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10 Gracie Square

Between East End Avenue & FDR Drive

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 New York City's most prestigious addresses, 10 Gracie Square is the most desirable residential building overlooking Carl Schurz Park, whose southeast end it anchors.

The building is distinguished by a very unusual and elaborate rooftop, a through-block driveway to 83rd Street, and a very unusual façade treatment.

Designed by Van Wart & Wein and Pleasants Pennington and Albert W. Lewis for a development group headed by John Drummond Kennedy, the building has long been one of the most exclusive in the city. It was completed in 1930. Its residents have included Gloria Vanderbilt, conductor Andre Kostelanetz, critic Alexander Woollcott and publishers John Fairchild and Horace Havemeyer III.

The asymmetrical rooftop design consists of square columns that form a loggia with the chimneys. The massing is unusual and intricate and yet quite bold - a powerful pinnacle.

The vaulted driveway leads to three entrances into the building and has its own marble walkway and colonnade, sentry and iron gates.

The northeast corner of the building is clad in limestone with an asymmetrical fenestration pattern while the rest of the building is clad in red brick. The effect, as noted by Andrew Alpern in his book, "Historic Manhattan Apartment Houses," (Dover Publications Inc., 1996), is to make "look more like three adjoining buildings rather than one," an effect also accentuated by the stepped plan of the building. Ten Gracie originally had a private club below street level that opened onto a yacht mooring that was demolished for the FDR Drive. The club has subsequently been converted to a squash court.

The building originally contained 34 large duplex and "semi-duplex" suites and now has 42 cooperative apartments and some apartments on the East River frontage have bay windows and others have balconies.

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