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Today's Featured Building: Normandy

The influence of architect Emery Roth can be seen all over New York City in the numerous buildings that he designed personally, as well as the dozens of buildings designed by Emery Roth & Sons, the architectural firm that continued Roth’s legacy for several decades after his death. An immigrant from Hungary, Roth moved to the United States in 1884 at the age of 13 after his father’s death left his family in poverty. Roth worked as an apprentice for the architectural firm Burnham & Root, later being hired by Richard Morris Hunt in New York City.

Roth eventually founded his own architecture company, and at the turn of the century began designing residential buildings in New York. Specializing in the Art Deco and Beaux Arts styles of architecture, Roth designed some of the most iconic residential buildings still standing in New York, including the San Remo, the Beresford, the Eldorado, the Ritz Tower, the Ardsley, and the Hotel St. Moritz, now known as the Residences at the Ritz Carlton. Along the way, Roth created the famous twin tower design, begun with the San Remo on Central Park West, while the Ritz Tower enjoyed the title of tallest residential building in New York until 2001.

Roth was known for the practicality of his designs, and he has been quoted as saying that the “primary purpose of building apartment houses is to create the best possible return on the investment. A building that does not pay is poor architecture, no matter how interesting the design, costly the construction, or clever the layout.” Indeed, Roth was also known to adapt to the changing tastes of the times. In his later years, his designs began to be more influenced by the Modernist styles of the day. The Normandy, located at 140 Riverside Drive is the most acclaimed example of his later designs. It was, in fact, this building in which Roth chose to live in his later years.

After Roth’s death in 1948, his sons, Julian and Richard, continued his work through Emery Roth & Sons, designing numerous well known buildings in New York City. The firm continued operating through to the 1990s, when it closed in 1996 shortly after the retirement of Richard Roth Jr., the third generation of architect within the Roth family.[1]


One of the many trails in Riverside Park
Found along Riverside Drive occupying the entire block between West 86th and 87th Streets, the Normandy finds itself in the neighborhood of the Upper West Side, an area with the reputation for attracting residents who work in the arts and culture industries. The stretch of road called Riverside Drive was developed by architect Frederick Law Olmsted in conjunction with the planning for Riverside Park. Running parallel to the Hudson River, Riverside Drive stretches from 72nd Street to 181st Street, and there are many residential buildings along this road that are among the most highly sought after in New York City.

Residents of the Normandy find themselves on the doorstep of Riverside Park, and the many recreational facilities available within its borders, however, the famed Central Park is only a short 15 minute walk to the East. The Upper West Side is also home to the cultural institutions of Lincoln Center, the American Museum of Natural History, Beacon Theatre, Merkin Concert Hall, and the Hayden Planetarium. Finally, the educational institutions of Columbia University, the Juilliard School, and the LaGuardia School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, made famous by the film and television series, “Fame”, are also located within the Upper West Side.


Cities and Regions:

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Cities and Regions:

Region Buildings Housing Units
New York City, NY 625 103,068
Los Angeles, CA 77 10,247
Vancouver, BC 221 39,228
Chicago, IL 51 14,683

Staff Picks:

740 Park Avenue - Known as one of New York City's premiere apartments buildings, 740 Park Avenue is famous for being the childhood home of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

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.


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