840 Park Avenue

Completed in 1912 by the architectural team of George and Edward Blum, the building is relatively short in stature, reaching only 12 stories with 18 units. Designed in the neo Italian renaissance style, most of the building is clad in limestone, although the very top of the façade is terra cotta, balanced symmetrically along both faces are iron balconies. Elegant central arched entryway with foliate keystone. The top story crowned by cornice and round arched panels has some very beautiful detail work.

It’s noteworthy that The Blum’s also designed the building right across on 76th, 830 Park Avenue, which is lightyears different from 840, offers a nice contrast and illustrates the Blum’s design range.

800 Park Avenue

800 Park is an odd paradox, it is a gorgeous building with some amazingly unique brickwork, yet there is little written about it on other websites or in any of the usual architectural archives (Columbia). It was built in 1924 by The Starrett Brothers, the architects / designers were Electus Litchefield & Pliny Rogers. The building has 15 stories with one apartment per floor, the main entryway is on Park Avenue where it has a generous 120 feet of frontage, moderately thin lot of only 44 feet on 74th street. Design-wise 800 Park probably best fits in with the neo Italian renaissance style. There is a three story gracious although simple limestone base, the fourth floor and the thirteenth floor each have checkered brickwork on an otherwise unadorned façade.

A really beautiful building that is eye catching from the street, and not nearly enough information on, I’d like to keep an eye out on this one, to revisit and add to this as maybe more can be discovered.

778 Park Avenue

778 Park Avenue is the twin sitting side by side across 73rd street from 770 Park, both on the west side of the street, mimicking each other and their design, both buildings were designed by Rosario Candela. 778 was completed in 1931, at a height of 18 stories, with 18 apartments.

778 is another Georgian style building, although has a much richer façade than its earlier twin to the south. The base is a four story limestone pedestal with a linear first floor of larger “blocks”, the third through the fourth floors are smoother, three ornately flourished pediments, regularly spaced swags and medallion decorations. From the fifth floor up the remainder of the building is clad in red brick. Once again, as with 770, at the twelfth floor the façade falls back in to a series of setbacks culminating in a central tower.

If those who chose to call a place home means anything to its quality, notable residents of 778 Park were Brooke Astor (Mrs. Astor had a 14 room duplex on the 15th and 16th floor) and more recently Vera Wang, before she moved to her father’s apartment at 740 Park, William F. Buckley Jr, Mark and Renee Rockefeller and Zygmunt and Audrey Wilf.

640 Park Avenue

640 Park Avenue is an Neo Italian Renaissance style co-op in the Lenox Hill neighborhood of Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Truly a spectacular building and a prime example of the style of times. Built in 1914 and designed by JER Carpenter for the developer S. Fullerton Weaver. Completely clad in limestone, the building has beautiful detailing and from the photos it’s obviously been very well maintained over the years, hardly a surprise considering that an apartment in the building will set any would be owner back at least $20 million. Perhaps what makes this building so “special” is that it only has 13 floors and 12 apartments that are all full floor sized, the epitome of UES exclusivity. While typically in buildings of this sort residents like their privacy, one of notoriety in particular who sold his apartment was Dick Fuld, of ex-Lehman Brothers.

680 Park Avenue

680 Park Avenue is the current and long standing home of the America’s Society / Council of The America’s: Its mission is to foster an understanding of the contemporary political, social, and economic issues confronting Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada, and to increase public awareness and appreciation of the diverse cultural heritage of the Americas and the importance of the inter-American relationship.

The building was the home of financier Percy Rivington Pyne, built in 1909 by McKim, Mead & White in the neo-federal style. Neo-Federal is something of a “made up” architectural style, simply recognizing the resurgence of the Federal Style in the early 1900’s, regardless, a well executed example.

The west side of the block from 68th to 69th Street is a beautifully maintained stretch of classic Park Avenue mansions that offers, however fleeting, a rare glimpse into how the avenue looked almost a century ago.