The Jeanne d’Arc “French Flats”

It’s a strange sight: On the mostly nondescript commercial corner of 14th Street and 7th Avenue is a striking red-brick apartment building—complete with a statue of Jeanne d’Arc above the front entrance.

jeannedarcapts Called the Jeanne d’Arc, the building is a remnant of the brief time in the 1880s when West 14th Street was a wealthy residential area.

It’s also one of the city’s first “French Flats,” a fancy name for a middle- to upper-class multiple-family dwelling. In other words, it’s the standard apartment house we know and love that’s all over New York City today.

jeanndarcstatueapt Completed in 1889, the Jeanne d’Arc was designed to attract upwardly mobile families who could afford a building with design touches such as a pressed-metal cornice, carved figures and griffins, and a statue of Jeanne herself.

There she is with her sword and shield, ready to fight for 14th Street. The letters at one time must have spelled out her name, but now it just looks like “lear.”

For more Jeanne d’Arc in New York, check out the Jeanne d’Arc Home “for friendless French girls.”


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3 Responses to “The Jeanne d’Arc “French Flats””

  1. Jill Says:

    Oh I wish we could see what an apartment inside looks like, or know how big they are. Apartment envy.

  2. Mysterious building names on Ninth Avenue « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] But at 744 Ninth Avenue, off 50th Street, the tenement is named “9th. Ave. Flat.” It seems to be a pretty fanciful moniker for a typical red-brick tenement building; “French flats” at the time were usually higher-end apartments for middle-class New Yorkers.  […]

  3. Bits of Medieval France in the Joan of Arc statue | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] of Arc’s name lends itself to numerous city buildings—like these “French Flats” on 14th Street and this women’s hotel in Chelsea, formerly known as a home for “friendless French […]

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