118 West 72nd Street

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118 West 72nd Street, New York City, NY

118 West 72nd Street
118w72-nyc-ext.jpg

Angled View of 118 West 72nd Street
Building Information
Developer Edward West Browning
Architect Buchman & Fox
Management Company Pride Property Management
Number of Units 48
Number of Floors 13
Year Built 1915
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof IRMA
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118 West 72nd Street, New York City, NY
Distance to Public Transit Within one block
Region New York City
Municipality New York City
Zoning C4-6A
Title of Land Cooperative


Contents

Background

Front View of 118 West 72nd Street

Originally The Earlton, 118 West 72nd Street stands as a historic symbol of the life of its notorious developer, Edward West Browning, whose initials are entwined in the glazed terracotta façade above the second floor. Nestled between two other virtually identical 1915 buildings also designed by Browning, 118 West 72nd Street is likely one of the most attractive Gothic architectural buildings in its historic neighborhood.

At 13 stories, being tall for its time, the building was originally used as a studio and was later converted to a cooperative, now offering 48 residences, most of which are studios or one bedrooms. This building, along with its two neighboring structures, acted as precursors of the "high-rise" structures that were soon to follow in the 1920s buildings.

As a revolution in the multi-family housing concept, 118 West 72nd Street brought with it a new concept in living to the Upper West Side. At this time single family homes were the norm. With recent restorations completed to the building's delicate exterior, the structure stands as a sought-after residence that allows rentals, is pet-friendly, and offers a doorman and a common laundry room.

Situated between Columbus Avenue and Amsterdam Avenue on West 72nd Street, residents can enjoy the central Upper West Side neighborhood and are within one block to Central Park, with many restaurants and boutique, and other historic buildings nearby.[1]


Location

With nearby access to Lincoln Square and Columbus Circle, 118 West 72nd Street offers a sought-after central Upper West Side location. Just steps away from the many offerings on Broadway, the residents at this building can enjoy walking to world-class venues, including the 29 different indoor and outdoor venues offered at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

Just one block from Central Park, the building is also within walking distance to Verdi Square, Sherman Square, Tecumseh Playground, American Museum for Natural History and Hayden Planetarium. Riverside Park is also nearby along the coast of the Hudson River, where residents can find walking and jogging trails as well as dog-friendly outdoor areas.

Schools in the neighborhood include Blessed Sacrament School, Parkside School, Robert Louis Stevenson School, York Preparatory School, West End Day School, West Prep Academy, Jesse Isador Straus School. John Jay College of Criminal Justice is also located just south of the building, and is easily accessed with the subway. There are more than 30 public transit options within the vicinity of 118 West 72nd Street. The nearest subway station is located one block away at Broadway and 72nd Street.[2]

Construction

Exterior Detailing

This narrow, attractive and striking white terracotta building was developed by Edward West Browning who partnered with Buchman & Fox architects who created its Gothic design. The 13 story, 52.29 meter tall structure was completed in 1915 with an initial use as the Earlton Studios. The attractive building was converted to its current cooperative structure in 1985 and has undergone upgrades to the interior, including a new intercom system, paint and wallpaper, and a new roof.

In 1997, Rand Engineering P.C. undertook the project at 118 West 72nd Street which involved restoring the structure's delicate and worn terracotta façade as well as its intricate detailing. New York's harsh environment had taken its toll on the building's delicacy, and restoration became a must.

These exterior repairs were completed with harmony, preserving the building's distinctive historical character. The intricate designs in the north facade's terracotta exterior were restored with glass-fiber reinforced concrete.

The engineers also rebuilt the deteriorated parapet, replaced brick and re-pointed mortar joints, installed new steel framing for the vertical mullions, and refurbished the building's fire escape.

The base of the building was renovated with a conflicting, less attractive style. The building was designated a landmark by the city's preservation committee, and continues to please passers-by daily.[3]

Layout and Features

Many of the layouts featured at 118 West 72nd Street are small studios or one bedroom units which have very basic floor plans with parquet hardwood floors, beamed ceilings, and large windows. Some of the studios have separate, alcove sleeping areas, and others are open to the living and kitchen areas. Open kitchen layouts modernize the spaces and make the best use of the square footage. Many of the kitchens have been updated with stainless steel appliances.

French doors are a common feature in separating the sleeping and living areas. Portable dishwashers and granite counter tops are featured in some of the kitchens, while ceiling fans and hardwood floors are found throughout.

The building features modern amenities such as a private training gym and common laundry facility in the basement. Pied-a-terre and rentals are permitted in the building, as well as guarantors and parents buying for children. The building is also pet-friendly.[4]

Floor Plans

There are 13 floor plans available for 118 West 72nd Street. Here is a brief overview.


Amenities

Basic amenities offered at 118 West 72nd Street include:

  • Doorman
  • Elevator
  • Live-in Super
  • Intercom
  • Health Club

Bylaws

118 West 72nd Street Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No



  • Pets are allowed
  • Rentals and pied-a-terre are allowed
  • There are no age restrictions

Sustainability

The architecture in the neighborhood of 118 West 72nd Street is extremely valuable to the history of the Upper West Side as a whole, and is not something to be dismissed. Many Gothic facades and limestone buildings with Art Deco architecture and neoclassical constructions fill the area. Although most of Manhattan supports tearing down old building and rebuilding new ones in their place, this particular area works to retain the distinct, historical structures.

This can be seen as a sustainable act in itself: preservation.

The scope of the preservation work completed at 118 West 72nd Street included replacing the rusted structural steel, repairing the fragile façade, and replacing the roof for the building's overall longevity and prominent existence as an Upper West Side gem.

"Years ago when a building was built, they didn't employ flashing materials to properly protect the structural steel members, which is one of the reasons you have a lot of corrosion," said Kevin O'Brien on the exterior masonry restoration work.

Many of the apartment-like interiors are simple and basic with their original parquet hardwood floors. Some have been updated with more energy-efficient appliances and lighting. And of course the location provides an ideal place for residents seeking to maintain an eco-friendly lifestyle.[5]

Trivia

Auction Brochure of 118 West 72nd Street

After researching Edward West "Daddy" Browning, it becomes immediately obvious where his slightly scandalous reputation comes from. Inspiring one of the most sensational "scandals" of the Roaring Twenties was his controversial marriage to the American Actress, Peaches Browning.

On June 23, 1926 on Peaches' sixteenth birthday, a short time after she had met the 51 year old Edward Browning, the two were wed. After claiming allegations of odd behavior by Browning, including his keeping of a honking African goose in their bedroom, later that same year, Peaches was granted a divorce, but not without the exposure by many tabloids.

On June 17, 1929, Browning held an auctioning event at the old Madison Square Garden, which offered a seating capacity of 18,496, in which he auctioned off his New York City portfolio. Prize fights and circuses were included in the event which put up for sale all 25 properties of Browning's, which ranged from lofts on lower Broadway to Harlem tenements. Browning passed away in 1934, at which time his will was valued at $7 million, almost all of which was in New York real estate.[6]

References

  1. Street Easy
  2. Walk Score
  3. Emporis
  4. Corcoran
  5. RAND PC
  6. New York Wanderer


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