Posts Tagged ‘Tenements Manhattan’

A 20-story condo subsumes a Yorkville tenement

July 20, 2020

It’s hard not to cheer on a holdout building. You’ve seen these underdogs: the old, unfashionable walkups that stand their ground against modern apartment house developers, forcing the big guys to build around them or thwarting new development altogether.

But I don’t think I’ve ever seen a holdout building quite like the tenement that appears to be subsumed by its newer neighbor at 408 East 79th Street, just east of First Avenue.

The tenement, at number 412 for at least a century (at right in 1940), is a 5-story brick building with a fire escape on the facade; it’s the same small apartment building still found all over Manhattan neighborhoods.

The newer neighbor, the Arcadia, is a condo completed in 2005 and designed by Costas Kondylis. The spacious, lovely apartments in this 20-story residence sell for millions.

I wasn’t able to uncover the backstory, but it looks like the tenement stood down the Arcadia…which then swallowed the little building whole.

[Second photo: New York City Department of Records and Information Services]

Some mysterious names carved into tenements

January 7, 2013

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.

Tenementclaremount

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.

Tenementnonpareil

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!

Tenementminneola2

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?

Tenementhelencourt

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?