The open floor plan has dominated new constructions over the last several decades, first popularized in the 1950s by Frank Lloyd Wright with his Usonian designs. But as architectural trends wax and wane, the pendulum is swinging back to the classics, and more and more architects are looking to the early 20th century works of Rosario Candela for an “updated” living typology. Candela’s buildings have become a sought-after counterpoint to the glass and steel developments rising across the city, admired for their architectural detail inside and out, and loved for their gracious layouts which emphasize the separation of public and private spaces. Ahead we look at Candela’s most famed residences (many of which have been redeveloped) as well as several new developments that draw upon the icon’s sensibilities.
West End Avenue is one of Manhattan’s longest stretches of harmonious architecture. The nearly 50-block-long, better-looking half of Eleventh Avenue is the Upper West Side‘s answer to Park Avenue, without the median and with the community. The Avenue’s rows of stately prewar buildings are raised to a mostly uniform height of 12 to 15 stories and appear as if some Haussmann-like visionary conceived their elegance and scale. Behind dignified masonry facades are wood-paneled lobbies and sprawling apartments that are stacked in classic sixes and sevens with staff quarters.
Near the Avenue’s starting point at Straus Park, at the northwest corner of 105th Street, 915 West End Avenue rises humbly without much fuss. The red-brick building, built in 1922, was designed by beloved architect Rosario Candela and is undergoing a conversion that would transform 43 of its 91 rental apartments into condominium residences, according to an offering plan submitted to the attorney general.
Believe it or not, there are still some cases where your money goes farther in Brooklyn. Take this four-bedroom classic seven at 47 Plaza Street West in north Park Slope, a sprawling elegant pre-war co-op in the 1928 Rosario Candela-designed building sometimes referred to as “Brooklyn’s Flatiron” due to it’s pizza-slice form–which gives the home’s interior a unique, er, angle.
The 2,350-square-foot apartment has been recently renovated, making it comparable to the size of a modest suburban house. It’s one of those co-ops where just looking at the floor plan makes you long for a time when tiny apartments weren’t a thing (Yes, there’s a separate servants’ entrance as is often the case in these co-ops). And while the ask of $2.59 million might seem like a lot, a comparable Manhattan residence might easily be twice that much, if not more.
A charming maisonette apartment at 1 Sutton Place South just popped up on the market, asking $9.995 million. This 4,700-square-foot pad was formerly the home of Marietta Tree, a 1940s and ‘50s socialite, U.S Representative to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, and companion to powerful men like John Huston and Adlai Stevenson. The home underwent a complete renovation in 2004 by designer Albert Hadley and architect Basil Walter. The end result channels a lavish Georgian townhouse in London.
New York City may have an ever-revolving cast of hottest restaurants, hippest clubs, and even most desirable neighborhoods, but some real estate titans never go out of style in this metropolis. Known as the “Tower of Power,” 740 Park Avenue is one such mainstay.
The Upper East Side 19-story, Art Deco building was completed in 1930 to the designs of Rosario Candela, often considered the finest architect of luxury apartment interiors, as the last of the grand dames erected along Manhattan’s Gold Coast. It didn’t reach its peak until the real estate boom of the 1980s, but is today one of the most sought-after addresses with 31 apartments, mostly all duplexes, triplexes, and penthouses. The massively scaled residences feature grand living rooms, formal dining rooms, spiral staircases, high ceilings, expansive foyers, and an abundance of windows.
Whoever coined the term “the lap of luxury” was clearly thinking of The Mayfair’s apartment #2BC at 610 Park Avenue. This opulent residence, with a $20 million price tag, is so lavish you feel elegant just looking at it. The gorgeous marble entrance gallery is a perfect first impression, setting the tone for the rest of the apartment.
The Mayfair was originally the Mayfair Regent Hotel, built back in 1925 by Rosario Candela’s famous partner J.E.R. Carpenter. The building was converted to 15 floors of beautiful condos in 1997.
Simpsons star Hank Azaria just bought a piece of Gold Coast property overlooking Central Park. After selling his Soho apartment last year, Azaria has found a new love, in the form of a $9.2 million apartment in a pre-war, Neo-Renaissance building designed by architect Rosario Candela at 75 Central Park West.
If it’s at all possible to have Central Park over for lunch, this 3BD/4.5 BA apartment makes it practically customary with oversized windows that make views of the picturesque landmark accessible from the kitchen – along with several other rooms. The stunning space also features large rooms with hardwood floors, beamed ceilings and gorgeous decorative moldings.