24 Fifth Avenue

Breaking with the red brick architecture that dominates these blocks, 24 Fifth Avenue is an elaborate confection of Spanish Renaissance-inspired terra cotta.

Architect Emery Roth’s great Central Park West buildings include the twin and triple-towered fantasies of the San Remo and the Beresford: in comparison to those structures, 24 Fifth is almost subdued.  In comparison to its neighbors, however, it’s an eye-catching work in warm golden brick with a lavish entrance canopy and scroll-carrying angels (shown above) hovering above the avenue.  The lobby and interior halls have a vibrantly colored palette that suggests Mexico more than Spain.

The building stands on the site of the Brevoort Mansion of 1834, a Greek Revival house designed by a major American architect, A.J. Davis, who did much to popularize the style. The house was praised by the Landmarks Preservation Commission for its “appearance of solid respectability” – ironic in light of the fact of its being the scene of a notorious elopement during the city’s first masquerade ball.

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