097A.jpg (28544 bytes) New York Architecture Images-Upper East Side

Ruppert Towers


Davis, Brody & Associates


E90 To E92, Bet. Second And Third Aves.






Builder: DeMatteis Organization


Apartment Building




Ruppert Towers were built as an urban renewal project on the site of the old Ruppert Brewery, which closed in the 1960’s. The complex consists of three 24- to 42-story brick-clad towers set on a landscaped site, unified by a consistent design highlighted by narrow vertical windows and chamfered corners with cantilevers. The buildings’ height, irregular massing, and dynamic design create a visual landmark on the Upper East Side.


Elliot Willensky and Norval White, "The A.I.A. Guide to New York City, 
Fourth Edition," (Three Rivers Press, 2000):

"Bulky modeled form. Notches, slots, cut corners from the vocabulary 
initiated by this firm at Waterside. The density is immense and 
overwhelming. Given that millstone, the architects have handled an 
unfortuntate program in a sophisticated manner."

Robert A. M. Stern, Thomas Mellins and David Fishman, "New York 1960, 
Architecture and Urbanism Between The Second World War and the 
Bicentennial," (The Monacelli Press, 1995):

"...the three complexly massed brick-clad towers incorporated vertical 
strips of windows and dark-metal spandrels, numerous chamfered corners 
and cantilevered elements. Ruppert Towers, occupying the east 
blockfront of Third Avenue between Ninetieth and Ninety-first streets, 
contained 549 units and ranged in height from twenty-four to 
thirty-four stories; Yorkville Towers, located directly across 
Ninety-first Street, contained 710 units and ranged in height from 
thirty-two to forty-forty-two stories. Both buildings were set back 
from Third Avenue on large triangular plazas, flanked by ground-level 
commercial spaces, that formed a monumental gateway to the pedestrian 
mall that bisected the compex. Occupying the site's northeast corner, 
at Second Avenue and Ninety-first Street, was the forty-story 
Knickerbocker Plaza, which contianed 578 units - 70 percent reserved 
for senior citizens, and 20 percent set aside for low-income tenants."
  Ruppert's Brewery (which survived Prohibition by bottling and selling near-beer) was perhaps best known for the annual salary battle between Babe Ruth and Yankee owner Ruppert. Located in Yorkville, then a heavily German neighborhood, it took up four blocks (East 90th to East 94th), between Second and Third Avenues, a complex consisting of 35 fortress-like brick buildings. Ruppert's Knickerbocker label was sold long his after death to Rheingold, in 1965. The complex, which survived 98 years, was bulldozed and replaced by enormous high-rises, one called Ruppert Towers. A sad employee, on the last day of the plant's operation, poured himself a cold one and groused, "This would never have happened if the Colonel were still alive."