Medieval men on a 1920s Park Avenue building

If you’re an admirer of New York’s many elegant prewar apartment houses, then you probably know Alex and Leo Bing, the two brothers responsible for these stately buildings with Art Deco touches.

The Bing & Bing pedigree is always mentioned in real estate ads. But the brothers themselves—progressive-minded lawyers who also devoted themselves philanthropy and to affordable public housing—have largely been forgotten.

There is one whimsical tribute to these two brothers who had so much influence on the cityscape, however; it’s on the facade of a residence they built at 1000 Park Avenue.

Architect Emery Roth reportedly based the two Medieval figures flanking the entrance to this luxury coop after the Bing Brothers, who hired Roth to design the spacious, airy apartments in so many of their buildings.

Maybe the Bings appreciated the arts like the Medici family of the Renaissance? Inside joke? I don’t think Roth ever explained, but he decorated the third-floor of the facade with lots of fanciful Medieval figures.

[Second photo: Douglas Elliman Real Estate]

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7 Responses to “Medieval men on a 1920s Park Avenue building”

  1. Medieval men on a 1920s Park Avenue building ⋆ New York city blog Says:

    […] Source link […]

  2. Zoé Says:

    Wow. One of them seems to be holding a sword but it’s difficult to see what the figure farthest from the viewer is holding. (A purse for money? That would be a statement or joke).

    It’s interesting to see that not everyone was influenced by machine age modern design then. (Perhaps this is the very early 20s & too early for that in the States?). This seems to still have been influenced by art noveau/arts & crafts (William Morris) etc. – as they were very enamoured of Medieval period design.

    I love the smaller faces also. These posts of yours always remind me of my older brother’s advice to “look up”. He said that’s where the really interesting architecture is in the City. Above our heads. He was right. “Look up” everyone – but watch the traffic…

  3. nopassportparis Says:

    Great post!!!! P. G. Wodehouse lived in the penthouse apartment of this building in the 1950s before moving to Long Island.

  4. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    I wish I could have gotten a photo from another angle but the building next door was under construction and this is as far as the doorman let me shoot from. I do think the figure on the right is holding a purse…the Bings certainly made plenty of money.

  5. David H Lippman Says:

    Are these guys going to appear in “Game of Thrones?”

  6. The most dazzling luxury apartment ads of 1935 | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] the river,” proclaims this ad for Southgate, a “fashionable colony” of five Bing & Bing buildings on East 51st and East 52nd Street designed by Emery […]

  7. All the terra cotta beauty of an early uptown apartment building | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] artistic trimmings? It might simply come from the imagination of the architect. The building was designed by Emery Roth, the man behind so many distinguished New York apartment buildings of the 1920s and 1930s, such as […]

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