Hyman Isaac Feldman

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Architect

H-I-Feldman-Portrait.jpg

Hyman Isaac Feldman (1896 - 1981) was a Yale-educated architect who started his life in Poland during 1896, and ended it with his career in New York in 1981. He has always had a modest way about his work, designing hundreds, or maybe even thousands (according to his daughter) of buildings within his life-time.

He remained out of the media, and didn't leave a paper trail for one to follow after his death. His last remaining daughter, searched diligently for his history by researching his hometown library and contacting architects he had known.


Contents

Biography

600 West 218th Street Rendering
Lobby

Feldman attended Yale in the 1920s after having to postpone his studies due to World War I. Previous to that, he attended Cornell university and studied landscape architecture. In the 1950s, he supported the newly established Yale School of Architecture with scholarship funding for meritorious students. He also donated many rare books to the library.

Unlike many architects, Feldman didn't have an emotional attachment to his buildings. If one was destroyed, it didn't make a difference to him. His idea of success was not to creating ever-lasting buildings, but it was to support his wife and children.

His designs are not artistic. They simply serve the purpose they were intended to and he didn't waste time with all the bells and whistles. Even though this was criticized by architects such as Philip Birnbaum, he was still awarded contracts because he knew how to design buildings that minimized construction costs and were practical - one of his methods being rounded corners on doors and entry ways so it was easier to move furniture. His Park Lane Tower, was criticized:

“Despite its bucolic name, this rust-colored high-rise from 1965 has all the bucolic charm of a World War II artillery turret. Its only distinction is that it is the building inhabited by the Jeffersons in the 1970s sitcom of that name.” [1]

Today, his remaining buildings are known as retro, which seems to be in style. The funny thing, is that building styles work just like fashion styles. Anything that is outdated now, will come back into style eventually. At the time of designing his buildings, he was considered to be outdated and his post-war buildings were described as bland.

His most well known work is 1025 Fifth Ave. However, he has nothing to do with the current entrance it is today. His idea was to create a snaking entrance hallway so that all residence on that corner lot could say they have a Fifth Avenue address. [2]

After his death, the University of Wyoming wrote to his children asking for information or documents about Feldmans personal life so that they could archive it. This came as a surprise to the family considering Feldman had never been near Wyoming. Yale had sent a condolence letter to the family, but didn't inquire about any information.

Unfortunately, Feldman did not leave a very colorful paper trail behind. All that could be found regarding his professional career were a few undated renderings, and a few photographs.[3]

Buildings by Hyman Isaac Feldman

Hamilton, 60 East 9th Street, New York City

Hamilton was built in 1954 with concrete construction methods.


The brick facade give the buildings tons of character.


The units are one bedroom, two bedroom and studios. Many have been renovated to include hardwood floors and granite counter tops.


Parker Towne House, 3 Sheridan Square, New York City


Parker Towne House is a red brick apartment building with 159 units.


It is also known ad 3 Sheridan Square.


The units are studio to two bedrooms apartments that do not have individual balconies. Many of the units have been updated or renovated by their owners.


Lafayette, 30 East 9th Street, New York City


Lafayette used to be a popular hotel for writers and artists - which is ironic considering there is nothing creative about this building from a creative point of view.


Again, Feldman used red brick for the facade of the building but also accented the entrance door with white stone.


Compared to modern buildings, the apartment sizes are large creating bright and roomy spaces.


There are 145 units ranging from studios for four bedrooms. Some units have hardwood floors, marble, and fireplaces.


John Adams, 101 West 12th Street, New York City, NY

John Adams Kitchen


John Adams construction began in 1961 during the post-war era. During the time, buildings were not designed for flare, they were just designed for mass production and functionality.


The units are studios to three bedrooms and are available for both owners and renters. Like many buildings build during this decade, renovations and upgrades have had to been done within the past few years.


25 Minetta Lane, 25 Minetta Lane, New York City, NY

25 Minetta Lane rooftop deck


25 Minetta Lane was built in 1940, and is one of the younger buildings in its neighborhood.


The building features studio and one bedroom apartments. Each suite has a raised dining alcove, archways and sunken living rooms. The finished include hardwood flooring, crown and base moldings, and mosaic-tiled bathrooms.


Amenities include 24 hour doorman services, and a live-in building manager. There is also laundry and storage for the occupants.


15 West 12th Street, 15 West 12th Street, New York City, NY

15 West 12th Street interior


15 West 12th Street was built in 1960.


The units are mostly studios and one bedroom apartments, yet there are a few larger suites.


It must be remembered that this is an older building, and many people expect to find amenities that are frequently seen in new condominiums. There is no parking garage, or fitness center. However, there is a bike room, a door man and laundry.


Cambridge House, 175 West 13th Street, New York City

View from 7th floor terrace


Cambridge House is a 20-storey concrete structure built in 1959. In 1891 it was converted into condominiums.


There are a variety of different types of suites, the majority being one and two bedrooms.


The amenities include a bike room, a live-in superintendent, a doorman, laundry, storage and a roof deck.


50 East 8th Street, 50 East 8th Street, New York City, NY

Recessed Entrance


50 East 8th Street has 121 units over 6 levels. It was built in 1952 from the popular concrete construction methods.


The units are studios, one and two bedrooms. Facilities for the residence include basement storage, a garage, gardens and laundry.


Amenities include a live in superintendent.


References

  1. My Inwood - 600 West 218th Street: Inwoods Bakerfield Apartment
  2. - New York Sun - A Building Now To Be Remembered
  3. The City Review - H I Feildman, New York Architect
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