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1185 Park Avenue

Between East 93rd Street & East 94th Street   |    Carnegie Hill

Carter Horsley
Reviewed by Carter Horsley
Carter Horsley Carter B. Horsley, a former journalist for The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Post. Mr. Horsley is also the editorial director of CityRealty.com.
 

One of the very few grand courtyard apartment buildings left in Manhattan, 1185 Park Avenue is the only one still standing on Park Avenue. 

Designed by Schwartz & Gross, it was developed by the Bricken Construction Company in 1929. 

It has 172 cooperative apartments. 

It occupies the blockfront between 93rd and 94th Streets.

Bottom Line

Grand apartments with wood-burning fireplaces, large entrance galleries and maid’s rooms around a very handsome courtyard with six lobbies and only two apartments per elevator landing.

Description

The massiveness of this building is very nicely minimalized somewhat by the broad terracotta decorations at the north and south ends of its avenue frontage. 

The two-story limestone base of the building ties together the terracotta façade adornments at the north and south ends and is highlighted by the elaborate,
Gothic-inspired, three-story entrance surround that is divided into three arched sections. 

The center arch is a driveway into the building’s very large courtyard where that are six elevator lobbies, each of which service only two apartments a floor. 

A nice feature of the landscaped courtyard is that the separate entrances had their own canopies and that the façades facing the courtyard were nicely ornamented and finished.

Amenities

In 1995, the building converted a former "ironing" room that had become a storage room in the basement into an 800-sq. ft. gym with black granite and bird’-eye pine trim. 

There is a doorman and a live-in superintendent. 

The building allows pets. 

Apartments

The apartments are spacious and there are some duplex penthouses, one of which was once occupied by Moss Hart. 

Apartment 3F is a two-bedroom unit that has a 19-foot-long entrance gallery that leads in one direction to a 27-foot-long living room with wood-burning fireplace and a 20-foot-long library and in the other to a 21-foot-long dining room next to a 9-foot-long pantry and a 19-foot-long kitchen and a maid’s room. 

Apartment 7K is a one-bedroom unit that has a 21-foot-long entrance gallery that leads to a 28-foot-long living room with a wood-burning fireplace, a 20-foot-long library, and a 24-foot-long dining room.  The unit has a 10-foot-long pantry and a 19-foot-foot long kitchen as well as a 13-foot-long maid’s room/office. 

Apartment 1G is a three-bedroom unit with a 16-foot-square entrance foyer that leads to a 27-foot-long living room with a wood-burning fireplace next to a 23-foot-long dining room and an 14-foot-long kitchen.  The apartment also has a 17-foot-long library, two 11-foot-long offices and two maids’ rooms. 

Apartment 14E is a two-bedroom unit with a 14-foot-long entrance gallery that leads to a 27-foot-long living room with a wood-burning fireplace on one side and a 24-foot-long dining room on the other off a 20-foot-long kitchen and a maid’s room.  

Apartment 2G is a three-bedroom unit with a 28-foot-long entrance gallery that leads in one direction to a 27-foot-long living room with a wood-burning fireplace and in the other to a 19-foot-long dining room off a 16-foot-long pantry and a 19-foot-long windowed kitchen.  The unit has two 14-foot-long staff rooms. 

Apartment 14D is a three-bedroom unit that has a 27-foot-long entrance gallery that leads to a 27-foot-long living room with a wood-burning fireplace and a 24-foot-long dining room next to a 20-foot-long pantry and a 23-foot-long kitchen.  The three-bedroom unit also has a 19-foot-long library and two maids’ rooms. 

Apartment 9H is a three-bedroom unit with a 12-foot-long entry foyer that leads to a 24-foot-long gallery that leads to a 27-foot-long living room with a wood-burning fireplace.  The apartment also has a 22-foot-long dining room, a 17-foot-long pantry and a 19-foot-long kitchen as well as two staff rooms.

Apartment 16FPH is a four-bedroom duplex with a 24-foot-long entrance gallery with staircase on the lower level that leads to a 31-foot -living room with a wood-burning fireplace and a 23-foot-long dining room next to a 27-foot-long kitchen with a breakfast room, a laundry and a maid's room.  The upper level has fourbedrooms and a 27-foot-long solarium and a 18-foot-wide west terrace next to one of the bedrooms, an 86-foot-long south terrace and a 26-foot-long east terrace next to the master bedroom.

Penthouse 16G is a five-bedroom duplex with a 34-foot-long entrance gallery that leads to a 17-foot-long library, a 20-foot-long living room with fireplace and a 23-foot-long dining room next to a eat-in 19-foot-long kitchen and 17-foot-long breakfast room on the lower level and a 18-foot-long great room on the upper level with a 2,600-square-foot, wrap-around terrace.

History

In December, 1937, the building was bought at auction by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company for $2,500,000 as a result of an action brought by the insurance concern against the Bricken Construction Corporation to recover a total of $5,740,600 due on the property. 

The apartment building was built on a site formerly occupied by the home of George Ehret, the brewer.  According to the July 17, 2005 Streetscapes column in The New York Times by Christopher Gray, Mr. Ehret built his house in 1879, adding that “in 1866, he established the Hell Gate brewery, which was soon on 92nd Street from Second to Third Avenue.”  His house was designed by William Field and in 1883 The Real Estate Record & Guide published what Mr. Gray described as “a wrathful critique” that noted that the detail “is everywhere coarse and bad” and that the consoles under the pediments and lintels were “peculiarly nefarious compositions” and that the cornice and balustrade were “a vulgar performance.”  “Generally,” Mr. Gray observed, “the critic’s indignation was aroused over ‘the superabundance of things,’ the overloading of the mansion with what he considered meretricious ornament.” 

In early 2013, apartment CDE on the 8th floor was marketed for $14,495,000.  It had 9 bedrooms, a large gallery, a living room, a dining room, 10 baths, music room, family/breakfast room as well as chef’s kitchen, gym, playroom, staff office and laundry and three wood-burning fireplaces.

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