By Jennifer Perez

Have you ever imagined a neighborhood or building designed for a particular artistic community? This became a reality in the early 1900s with the development of West 67th street. West 67th Street Artists’ Colony Historic District is a small architecturally significant enclave on the Upper West Side. On this block between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue is Hotel Des Artistes, Central Park Studios, Atelier building, Swiss House, Colonial Studios, The Musician’s Building and so on. This block consists primarily of buildings constructed for artists and those who wished to live in an artistic environment. Six of the buildings (Nos. 1, 15, 27, 35, 39, and 50) were planned and financed by artists. Seven to eight buildings have facades detailed with subtle Gothic forms such as pointed arches, crenelated parapets, and multi-paned windows. The one building on this block that interested me the most was the Musician’s Building.

Two 8-story high buildings connected by a central entrance

Located at 50 West 67th Street, the Musician’s Building was designed in 1917 by Shape and Bready. The Musician’s Building has a very unique characteristic: the apartments are soundproof! This allows musicians to practice and work on their pieces without disturbing the neighbors around them. The idea of creating a building with soundproof apartments just for musicians is amazing, not only does it help the musicians practice without worrying about making too much noise, they are comforted being surrounded by people that share the same interests.

Elizabethan manor house look alike made out of brick terra-cotta

The exterior of the building is brick terra-cotta that has a look of an Elizabethan manor house expanded to apartment house scale, being two 8-story high buildings that are connected by a central entrance. The building’s interior contains apartments with 10-foot ceilings, windowed eat-in kitchens, fire storages, and private storages. This building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places (the official list of the nation’s historic places worthy of preservation) in 1985, which recognized its special character. “The home should be the treasure chest of living,” Le Corbusier once stated. The Musician’s Building creates a community for musicians and artists. They are around people they could relate to and share ideas with. They are basically in the treasure chest of living meaning their home, where they belong.


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