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390 Riverside Drive: Review and Ratings

between West 111th Street & West 112th Street View Full Building Profile

Carter Horsley
Review of 390 Riverside Drive by Carter Horsley

This handsome, 15-story, co-operative apartment building at 390 Riverside Drive on the northeast corner at 111th Street was erected in 1924 and has 108 apartments. 

This building, which is also known as 613-629 West 111th Street, was designed by Gaetano Ajello, who apparently also designed its twin at 395 Riverside Drive on the southeast corner at 112th Street, a building whose façade is not as light-colored and which has had some of its stone painted gray.

Both buildings were developed by Joseph Golding but changed hands often subsequently.

Bottom Line

A very attractive pre-war co-operative with a slightly curved frontage on Riverside Drive that has good public transportation and is close to Columbia University and has an entrance beneath a light court on 111th Street.


Several buildings on Riverside Drive have very gentle façade curves overlooking Riverside Drive, Riverside Park and the Hudson River.

This is one of them. 

Each building has its own entrance and elaborate surround flanked by  globular light sconces under the lightwells in the center of their side-street frontages and there is a larger lightwell at the rear of their buildings facing the mid-block.

The buildings have handsome masonry rustication at their corners and an attractive light stone half-story at the base and the first story is nicely framed by a broad stone bandcourse as is the top floor.

There are bandcourses also above the fourth and fifth floors and windows on the façade are nicely outlined in white frames.  The massiveness of the façades is further modulated by center balconies on the 6th and 7th floors.


It has a full-time doorman, a live-in superintendent, a roof deck, a gym, bicycle room, and storage.

No dogs are allowed.


Apartment 9E is a three-bedroom unit with a 6-foot-long entry foyer next to a 14-foot-long windowed kitchen and a 24-foot-long dining room that leads to a 20-foot-long living room.

Apartment 2E is a one-bedroom unit that has a 6-foot-long entry foyer that leads past a 14-foot-long windowed kitchen with a washer/dryer to a 14-foot-wide dining area that opens onto a 35-foot-long living room.

Apartment 15E is a one-bedroom unit with a 14-foot-long living area next to an enclosed windowed 16-foot-long kitchen with a dining area.

Apartment 10E is a two-bedroom unit with a 14-foot-wide entry foyer that opens onto a 14-foot-long windowed kitchen that opens onto a 14-foot-wide dining room that opens onto a 20-foot-long living room.

Apartment 15C is a one-bedroom unit with an 8-foot-long entry foyer next to an enclosed and windowed, 15-foot-long kitchen that opens onto a 20-foot-long living/dining room.


The June 11, 2006 “Streetscapes” column by Christopher Gray in The New York Times was about the building’s architect, Gaetan Ajello, and was entitled “Remembering an Architect Who Shaped the West Side” who “carved his name in cornerstones all over the West Side, where he built dozens of distinctive apartment buildings.’

He was born in Palermo in 1883 and came to the United States in 1902 and “his first major commissions, in 1909 and 1910, were four buildings for Bernard Crystal, a developer, all in the early Italian Renaissance style, and all north of 116th Street: 452 Riverside Drive (the Mira Mar); 25 Claremont Avenue (the Peter Minuit); and 29-35 Claremont Avenue (Eton Hall and the adjoining Rugby Hall).”

“Featuring richly worked white and cream marble, terra cotta and glazed brick, these early works shimmer like marble quarries in the Mediterranean stun, quite different from the red and earth tones typical of the time,” according to Mr. Gray, who noted that in 1912, Ajello “connected with two influential clients, the Paterno and Campagna families….Several commissions for the Paternos are particularly memorable: in 1911 and 1912 he built the Luxor, the Regnor and the Rexor on three corner so the west side of Broadway, at 115th and 116th Streets, and from 1912 to 1917, he built 885, 895 and 905 West End Avenue, at the corners of 103rd and 104th Streets.”

Mr. Gray also noted that he gave Rosario Candela, who would become the leading architect of luxury apartment buildings in Manhattan, especially on the Upper East Side, his first job.


Out of 44

Architecture Rating: 20 / 44

Out of 36

Location Rating: 33 / 36

Out of 39

Features Rating: 14 / 39


CityRealty Rating Reference

  • 30+ remarkable
  • 20-29 distinguished
  • 11-19 average
  • < 11 below average
  • 27+ remarkable
  • 18-26 distinguished
  • 9-17 average
  • < 9 below average
  • 22+ remarkable
  • 16-21 distinguished
  • 9-15 average
  • < 9 below average
  • #5 Rated co-op - Morningside Heights
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Key Details
1289 Lexington Avenue
at The Northeast corner of East 86th Street
Carnegie Hill
Refined Residences that Redefine life on Lexington Avenue.
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