It might be if you favor classic 19th century New York residences: cornices, wide stoops, decorative ironwork.
But if you’re a fan of Modernist architecture, you’d probably consider the house in the center of this photo, at 211 East 48th Street, to be strikingly beautiful.
The 1934 home was designed by William Lescaze, a Swiss-born architect who brought Modernist style to the East Coast. It was in the vanguard during its time; perhaps that’s why Berenice Abbott photographed it in 1938.
“The way the second-floor bay curves beside the “stoop” is distinctly reminiscent of the of the sleek curve of the base of the pioneering Philadelphia Saving Fund Society skyscraper, completed two years earlier, that Lescaze codesigned with George Howe,” states The Architectural Guidebook to New York City.
“House designs have been blown up to skyscraper proportions, but the Lescaze house may be the first time a skyscraper design was ever scaled down to fit a house.”
Recently up for rent ($6,400 a month!), the house’s interior can be seen in this listing.
It’s hardly the only untraditional-looking residence on a brownstone block in New York. The “bubble brownstone” on East 71st Street is in a class by itself.
Tags: 1930s architecture, beautiful brownstones, Berenice Abbott New York, Modernist architecture New York City, Turtle Bay brownstones, ugly brownstones, unusual houses New York City, William Lescaze