This week's one lone (serious) guesser took to Facebook to correctly identify the pictured building as the first Phipps apartments on East 31st Street between Second and Third avenues. The grand-looking building was steel magnate and philanthropist Henry Phipps' attempt at stemming the tuberculosis epidemic, which largely grew out of the unhealthy conditions of tenement life at the time. The building at 325-335 31st Street attempted to maximize tenants' exposure to light and air with central courtyards, which received additional circulation from the four-story arches that connected with the front of the building. At the time of its completion in 1906, rent at the building cost $1.25 per room per week or $14 for a three-bedroom per month, a steep $4 increase over the normal tenement rent of $10 per month, says a 2003 Streetscapes article in the Times. Nowadays, the Phipps name lives on as "the oldest not-for-profit developer, owner, and manager of affordable housing" in the city, but its first model on 31st Street was demolished several decades ago.
· Millionaire's Effort to Improve Housing for the Poor [NYT]
· Hint: The Name Behind This Structure Is Still Active in NYC [Curbed]