Category:Buildings in New York City

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New York City, NY

Featured Building: Adlon


In 1912, the Adlon was built, another fantastic architectural gem from the Blum Brothers, resplendent with Art Nouveau shields and squares, recalling details from the Arts and Crafts era. It took its name from a famous hotel in Berlin, at the time, called Hotel Adlon.

The Adlon in 1912, with the Aljomor right behind it
Edward Blum must have worked overtime on this design while brother George handled more of the business end of things. Although both brothers were educated as architects at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, office scuttle-butt that surfaced decades later about life around the Blums, suggested that Edward was the flighty one and George, the serious one.

The Adlon's history is inextricably linked with a 13 story apartment building built simultaneously right behind the Adlon, called the Aljomor. This fancy name was a morph of the three main investors, Joseph Graf, Morris Goldstone, and Alexander Pincus, using the first letters of each man's first name.

The Adlon and the Aljomor were joined on July 6, 1919, when both buildings were purchased by developers Bing & Bing for $1.5 million, in a big real estate deal that The New York Times said, “That the realty market is on the boom was shown conclusively by the volume and importance of last week’s transactions”, writing about the combined buildings now referred to as The Adlons. The combined buildings now contained 142 apartments and ten retail stores.

The Adlon today
Shame and scandal, it seemed, were the de rigueur over the course of Adlon's life. It was home to many stars, both from stage and silent film. Conway Tearle, for instance, a star of stage and screen (both silent and talkies) was living at the Adlon with his second wife (he had four) and was under contract with Lewis J. Selznick, and earning $2000 a week. That's about $20,000 a week in "today" dollars. His first wife heard about the deal and and wanted more than the $25 a week he was paying her for alimony. She sued for $65 a week. Tearle's attourney complained that the actor's former wife was trying to ruin him (Conway) ... [1]

Look for more stories in the Trivia Section of this page.

Meanwhile, in 1989, the con-joined Adlon had fallen into to disrepair through neglect and time. It had just been converted into a cooperative and pieces of the copper and cast stone had fallen away. By 1999, the owners realized they had a gem on their hands and took it upon themselves to repair the façade replacing the missing bits and cleaning up the rest.

This 100 year old treasure has survived many construction purges in Mid-town while standing as a prominent reminder of fine architecture detail of days gone by, one that bucked the Beaux Arts trend of residential buildings of the time and displayed Arts and Crafts styling and Art Nouveau details.


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Staff Picks:

Ansonia - A former hotel with a long and storied history of famous residents, scandals, and tumultuous times, the Ansonia is known for its distinctive architecture and lavish design detailing.

City Spire - At the time of its construction, City Spire was the world's second tallest concrete building, and today is known for its record setting three floor penthouse with panoramic views of Manhattan.

Apple Bank Building - A landmark building that once housed the Central Savings Bank, the Apple Bank Building is known for its luxury, including a fitness center that is illuminated by a chandelier.

Downtown By Starck - A conversion project by famed architect Philippe Starck, this building has been dubbed the Downtown Insanity Palace due to its numerous over the top luxury amenities.

Rutherford Place - A former maternity hospital, Rutherford Place is now a condominium residence in Gramercy Park, and a classic example of the Beaux Arts architectural style.

Jade- With interior design by Jade Jagger, this building introduced Manhattan-ites to pod style living.

Centurion - A collaboration between world renowned architect I.M. Pei and his son, the Centurion lured Pei out of his semi-retirement to create this Modernist classic.

Atrium - 1896 hostel for poor men becomes modern luxury Condo over 100 years later

London Terrace Towers - "South Italian Style" full block residence with an astonishing 1663 apartments

PS90 - Everything becomes a Condo ... eventually. A public school converted to a Condo in New York

One Brooklyn Bridge Park - All the amenities of Manhattan just across the East River ... with the view of Manhattan included

303 East 33rd Street - A cutting edge "green" condominium for the modern environmentally friendly resident in New York City

Kalahari Harlem - LEED Gold Certified building that took design inspirations from several tribal groups in Africa

25 Minetta Lane - An Art-Deco, pre-war building constructed of red brick in an "H" plan design completed in the spring of 1940

Dakota - The infamous former residence of John Lennon on Central Park West.


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