Great Architects of New York: Henry J. Hardenbergh
354 East 66th Street
Location
East 66th Street & First Avenue, SW corner
Neighborhood
Upper East Side
Built
May 25, 1901, to Dec. 31, 1902
Use
Apartments and stores
Landmark Status
Not landmarked.

With its prominent quoins and lintels, handsome dark brick facade, and its location in a wealthy part of town, today we would call this building an elegant apartment house. But more than a century ago, when it was built for $75,000, it was considered a "tenement," and was probably used to house domestic servants who worked in the many nearby upscale single-family rowhouses. This was built by William C. Schermerhorn, who also built the Schermerhorn Building downtown. He, along with F. Augustus Schermerhorn and Ellen Schermerhorn Auchmuty, commissioned Hardenbergh in the 1880s and 1890s to design 78 rowhouses and 10 other "tenements" nearby on E. 67th, 68th and 69th Streets between First and Third Avenues. It was a time of income-integrated neighborhoods, when rich and poor dwelled side by side in different building types. Of these 89 Schermerhorn-built buildings in the East 60s, this is the only one that survives. The rest have been demolished to make way for large apartment buildings.

I discovered this building with the help of the Office for Metropolitan History's incredibly helpful digitized building permit database. Thanks to Christopher Gray, Suzanne Braley et al. for putting that together.



354 East 66th Street (a/k/a 1217-1219 First Avenue).


The entranceway to 354 East 66th Street. Even housing for the lower and middle classes had fine detailing at the turn of the 20th century.


A detail of the cornice, roof railing and some of those quoins.