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194 Riverside Drive: Review and Ratings

between West 91st Street & West 92nd Street View Full Building Profile

Carter Horsley
Review of 194 Riverside Drive by Carter Horsley

One of the city's finest buildings, this small building is extraordinarily robust and distinguished.

Just about everything about this seven-story building is bold, not in the sense of being daring and innovative, but in the sense of being very strong and pronounced. Each major building element - the rounded corner, the cornice, the chamfered corners facing the Riverside Drive entrance, the large limestone quoins, the window entablatures, the bandcourses, the rusticated granite base, and the handsome wrought-iron window railings - attracts the eye, but does not upset the composition. Indeed, the composition is hard to grasp at once as the building has its entrance angled slightly and the architect, Ralph Townsend, did not try to smooth over the plan but to accent its edges. The result is a highly energetic building whose finely detailed classical elements are concatenating accents that create a disproportionately impressive scale. Many apartment houses have "exploded" traditional Italian-Renaissance-palazzo styles to the high-rise scale of New York, but most of these have simply "stretched" the body between the base and the top. Here, the scale is more traditional, but the style is an amalgam of various influences including, Edwardian and Parisian as well as Italian-Renaissance-palazzo.

Townsend's scheme, which is more akin to the mansions of Embassy Rows and Millionaires' Row, works, very well.

The architect is reported to have lived in a boat offshore while the building was being constructed and later to have lived in the building.

It was built in 1901 and converted to a cooperative in 1985. It has 41 apartments.

Carter B. Horsley


Out of 44

Architecture Rating: 25 / 44

Out of 36

Location Rating: 28 / 36

Out of 39

Features Rating: 13 / 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
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Skyline Tower
between 23rd Street & Crescent Street
Long Island City
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