285 West End Avenue (Schwab House)

281 West End Avenue, 283 West End Avenue, 287 West End Avenue; 11 Riverside Drive, 12 Riverside Drive, 13 Riverside Drive, 14 Riverside Drive, 15 Riverside Drive; 301 West 73rd Street, 303 West 73rd Street, 305 West 73rd Street, 307 West 73rd Street, 309 West 73rd Street, 311 West 73rd Street, 313 West 73rd Street, 315 West 73rd Street, 317 West 73rd Street, 319 West 73rd Street; 300 West 74th Street, 302 West 74th Street, 304 West 74th Street, 306 West 74th Street, 308 West 74th Street, 310 West 74th Street, 312 West 74th Street, 314 West 74th Street, 316 West 74th Street, 318 West 74th Street, 320 West 74th Street

285 West End Avenue (Schwab House)


Date: 1949-50

NB Number: NB 118-1949

Type:  Apartment Building

Architect:  Bien, Sylvan

Developer/Owner/Builder: 11 Riverside Drive Corporation

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:  Modern

Primary Facade:   Brick

Stories: 16 and basement

Significant Architectural Features: Large triple window openings; brick balconies

Alterations: Lights with exposed conduit at first story; sidewalk canopy (“285 West End
Avenue” and “11 Riverside Drive” on front and “Schwab House” on sides); through-the-wall air
conditioners; replacement brick at center of parapet; three plaques and number (“285”) above
entrance to doctor’s office at southern end

Building Notes: Metal canopy at entrance possibly historic. Site of the New York Orphan
Asylum (1836-1901) and the Charles M. Schwab mansion (1902-1947). This 654-unit building
was one of the largest private apartment buildings in New York City at the time it was built. It
occupies 60% of the full-block site, has complex massing with wings and landscaped courtyards,
and a subterranean parking garage for 200 cars.

References: “$12,000,000 Apartments to Rise on Schwab “Castle” Riverside Site, New York
Times, April 10, 1949, 1; Robert A. M. Stern, New York 1960 (New York: The Monacelli Press,
1995), 664-65.

Site Features: Landscaped front yard with brick wall and metal railing; stairs and railing to
entrance door below grade; flagpole and non-historic concrete ramp with metal railings to south
of entrance in front yard

East Facade: Designed (historic)
Door(s): Possibly historic primary door; non-historic door at southern end
Windows: Replaced
Security Grilles: Not historic (basement)
Sidewalk Material(s): Concrete
Curb Material(s): Bluestone

North Facade: Designed (historic)
Facade Notes: Similar to West End Avenue facade; brick entrance to underground garage with
canopy (“Schwab House Garage”) and two wall-mounted air conditioners on western wall; two
through-the-wall vents at the basement of the eastern end of facade; non-historic window grilles
at basement but possibly historic window grilles at three windows at the western end and three
on western return wall at yard; replacement sash but two possibly historic triple windows at
center of first story; through-the-wall air conditioners; landscaped yard with brick wall; vents
with brick enclosures in the eastern and western parts of yard; metal gates at concrete walks on
either end of yard to basement entrances; concrete sidewalk and concrete, granite and bluestone

South Facade: Designed (historic)
Facade Notes: Similar to West End Avenue facade; granite stoop with metal tube railing; metaland-glass
entrance pavilion with enclosed walk to building; three light fixtures under entrance
roof; two security cameras on front of entrance pavilion; light fixtures and exposed conduit at
first story; replacement sash but steel windows at first story in center near entrance may be
historic; non-historic first story window grilles; non-historic door at western entrance; throughthe-wall
air conditioners; landscaped yard; painted concrete wall (AD MCMIII on wall) with
metal railing on top; vents with brick enclosures in eastern and western parts of yard; metal gate
at concrete walk on western end of yard to basement entrance; concrete sidewalk and curb

West Facade: Designed (historic)
Facade Notes: Similar to West End Avenue facade; non-historic grilles at first story; lights with
exposed conduit at first story; replacement sash; through-the-wall air conditioners; brick
balconies with metal railings at upper stories center bay; landscaped yard; concrete decks at first
story, three have awning frames; possibly historic metal fence with non-historic fence extension
at top; concrete sidewalk with granite, bluestone and concrete curb

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