Architecture Images-Upper East Side
19 East 72nd Street
|Rosario Candela and Mott B. Schmidt|
|clad entirely in limestone,great undulating limestone base. Entrance is highlighted by bas-relief sculptures of animals by C. Paul Jennewein|
on the site....
Robert A. M. Stern, Gregory Gilmartin and Thomas Mellins , "New York 1930, Architecture and Urbanism Between The Two World Wars," Rizzoli, 1987:
"Candela's last luxury apartment, designed in collaboration with Mott
B. Schmidt, was 19 East Seventy-second Street of 1936, replacing McKim,
Mead & White’s fabled Tiffany mansion, which had stood at the northwest
corner of Seventy-second Street and Madison Avenue since 1882 and which
was torn down without much notice by the public."
"The 100-by-140-foot site was large enough," the authors continued, "to
permit the new building to wrap around a small garden court, directly
visible form the lobby through a broad expanse of glass. Many features,
such as the metal balcony rails, reflected the designer's response to
Modernist work, yet the massing of the sixteen-story limestone-clad
building was traditional, with two projecting end 'pavilions'
bracketing the broad central motif along Seventy-second Street. While
there was no cornice, and the fenestration along the upper floors was
freely arranged, the first three stories of the building, probably
based on Josef Hoffmann's Austrian Pavilion at the 1925 Paris
Exposition des Arts Décoratifs, alternated continuous bands of cyma
moldings to form a base that was at once unconventional and
fundamentally within the Classicist tradition. Above the entrance, C.
Paul Jennewein carved a marble relief panel populated with storks,
deer, and other delights of nature and the imagination."
May, 1998 Quest magazine Andrew Kay
that the animal and nature motif of Jennewein is evident in several
places in the building: carved into the handsome wood doors are a snail
and lizard; the elevator walls are covered with panels of animals
etched in relief; in the garden stands a bronze sculpture of a fawn
that serves as the building's mascot." The article noted that residents
in the building included architect Richard Meier, magazine editor Lewis
Lapham and Joseph Cullman, chairman emeritus of Philip Morris. The
building has several duplex apartments.
The Charles L. Tiffany mansion that it replaced "looked like it might
have been Stanford White's homage to his mentor, H. H. Richardson,"
wrote Hawes, adding that "It was a huge brick fortress on a heavy,
parapetlike stone base, with a steeply pitched gable for a roof and a
wide semicircular arch and grille for a front door."
"While the massive masonry and the authority of expression were
reminiscent of Richardson, the design was in fact part White, part
Louis Comfort Tiffany. Tiffany, an artist whom White admired and with
whom he had already collaborated on interior decoration, had been
delegated by his father to oversee the project, and he had sketched he
shape of the building and the design for his own quarters under the
roof. The Tiffany house was divided into three apartments…The
six-story, fifty-seven room mansion on 72nd Street excited constant
comment in New York. Given Louis Tiffany's reputation as America's
leading decorator and the ever-growing interest in the field, his own
apartment was of particular note. Inside, it was a grand and theatrical
place of resident, with long perspectives on central park and the
sleepy East side….He installed a portion of a two-thousand-year-old
Indian palace in one room and decorated the mantelpiece of another with
his collection of Japanese sword guards and Pompeian glass. In his
studio, located at the top of a palatial staircase, Tiffany indulged
his decorative genius further, setting his glasses high in the walls,
where they were lit by outside light; suspending lamps of many shades
of red, rose, cream, and yellow from the twenty-foot-high ceiling;
carving four immense fireplaces from a central chimney, painting
black….With the appearance of the new Tiffany house, the idea of
sharing houses made a tiny inroad into high society," Hawes observed.
Elizabeth Hawes in her book, "New York,
New York, How The Apartment House Transformed The Life Of The City (1869-1930)", published by Henry Holt in 1993.
"He had a respect for privacy and an eye for significant detail. He was
a complete thinker. He added duplicate water connections to street
mains and multiple switches for ceiling lights as well as beautifully
turned staircases and separate wine cellars. More significantly, he
designed buildings from the inside out. He placed windows where they
received light, balanced a room, or allowed a graceful arrangement of
furniture…. Candela also invested unusual energy in the entry hall. In
a typical apartment, he made it a full-sized room with rich views into
the interior because he thought it was important to greet a visitor
with a full sense of a home…. Candela liked puzzles. During the
Depression, he took up cryptography, and during World War II, he broke
the Japanese code," Hawes wrote.
Born in Sicily, Candela came to the United States in 1909 and graduated
from the Columbia school of architecture in 1915. His other famous
buildings include 834 and 960 Fifth Avenue, 720, 740, 770, 775 and 778