|West End Avenue- Riverside Drive Hudson River (photo ©Mitchell Hall)|
With the exception of some neighborhood oriented institutional buildings (including schools and religious structures), the proposed historic district is almost exclusively residential. The new district consists of approximately 344 residential and institutional buildings built primarily between the mid- 1890s and the early 1930s.
These buildings represent the various phases of development that transformed the once rural area between West 89th Street and West 108th Street west of Broadway into a dense urban enclave of speculatively built single-family dwellings and grand high-rise apartment buildings. In its broad array of residential building types the Riverside West End Historic District Extension II represents the development of the Upper West Side of Manhattan since the 1890s.
Designed by some of the city’s most prominent architects and executed in the dominant styles of their eras, these buildings form a distinct section of the city that complements the previously designated Riverside-West End and Riverside-West 105th Street Historic Districts. Throughout the extension, there are picturesque ensembles in the Renaissance Revival, Romanesque Revival, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival and Beaux-Arts styles in brownstone and/or brick with decorations in terra-cotta or copper.
|312 West 101st Street|
At the same time, some of the same architects were hired by developers to design multiple dwellings known as flats. Early buildings were compatible in scale and materials with the neighboring houses but with the advent of the smaller, more practical electric elevator, larger buildings of six to nine stories covering multiple lots were constructed throughout the Riverside-West End Extension II.
In the 20th century multiple factors contributed to the changing character of the Extension, particularly the rising cost of constructing and maintaining single family homes and the completion of the IRT subway in 1904.
The subway made the area accessible to the city’s growing population, and single-family houses and small flats less than 30 years old were demolished and replaced with apartment buildings of 12 to 15 stories on West End Avenue, Riverside Drive, and the large cross streets such as West 96th and West 106th Streets. This rapid transformation was rare in the development of the city.
|945 West End Avenue|
Rules established by the Tenement House Act in 1901 determined the form, massing, and maximum height of new residential buildings until 1929. These regulations contributed to the remarkably consistent height of apartment buildings—particularly along West End Avenue. The first of these were the c.1905 Stanley Court Apartments at 945 West End Avenue.
This designation brings total number of designated buildings between 70th and 108th St. and west of Broadway to 1255.
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