Emery Roth (1871 - August 20, 1948) was a prominent American architect who designed many hotels and apartment buildings of New York City during 1920s and 1930s, with Beaux-Arts and Art Deco styles incorporated into his designs. His family enterprise has been continued by his sons Julian and Richard under the name Emery Roth & Sons since 1947.
Emery Roth was born to a Hungarian Jewish family in Gálszécs, Austria-Hungary (now Slovakia). He emigrated to the United States at the age of 13 due to the poverty of his family caused by his father's death. He began his architectural apprenticeship in the Chicago offices of Burnham & Root, where he worked as a draftsman on the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. There he met Richard Morris Hunt, who was impressed by his skills and offered him an opportunity to work at Hunt's New York office. In 1895, Roth moved to the office of Ogden Codman, Jr., following Hunt's premature death. During the interwar years, Roth's firm delivered some of the most influential examples of architecture for condominiums in New York (espcially in Manhattan) in the fashionable Beaux-Arts and Art Deco styles at that time. His sons Julian and Richard joined his firm as partners in 1938.
Emery Roth & Sons
Although Roth's sons Julian and Richard had joined his firm since 1938, it was until 1947 that the firm's name was changed into Emery Roth & Sons. Julian Roth (1901-1992) specialized in construction costs and building materials and technology, while Richard (1904-1987) was named the firm's principal architect. In the early 1960s, Richard Roth's son, Richard Roth, Jr. (b. 1933) became the third generation to join the firm, eventually rising to chief architect and shareholder. As the firm expanded and diversified over six decades, it remained a family business through the 1990s. Today, the firm is known as Emery Roth & Partners LLC and maintains its offices at 1841 Broadway, New York.
Representative Buildings by Emery Roth
Emery Roth is renowned for his Beaux-Arts and Art Deco design styles. Both styles incorporate elaborate, symmetrical, sculptural decoration with conservative modern lines, inspired by French and Italian Baroque, Rococo (“late Baroque”) and Classicist architecture. Some famous buildings designed by Emery Roth include:
"San Remo" - 145-146 Central Park West, New York City
San Remo is a legendary residential building located along Central Park West, which is the first building to be erected along its famous road with the twin tower design. Described as one of the most beautiful apartment buildings in New York City, the San Remo has attracted some of the most famous celebrities in the world as residents, including Tiger Woods, Steven Spielberg, Steve Jobs, and Bono. This trend does not seem likely to end any time soon.
"Beresford" - 211 Central Park West, New York City
Built in 1929, Beresford is a gorgeous prewar cooperative apartment building that has been home to dozens of celebrities and public figures over the years, and remains one of the most exclusive addresses in the city. The residence buildings along Central Park West altogether form the Central Park West Historic District, of which the Beresford is arguably one of the most desired buildings of this group, due to the fact that two of its four frontages overlook magnificent parks, and therefore feature stunning views in fully half of its apartments. The western frontage of the Beresford overlooks Central Park, while the southern frontage overlooks Manhattan Square, the park that holds the American Museum of Natural History and the Hayden Planetarium.
"Ritz Tower" - 465 Park Avenue, New York City
Ritz Tower was constructed in 1925 at the premier crossroads of New York’s Upper East Side, the corner of 57th Street and Park Avenue, where the exclusive shops and artistic enterprises of 57th Street met apartment buildings of ever-increasing height and luxury on Park Avenue. Designed by the inventive and prolific architect Emery Roth, Ritz Tower was intended to be the ne plus ultra of apartment living. At the time of its construction, Ritz Tower was the tallest residential building in New York, with panoramic views in all directions. Throughout its history, the Ritz Tower has been home to wealthy and well-known residents, as well as famous commercial enterprises, including William Randolph Hearst and Marion Davies, Charles of the Ritz House of Beauty, and Le Pavillon.
"Eldorado" - 300 Central Park West, New York City
Eldorado is the northernmost residence along Central Park West, occupying a full city block between West 90th and 91st Street. The building is designed in the iconic double tower design, and has been described as the most beautiful Art Deco residence in all of Manhattan. As a prewar classic, Eldorado overlooks Central Park and its famous Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, and at night, the building’s two towers are beautifully lit to resemble two glowing candles in the dark. Combining iconic architectural style, elegant ornamentation, and a long list of famous residents, the Eldorado is one of Manhattan’s most sought after addresses.
"Ardsley" - 320 Central Park West, New York City, NY
Bordering the western edge of Central Park, Ardsley is a landmark brick building from the 1930s that stands out for its Art Deco architecture inspired by a Mayan temple. With highly ornamented facades and opulent interiors, the buildings along Central Park West such as The Ardsley display a prewar optimism and flamboyance since most were developed before the Depression period. The building has attracted numerous celebrities in the past and continues to attract them today. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade also passes down Central Park West as it heads towards downtown.
Other Buildings by Emery Roth
480 Park Avenue