I love that even the lowliest tenements typically have names. A developer would complete his building, then carve a word or two above the entrance—such as the name of the street or a popular politician—to distinguish it from the pack.
Some names are obvious, others more mysterious, such as this one in the East Village. The Claremount is a handsome building on East 12th Street. But why Claremount?
Claremont Avenue, named for an old New York family, is a short street in Morningside Heights, but I’m not aware of any connection between the Claremonts and the East Village. Perhaps it just sounded posh.
The Nonpareil is a tenement on Edgecombe Avenue on the Harlem/Washington Heights border. It translates into “having no match” or “unrivaled.” Quite a boastful name for such a humble building!
Minneola is reportedly a Native American word for “a pleasant place.” Hence this building, in the South Village. Or is it a misspelled homage to Mineola, Long Island?
Helen Court sounds like a soft, peaceful tenement. It’s in Harlem near 125th Street. Helen was a popular name about a century ago. Who was Helen—the developer’s wife or daughter?