251 West 81st Street

aka 2261-2271 Broadway

251 West 81st Street


Date: 1899-1900

NB Number: NB 116-1899

Type:  Flats

Architect:  Pelham, George F.

Developer/Owner/Builder: Alexander Walker

NYC Landmarks Designation:  Historic District

Landmark Designation Report: Riverside-West End Historic District Ext. I

National Register Designation: N/A

Primary Style:  Renaissance Revival

Primary Facade:   Buff Roman Brick, Ironspot Roman Brick, and Limestone

Stories: 7

Structure: Decorative Metal Work: Possibly historic fire-escapes; Significant Architectural Features: Entrance portico with granite columns and pilasters and elaborately carved frieze with building name; rounded corner bay at Broadway with carved corbels, gargoyles, plaques and spandrels; keyed surrounds at second story; flared lintels with scrolled keystones; brick pilasters at fourth through sixth stories supporting a brick and stone entablature topped by urn finials; stone spandrels and window trim; seventh story rusticated; metal cornice with brackets and dentils.

Site Features: Possibly historic metal fence; diamond plate staircases with pipe railings; metal grille in sidewalk; non-historic metal gate on West 81st Street; concrete ramp at service alley

South Facade: Designed (historic) Stoop: Possibly historic Porch(es): Original Door(s): Replaced primary door; basement doors replaced Windows: Replaced (upper stories); replaced (basement) Security Grilles: Not historic (upper stories); not historic (basement) Storefront(s): Altered Sidewalk Material(s): Concrete Curb Material(s): Stone on Broadway; concrete with metal nosing at corner and West 81st Areaway Wall/Fence Materials: Possibly historic metal fence and gates Areaway Paving Material: Concrete

East Facade: Designed (historic) Facade Notes: Similar to south facade with additional carved plaques, two with pediments; all storefronts replaced; fire escape

West Facade: Not designed (historic) (partially visible) Facade Notes: Red brick; cast-stone basement; stone lintels and sills; fire escapes; full height metal vent; windows and door at basement; metal flue extends between the roofs of 251 and 265 West 81st Street


Historic District: Riverside Drive-West End HD Extension I

Alterations: Stoop replaced or resurfaced, non-historic handrails; door and transom replaced, intercom in sidelight; windows replaced; signage; lights with conduits; vents; non-historic railing at roof; remote utility meter; basement store with door and roll-down gate.  Original balustrade parapet removed and original fire escapes replaced prior to the late 1930’s. The building was constructed as a tenement for 20 families and six stores, by 1935 the floor plans were rearranged and the number of apartments roughly doubled. The storefronts have been altered over time.

History: Emilio de Gogorza, a baritone, lived in the building with his first wife and her family in 1900. He went on to a brilliant operatic and recording career during the early 20th century, followed by a 14 year teaching career at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. His marriage ended in divorce and he married the soprano, Emma Eames.  References: “Emilio de Gogorza, Taught Opera Stars,” NYT, May 11, 1949, 29; Department of Buildings, NB 116-1899; ALT 2093-1935; U. S. Census records, 1900.

Browse Building Database

Share This