RL Newer Flagship
Built in 1932 by the architect Morrell Smith for the Bank of Manhattan in the Neo-Georgian style, the three story building, which looks as if it might have been a private home was actually build as a bank. It has a centrally placed entrance with pedimented frame, a fanlight over the door, the building is mostly red brick with limestone accents, such as the keystones and impost blocks. The roof is of slate with pedimented dormers and “Chinese Chippendale” roof railings. The windows still have wooden shutters, two chimney stacks, two bullseye style windows on the third floor and a little garden on Madison. Considering how the neighborhood has become much more of a commercial shopping area and further south high rise office towers start to sprout up, this is a real little gem that I’ve always been curious about.
The Carlyle Hotel on Madison Avenue between 76th and 77th streets is a much loved institution on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The property itself had something of a rocky start, developed by Moses Ginsburg, designed by the architecture firm of Bien & Prince in a richly ornate art deco vernacular. The Carlyle was completed in 1930, originally to be a residential hotel, but almost immediately fell on hard times and went into receivership in 1932. In the post World War II boom the hotel finally found its sea legs under the ownership of Robert White Downing and became a high society hot spot, obviously from its location and then further along as successive Presidents of the United States favored the Carlyle as their stay of choice in the city.
Storefronts, galleries mostly, line the sidewalk on Madison, a relatively plain lower façade that is all too obviously functional (for maximizing space) until the eye reaches the upper stories, that have a whole series of setbacks with amazing detail work. If you are an architecture / design fan and really want a better look it’s best to go down the side streets towards Fifth Avenue, Park or even down Madison where you will get a much better feel for the building rather than simply looking up.
And if you are in the neighborhood, a stop in to Bemelman’s Bar on the ground floor is a must, when you walk in the Madison entry, turn left, the murals, by Ludwig Bemelman, the low lighting, gold ceiling provides one of the best old school upper east side experiences.
No matter how long you might live / have lived in New York City, 45 East 66th Street is a building that never ceases to visually delight the passerby. In his book, “The City Observed, A Guide To the Architecture of New York”, Paul Golberger wrote, “The detail is an eclectic mix of Elizabethan and Flemish Gothic, and it is just elaborate enough to be showy, but restrained enough not to compete with the separate, secondary level of texture created by the dozens of 12-over-12 double-hung windows, a veritable curtain of tiny square panes.”
The building is a ten story mid-rise, with 33 apartments. Was built in 1908 by the architecture firm of Harde & Short for Charles Rogers. The original entrance was in fact on the corner, but in 1929 was moved to where it is now on 66th street. A beautiful building that is always worth a couple moments stop while passing by. Harde & Short are also responsible for two sister buildings, 44 West 77th Street and The Alwyn Court at 180 West 58th Street