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910 Fifth Avenue: Review and Ratings

between East 72nd Street & East 73rd Street View Full Building Profile

Carter Horsley
Review of 910 Fifth Avenue by Carter Horsley

The 16-story, white-brick, apartment building at 910 Fifth Avenue on the northeast corner at 72nd Street overlooking Central Park was originally erected as a 12-story apartment building in 1920 by the Fred F. French Company and designed in Italian-Renaissance-palazzo-style that was quite similar to that used by J. E. R. Carpenter for the building directly across 72nd Street, 907 Fifth Avenue. 

This building, in fact, was a bit more attractive because it was not as bulky and had more decorative elements its façade and a very attractive, large, enclosed driveway and curved walkway on 72nd Street. 

The French Company was one of the city s most famous developers and would become known best for its skyscraper office building on Fifth Avenue at 45th Street and Tudor City. 

In 1959, the Pador Realty Corporation stripped away the building's limestone façade and virtually everything but its steel skeleton, increasing the number of apartments to 49, that eventually expanded to 52. 

The rebuilt structure had 16 floors instead of the original 12 and a large, attractive and rather glossy lobby has replaced the driveway. 

Sylvan Bien and Robert L. Bien were the architects of the rebuilding. 

The building was converted to a co-operative in 1978.

Bottom Line

No better indication of changing architectural fashions in New York City exists than this bland, 16-story, white-brick apartment building that was rebuilt from a very handsome and ornate, pre-war 12-story apartment building at this very prominent and convenient gateway entrance to Central Park. 

Description

The building has a broad canopied entrance on 72nd Street with extensive sidewalk landscaping. 

It has a one-story limestone base and several setbacks at the top of the building. 

There are a couple of inset balconies on the third and 10th floors on the avenue façade. 

The building has discrete air-conditioners and inconsistent fenestration.

Amenities

The building has a doorman, storage, a laundry and does not permit dogs.

Apartments

Apartment 8CD is a five-bedroom unit with a 13-foot-wide entrance foyer that opens onto a 45-foot-long great room with a wet bar that leads to a 31-foot long living room and a 23-foot-long gallery that leads to an 18-foot-long dining room next to a 18-foot-long kitchen and a 8-foot-long staff room. 

Apartment 5D is a three-bedroom unit has a 22-foot-long entrance gallery that opens onto a 32-foot-long living room, a 17-foot-long library, and a 19-foot-long enclosed dining room across from a 20-foot-long kitchen and breakfast room and a 9-foot-long maid’s room. 

Apartment 6A is a two-bedroom unit that has an 18-foot-long entrance foyer that opens onto a 30-foot-long living room and a 15-foot-long enclosed dining room next to the kitchen. 

Apartment 4D is a three-bedroom unit that has a foyer that opens into a 22-foot-long curved dining room across from a 17-foot-long kitchen with a 12-foot-long breakfast room.  The apartment also has a 26-foot-long living room and a 16-foot-long library. 

Apartment 4C is a two-bedroom unit with an entrance foyer that leads to a 29-foot-long living room and a 7-foot-long kitchen.

History

"Its present appearance is unworthy of pictorial documentation," noted Andrew Alpern in his book, "New York's Fabulous Luxury Apartments With Original Floor Plans from the Dakota, River House, Olympic Tower and Other Great Buildings" (Dover Publications, Inc., 1987). Aside from its description, the book also boasts an illustration of the original building. 

In his December 31, 2000 article in The New York Times, Christopher Gray noted that “the white brick apartment house of the 1960s seems to be at the nadir of fashion,” adding, however, that the architect of 910 Fifth Avenue, Robert L. Bien “who entered the architectural profession at the knee of his father, Sylvan, designer of the Hotel Carlyle,” believed that “there’s nothing wrong with white-glazed-brick buildings.” 

He admitted, the article continued, “that the building was “one of the plainest buildings we did – there’s no detail, nothing special about i,t” as the developer pressured him to reduce costs, but he added that its “broad windows…give much better views and let in more light than those of the pre-war structures, like 907 fifth Avenue, across the street.” 

The building is close to fashionable Madison Avenue boutiques and Italian restaurants.

Rating

21
Out of 44

Architecture Rating: 21 / 44

+
30
Out of 36

Location Rating: 30 / 36

+
12
Out of 39

Features Rating: 12 / 39

+
9
=
72

CityRealty Rating Reference

 
Architecture
  • 30+ remarkable
  • 20-29 distinguished
  • 11-19 average
  • < 11 below average
 
Location
  • 27+ remarkable
  • 18-26 distinguished
  • 9-17 average
  • < 9 below average
 
Features
  • 22+ remarkable
  • 16-21 distinguished
  • 9-15 average
  • < 9 below average
 
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