256 West 88th Street

256 West 88th Street


Date: 1884

NB Number: NB 1283-1884

Type:  Rowhouse

Architect:  Whipple, Nelson M.

Developer/Owner/Builder: Thomas Butler

Row Configuration: ABCDC

NYC Landmarks Designation:  Historic District

Landmark Designation Report: Riverside Drive- West End Historic District

National Register Designation: N/A

Primary Style:  Renaissance Revival

Primary Facade:   Brownstone

Stories: 3 and basement

Basement Type: Raised

Stoop Type: Unknown

Roof Type/Material: Peaked

Structure: These five brownstone-fronted rowhouses are each three stories above raised basements and eighteen feet wide. They have regularly aligned windows and combine both rock-faced and smooth ashlar in their facades. There are four house types in the row which are arranged in an ABCDC pattern. Although Nos. 264 and 266, which were originally part of the row have been demolished, all of the houses were probably designed to have a unified appearance, with three houses with flat roofs and continuous cornices flanked by two houses at each end with slate-tiled peaked roofs (as can be seen at Nos. 254 and 256) and projecting bays capped by gables. All of these houses have been altered, but all originally had stoops leading to parlor-story entrances, decorative wrought-iron grilles at the basement story, and one-over-one double-hung wood-framed sash windows.  The type “B” house (No. 256) has a three-bay smooth ashlar bow front above the parlor story, capped by, an ornamental pressed-metal gable and a peaked roof.

Historic District: Riverside Drive- West End HD

Alterations: : The stoop was removed, probably in 1911, when the basement and parlor stories were extended four feet toward the street in a commercial alteration. The windows of the second and third stories may be original. Through-the-wall air conditioner sleeves have been cut below the center windows of the second and third stories. 1911: Alt 414-1911 [Source: Alteration Application] The front wall at the basement and first story was removed and a four foot extension added for a basement store and a first-story office. Architect — C. Jackson Owner — Charles Rhein (?)

These houses are the survivors of a seven-house row which originally extended from No. 254 to No. 266. The earliest in the district, this row was designed by Nelson M. Whipple and built in 1884 for Thomas Butler. The 1898-1909 Bromley Insurance map denotes the footprint of this row, and shows three flush-facade houses flanked on both sides by two houses with projecting bays, all with brownstone fronts. Nos. 264 and 266 were demolished for the erection of The Chautauqua apartment building in 1911. Selected Reference: New York City Department of Taxes Photograph Collection, Municipal Archives and Record Collection, G 2032.]

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