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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)

Butterfield House, 37 West 12th Street

Between Fifth Avenue & Sixth Avenue

87
Carter Horsley
Review 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.
 

Butterfield House is one of the city's most distinguished post-World War II apartment houses, Situated on one of the loveliest blocks in the city and designed by William J. Conklin and James S. Rossant of the architectural firm of Mayer, Whittlesey & Glass, the through-block building has an elevation of 7 stories on 12th Street and 13 stories on 13th Street.

Bottom Line

One of the city's most distinguished post-World War II apartment houses, Butterfield House is situated on one of the loveliest blocks in the city. Designed by William J. Conklin and James S. Rossant of the architectural firm of Mayer, Whittlesey & Glass, the through-block building has an elevation of 7 stories on 12th Street and 13 stories on 13th Street.

Conklin and Rossant subsequently formed their own firm, Conklin & Rossant. The building was approvingly described as "the friendly neighborhood high-rise" by Elliot Willensky and Norval White in their book, "The A. I. A. Guide to New York City," (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1988). Indeed, the 12th Street façade is stunning with its projected, large bay windows and balconies and muted tones conveying an airy sense of graciousness whose modernity not only does not conflict with the street's handsome brownstones but enhances it with its jewelly reflections.Ideally, this façade could have been only 5 stories tall to confirm to the general brownstone height, but the difference is slight and the two extra floors have impressive views. The façade on 13th Street, which has several commercial buildings, is less dramatic and quite flat.

The handsome and deep bay windows are the most noticeable external feature of the building, but the lobby and the long passageway to the 13th Street wing are extremely lovely and elegant with a glazed courtyard in the middle. The 13th Street wing has many balconies that face south towards the garden. It is remarkable that this fine building was not more influential as it provided a very, very handsome and workable model that should be more emulated.

Just off Lower Fifth Avenue, the building's location is convenient not only to Greenwich Village, but also the Flatiron, Chelsea and Union Square districts and attractions and is well served by public transportation. The building, which is down the street from the New School for Social Research, was built as a cooperative in 1962 and has 104 apartments.

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