you’ve never heard of him before, it’s only because outwardly his buildings aren’t as flashy as more famous works such as the Dakota, Dorilton, Ansonia or Chatsworth.

Candela made his mark in the late 1920s with luxury apartment buildings – stately and grand on the outside, luxurious on the inside, often with the scale and planning appropriate for mansions. Many of his high-ceilinged apartments contained libraries, servants’ quarters, four and five bedrooms and more. Further, apartment plans separated public (entertainment) areas from private areas and both separate from service areas. House guests could not wander into the boudoir, and maids stayed discreetly out of sight of guests and master.

Candela was an early developer of the penthouse – his way of turning the building code into extra luxury/profit. The building code required setbacks; setbacks became private wrap-around terraces for larger, opulent apartments.

When business slacked off during the Great Depression, Candela developed another profession – cryptology. He even found time to write two books on the subject.

Candela’s body of work is remarkably intact. Many of his buildings are protected by NYC landmark status; his 81 apartment buildings are reportedly all still standing, so you can go see them. To see the interiors, look for a copy of “The New York Apartment Houses of Rosario Candela and James Carpenter” by Andrew Alpern; it contains floor plans and interior photos (and it’s the source that other authorities quote).

Rosario Candela Representative Buildings
Rosario Candela Suggested Reading

19 E 72nd Street

19 E 72nd Street belies its Great Depression heritage. Clad in expensive limestone top to bottom, designed by two of New York’s premiere architects, this landmark apartment building is quietly elegant. Quite at home with the neighboring mansions and Madison Avenue boutiques.

19 E 72nd Street Vital Statistics
19 E 72nd Street Recommended Reading

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75 Central Park West

75 Central Park West is a lesser-known work of a master of New York apartment house architecture, Rosario Candela.

This building seems to have reversed the normal progression of older, luxury buildings: Apartments have been combined rather than divided; the original 55 units are now 48.

Over the years, many of the windows have been altered. Originally, all of the windows were pairs of three-over-three double-hung windows. Many of the pairs have been combined and/or changed to casement or fixed windows.

75 Central Park West Vital Statistics
75 Central Park West Recommended Reading

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