Just Off Fifth: The Cathedral of St. Nicholas at 15 East 97th Street

One of the most flamboyant ecclesiastic structures in Manhattan, the small but elaborately massed Cathedral of St. Nicholas at 15 East 97th Street brings an unexpected echo of the Arbat to the Upper East Side.  Criticized when built as “ugly and freakish” by the architectural critic Montgomery Schuyler, it is at least as striking as… Continue reading

Just Off Fifth: 4 East 79th Street, The Nichols-Harriman Mansion

Perhaps the most opulent house on the Cook Block not actually fronting Fifth Avenue, 4 East 79th Street was originally designed by C.P.H. Gilbert in a Beaux Arts style for James E. Nichols that contrasted with the Chateauesque Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion next door.  After its purchase in 1916 by the Harriman Family, architect Herbert Lucas was… Continue reading

Just Off Fifth: The Lotus Club, 5 East 66th Street

A private club with a focus on arts & letters, the Lotus Club was founded in 1870 and has counted Mark Twain, Orson Welles, Margaret Mead and Wynton Marsalis.  The organization takes its name from the poem “The Lotus Eaters” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, who describes a land “in which it seemed always afternoon”.  Its… Continue reading

Just Off Fifth: 30 Rockefeller Plaza

30 Rockefeller Plaza, also known as 30 Rock, The GE Building and more recently the Comcast Building, is the largest building in Rockefeller Center and one of the greatest Art Deco structures in the world.  As of this writing still the 14th tallest building in New York City at 850 ft and 70 stories, it… Continue reading

Just Off Fifth: The Bancroft Building’s Demolition

Landmark Branding was disappointed to learn of the current demolition of the Bancroft Building, former home of the great photographer Alfred Steiglitz’s Camera Club and a notable design from the talented 19th and early 20th century architect R. H. Robertson. Shown here directly abutting Marble Collegiate Church to the east, this splendid structure could have… Continue reading