Just Off Fifth: The Barbey Building at 15 West 38th Street

15 West 38th Street

An astonishing tour-de-force of red terra cotta, the Barbey Building at 15 West 38th Street was built in 1909 to designs by Delano & Aldrich, a firm better known for subdued Colonial Revival work.  Here they produced a startling early skyscraper design that terminates with a vast Baroque cartouche. Despite the austere clarity of much… Continue reading

564-568 Fifth Avenue, Finchley’s Castle

564-568 Fifth Avenue Finchley's Castle

A wonderful and nearly intact bit of Tudor Revival, 564-568 Fifth Avenue was designed by the author and artist Beverly S. King as “Finchley’s Castle” for the haberdasher Edwin L. Goodman.  Based on Elizabethan-period structures at King’s College, Cambridge, UK, the building was completed in 1924 and is Fifth Avenue’s only (partial) stucco & wood… Continue reading

554 Fifth Avenue & 556 Fifth Avenue

554 Fifth Avenue & 556 Fifth Avenue

One of the most bizarre architectural remnants of Gilded Age New York, 556 Fifth Avenue was constructed in 1912 to designs by New York Public Library architects Carrere & Hastings for the prestigious Knoedler Gallery, one of city’s oldest such institutions. Acquired by the Philippines government after Knoedler moved further uptown, in 1974 the façade… Continue reading

555 Fifth Avenue

555 Fifth Avenue

An intriguing building, 555 Fifth Avenue was originally designed in 1955 by Emery Roth & Sons and was a simple Mid-Century building similar to 529 Fifth Avenue.  Redesigned in 1993 by architect Der Scutt, the building was transformed, according to The New York Times, by “Caledonia gray flame-finished granite, mocha-colored semi-circular elements, sandstone aluminum panels… Continue reading

411 Fifth Avenue

411 Fifth Avenue

Having graced the avenue with the singular Louis Sullivan-meets-Barry Lyndon design at 404 Fifth Avenue, Warren & Wetmore pulled out similar stops for 411 Fifth Avenue, one of the city’s most ebullient and bizarre structures. Finished in 1915, a classic Chicago School building is frosted with lavish terra cotta cartouches, busts, floral ornament and relief… Continue reading

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