Alwyn Court - 180 West 58th Street, New York, NY

1909, Harde and Short

Terracotta by the Atlantic Terra Cotta Companystyle: Historicist Skyscraper (New York Architecture Images website)

Its façade is considered the most ornate in the entire city… Gathering inspiration from the style of Francois I, a 16th Century French Renaissance mode of design that re-interpreted traditional French-Gothic forms using new Italian renaissance ornament…” - Mary K. Fons  Anomalous


“From Rags to Riches and Back Again”

One of our favorite buildings in New York city is Alwyn Court, located on the corner of 58th Street and 7th Avenue (one block south of Central Park) has one of the most ornate exteriors in the entire city.  Whether you consider it to be majestic or gaudy, it is one of the most interesting pieces of New York architectural history that the city has to offer, often being described as “from rags to riches and back again.”

Built between 1907 and 1909, the 12-story building is an example of the beginning of the wave of wealthy people migrating from the large Manhattan mansions to apartment buildings.  Marketed as “city homes for those with country houses”, the building’s apartments were created to be full homes within an apartment setting.

However, with the onset of the Great Depression and the threat of a world war, by 1937 address was out of fad and the building was entirely vacant. After several renovations (one that was somewhat disastrous) the building has been restored to its original cachet and is a luxurious home for well-paid artists and socialites. (read more)

Photography by James Maher