Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Apthorp and Heckscher Buildings

Above: top of the entranceway to the Apthorp Apartments, which occupy the full city block between West End Avenue and Broadway, and 78th and 79th Streets. Beyond the barrel-vaulted tunnels with their enormous wrought-iron gates is a spacious courtyard with a fountain. The Apthorp was built 1906-1908 by Clinton & Russell on land owned by the Astors.

Below: originally the Heckscher, now the Crown Building, 730 Fifth Ave. (southwest corner 57th St.); designed by Warren & Wetmore (architects of Grand Central Terminal), completed 1921. There is something about this shade of green combined with gold that I find very pleasing: associations with money, perhaps? This was one of the earliest buildings constructed after the City's 1916 Zoning Resolution restricted the height and shape of buildings. Augustus Heckscher Sr. (1848-1941) made his fortune in mining and real-estate ventures and donated the much of it to philanthropic endeavors, including the Heckscher Museum on Long Island and the Heckscher Foundation for Children (now El Museo del Barrio). The largest playground in Central Park and the only one included in the original Greensward Plan also bears the Heckscher name.

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