136 Fifth Avenue

Referred to in the Landmark Preservation Commission’s designation report for the Ladies’ Mile Historic District as a “taxpayer,” 136 Fifth Avenue is all that remains after a 1960 fire destroyed a previously modified brownstone townhouse.

At the time that the Ladies’ Mile Historic District was designated, the still extant one-story building sported an aluminum façade and was home to an Andrews Coffee House, one of 15 such shops founded by Palestinian immigrant Andrew Zamel in 1963.  The chain has gone the way of many similar although a last survivor exists in Midtown.

Currently a smart boutique called White House, Black Market, 136 Fifth Avenue is now framed in white stone and sports a simple dentil-molding cornice: the result is surprisingly attractive.

In the words of architectural artist and historian Harry Devlin, “It shows what good grooming can do.”

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