Fierce tigers and eagles on a 58th Street co-op

Midtown East is the land of elegant 1920s-era apartment houses: handsome buildings of 10, 11, maybe 12 stories that usually feature understated brick and limestone facades.

But 339 East 58th Street has something else going on: fierce creatures in cast stone above Medieval columns and decorative Romanesque arches.

Adorning this co-op, built in either 1920 or 1929 depending on the source (I’m betting on 1929), are two eagle figures standing ramrod straight like soldiers high above the canopied entrance.

Between these avian sentries are two tiger heads emerging from the brickwork just beneath the second floor windows.

I couldn’t find much information about the building and the backstory of the figures as well as the columns and arches surrounding the entrance.

Perhaps there’s no more significance than an architect tasked with creating yet another standard New York City apartment building while dreaming of Medieval Europe’s soaring cathedrals and castles and taking inspiration from illuminated manuscript pages.

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7 Responses to “Fierce tigers and eagles on a 58th Street co-op”

  1. Tom B Says:

    Is that a black market Commando 8 air conditioner above the Tiger’s head?

  2. Kiwiwriter Says:

    Those guys are both very well-designed and incredibly scary.

    They look a bit like my gym teachers! LOLOLOLOL

  3. Bob Says:

    Per NYC Department of Building records, this building was built in 1929 under application NB [new building] # 410 of 1929.

    Developer on the permit was the B. A. L. Construction Corp.; Bernard Feterson, pres (o) 1860 Bway

    Architect was George C. Miller (a) 1482 Bway

    Scan of original sales brochure with typical floorplan here: https://dlc.library.columbia.edu/nyre/cul:pnvx0k6fzj

    • Bob Says:

      35 W 92nd St has very similar columns and arches and brickwork at its 2nd floor. That building was also designed by Miller and built in 1929-1930. (A couple of garage buildings at 405 E 60 St and 355 E 76 St from that same year and architect have the same arch motif above the first floor.) It lacks the eagles and tigers, so maybe those were the contribution of the developer.

      • ephemeralnewyork Says:

        Thanks Bob! I love the style of the arches and brickwork, and I’m sure the other buildings you mention are lovely. But the eagles and tigers make the facade just so much more stunning.

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