260 West 72nd Street (The Wellwyn)

260 West 72nd Street


Date: 1912-13

NB Number: NB 358-1912

Type:  Apartment Building

Architect:  Rouse & Goldstone

Developer/Owner/Builder: Wellwyn Realty Co

NYC Landmarks Designation:  Historic District

Landmark Designation Report: Addendum to the West End-Collegiate Historic District Extension Designation Report

National Register Designation: N/A

Primary Style:  Renaissance Revival

Primary Facade:   Brick, Granite, Limestone, Multi-toned brick, and Multi-toned light brick

Stories: 12 and basement and penthouse

Historic District: West End-Collegiate HD Extension

Special Windows: Round-arched window openings at second and 12th stories (replaced sashes); tripartite angled windows at second and fourth bays at shaft (replaced sashes)

Decorative Metal Work: Possibly historic handrails with scroll details at service entry

Significant Architectural Features: Tripartite vertical configuration; limestone base featuring continuous, recessed window surrounds with slender, double-height columns between paired window openings; granite base trim; full-length balconette with cartouche details above base; similar window surrounds at capital feature brick arches and cartouche details; bracketed limestone balconettes at central bays at seventh and 11th stories; brick roundel details at capital; limestone door surround features molded entablature with garland details and molded transom bar at main entry; bracketed metal cornice with anthemion cresting above parapet.

Alterations: Replaced brick at easternmost edge of facade; four large rectangular openings in parapet appear to be not original and not historic (prior to c. 1980s tax photograph; westernmost openings in parapet appear to be filled-in); two basement window openings to west of main entry filled with vents, other window openings at basement filled with plywood / metal; replaced sashes (multi-paned, double-hung sashes present in c. 1939 tax photograph; see also “Special Windows”); light fixtures at main entry.

Building Notes: Three row houses were demolished for construction of this 12-story apartment house in 1912. The apartments were described in early advertisements as “accessible,” “refined,” “unique,” and “compact,” among other things. There is a possibly historic transom at the main entry. The penthouse is not visible from street level.

References: “Latest Dealings in Realty Field,” New York Times, March 10, 1912, XX1; Display Ad, New York Times, September 14, 1913, AHD15.

Site Features: Projecting enclosure at service entry towards western end of facade.

Notable History and Residents: The Wellwyn was only the second apartment house to be constructed on West 72nd Street west of Broadway, the first being the Chatsworth, one block to the west (a designated New York City Individual Landmark and also designated as part of this historic district). The Wellwyn was considered at the time to have heralded the change in character of West 72nd Street from a private residential thoroughfare to an apartment house and commercial corridor. Despite its pioneering construction, an early advertisement from 1914 boasted the apartment’s being “surrounded by private dwellings.”

References: “72nd Street Improvement,” Real Estate Record and Guide (July 29, 1916) 155; Christopher Gray, “Where Town Met Country,” New York Times, April 15, 2007, J29; Display Ad, New York Times, July 26, 1914, RD8; Michael V. Susi, Postcard History Series: Upper West Side (Arcadia Publishing: San Francisco, 2009); “West End Construction,” Real Estate Record and Guide (May 24, 1913) 1086.

North Facade: Designed (historic)
Door(s): Replaced primary door; replaced door at service entry
Windows: Replaced (upper stories); altered (basement)
Security Grilles: Possibly historic (basement)
Cornice: Original
Sidewalk Material(s): Concrete
Curb Material(s): Masonry

East Facade: Not designed (historic) (partially visible)
Alterations: Parged; replaced brick at northernmost edge of facade

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