“Limestone-clad building built in the Italian palazzo-style was designed by the noted luxury apartment architect J.E.R Carpenter in 1922 and he actually lived at 920 Fifth until his death, as did Gloria Swanson. The building has 14 floors and 26 apartments.”
820 Fifth 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.
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.
Built in 1927 by York & Sawyer for the developers the Starrett Brothers 660 Park Avenue is a beautifully executed 12 story building designed in the Neo Italian Renaissance style fully clad in limestone. The façade, compared to many of its contemporaries, is relatively unadorned, although gracious and refined in its simplicity, it can best be described in favored term of upper east side wealth as, discreet.
660 Park, also has the distinction of sharing the dual address of the seemingly sinister, if you are of that sort, number 666. In many cases of these classic style buildings the second address was often a side entrance, or separate apartment. In this case 666 Park is so much more than that. A New York Times article from 1981 wrote: “SURELY the greatest maisonette ever constructed in New York is the 21-room triplex at 666 Park Avenue… To call it a maisonette at all is rather like calling a Bugatti a runabout – this is not the small insertion on the ground floor of an apartment building that most maisonettes are, those little and charming places that coyly pretend to be both apartments and townhouses. No mistakes can be made about this place. It is not little, it is not coy, and it is not, in the conventional sense, charming”. Mrs. William Vanderbilt is often said to be the first resident of 666, but city records show that the first permits for the apartments renovation were issued to Seton Porter, an industrialist and engineer. Further reading on the home is a must for anyone with more than a simple passing curiosity.