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19 of New York City's Hidden Art Deco Gems, Mapped

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Choosing a singular architectural style to define New York City is not an easy task—Manhattan alone has more than 50,000 different buildings—but the city's two most recognizable skyscrapers, the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building, happen to fall from the same architectural apple tree. Built in the early 1930s during the heyday of Art Deco, the towers raced skyward, giving New York two icons that still dominate the skyline. But Art Deco architecture wasn't reserved for just high profile buildings; it proliferated throughout all five boroughs, making New York "the best city to explore the splendor" of the style, according to the experts at the Art Deco Society of New York, a nonprofit group that maintains a database of every Art Deco building in the city. To highlight the style's wide-reaching influence on New York's built environment, the society picked 19 lesser-known Art Deco gems across the city, from a recreation center in the Bronx to apartment buildings in Brighton Beach.



· Art Deco Society of New York [official]

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1. 1 Wall St

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Ralph Walker's limestone-clad 1 Wall Street is an Art Deco beauty inside and out. The 50-story building was constructed during the same years as the Empire State and Chrysler buildings, and it was originally occupied by the Irving Trust Company. It features setbacks characteristic of Art Deco, as well as vertical designs etched along the faceted facade, but the interiors are what truly make 1 Wall Street special. The building's soaring double-height lobby on Wall Street, the bank's original reception room, is a stunning space designed by Hildreth Meiere. Known as the Red Room, it's covered with a mosaic of red, gold, and orange tiles that were made in Berlin. On the 49th floor, an observation room occupies "a gaspingly high space," as the Times says, with vaulted ceilings covered with shells from the Philippines. The interiors, however, are not protected as landmarks, so there's a chance that developer Harry Macklowe could destroy them when he converts the building to condos and rentals, but if the man has any sense at all, he won't.

2. 29 Broadway

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29 Broadway
New York, NY 10006

Not far from 1 Wall Street sits another Art Deco building finished in 1931. Built by Sloan & Robertson, known for many Art Deco structures in New York, 29 Broadway has a more understated look. A geometric pattern runs up the white marble facade alongside black bands of windows, and the lobby features sculpted marble and an aluminum leaf ceiling. From the style of the building's street number to the shape of the handrails to the cylindrical light in the entrance vestibule, Art Deco details abound.

3. 25 Central Park West

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25 Central Park W
New York, NY 10023

In the official landmarks designation for The Century at 25 Central Park West, the building is described as "a sophisticated essay in Art Deco design," which makes the structure standout from the other two-towered apartment buildings along Central Park West, most of which are Beaux-Arts. Designed by Irwin Chanin, the towers of the Century are topped by complex crowns featuring vertical fluting and cantilevered floor plates. [Photo via Wikimedia Commons/David Shankbone]

4. 386 Fort Washington Avenue

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386 Fort Washington Ave
New York, NY 10033

According to the Art Deco Society, the Deco style proliferated throughout the Great Depression because it allowed architects to create ornamentation using different colors of brick laid in patterns, rather than relying on hand-carved decoration. As such, a lot of lesser developments adopted the style; a great example of this is a six-story apartment building near 177th Street in northern Manhattan. The architects are unknown, but the facade features stripes of orange brick, which are complimented by the placement of the fire escapes.

5. 1001 Jerome Ave

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1001 Jerome Avenue
Bronx, NY 10452

Horace Ginsberg & Associates built what is believed to be the Bronx's first Art Deco apartment building in 1929 along Jerome Avenue near what is now Yankees Stadium. The Art Deco Society says the 11-story building "boldly displays some of the most supreme polychromatic terra-cotta embellishment."

6. Fish Building

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The Grand Concourse in the Bronx is lined with several Art Deco buildings, but the most striking among them is undoubtedly Horace Ginsberg & Associates's Fish Building, nicknamed such for the glittering sea life mosaic on its facade. The mosaic frames the building's entrance, which sits under a stainless steel canopy with a fluted edge. Inside, the lobby features a boldly patterned terrazzo floor, two murals by Rene and CP Graves, stained glass windows, and ornamented elevator doors.

7. 888 Grand Concourse

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888 Grand Concourse
Bronx, NY 10451

Also situated on the Grand Concourse is the Emery Roth-designed apartment building at no. 888, completed in 1937. In 2009, the Times described the building as "a particular stunner, a medley of curves, scallops and concave spaces executed in black granite, bronze, stainless steel, marble mosaic and gold stripes." But the lovely building has fallen on hard times; in 2013, the Daily News reported that its neglectful landlord let 341 housing violations rack up.

8. Bronxdale Swimming Pool

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2016 Bronxdale Avenue
Bronx, NY 10462

Now the Bronx Park Medical Pavilion, this glorious Art Deco gem originally fronted the Bronxdale Swimming Pool when it opened in 1928. The Art Deco Society says it's "more reminiscent of the pastel toned Miami Art Deco rather than the towering skyscraper style synonymous with New York City Art Deco," and it shows that horizontal lines were just as important to the style as verticality. [Photo via PropertyShark]

9. The Herman Ridder Junior High School

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1619 Boston Road
Bronx, NY 10460

One of New York's grandest Art Deco examples is the Herman Ridder Junior High School by Walter C. Martin. Completed in 1931, the building features an entrance tower reminiscent of a setback skyscraper and verticality is emphasized with structural ornamentation flanking the windows and cresting above the parapet.

10. Marine Air Terminal

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LGA Airport
Flushing, NY 11371

While JFK's landmarked TWA Terminal gets a lot of design love, LaGuardia's landmarked Marine Air Terminal is often forgotten, but the Art Deco structure is arguably the best part of the oft-derided airport. William Delano designed the round building in 1940, and according to the National Parks Service, it "remains the only active airport terminal dating from the first generation of passenger travel in the United States." A decorative mosaic of flying fish rings the top of the exterior, and inside hangs James Brooks's mural Flight. [Photo of the terminal in 1974, via Wikimedia Commons.]

11. Ridgewood Savings Bank

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107-55 Queens Boulevard
Flushing, NY 11375

The first branch of the Ridgewood Savings Bank, designated a city landmark, highlights how the Art Deco style "appropriated different classical motifs and simplifies their decorative embellishments into clean, geometric forms," according to the Art Deco Society. The building takes, for example, the Neo-Classical column and flattens it into a simplified shape. The building was designed by Halsey, McCormack and Helmer and complete in 1940.

12. Title Guarantee Company

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90-04 161st Street
Jamaica, NY 11432

In its official landmark designation, the former Suffolk Title Guarantee Building was described by the LPC as "a rare example of the skyscraper-style applied to small buildings." The building is just seven stories tall, but architects Dennison & Hirons "[echoed] the dominant shapes of the prominent Art Deco skyscrapers of the period" and "emphasized the verticality of the structure with continuous masonry piers and a variety of setbacks near the top." [Photo via PropertyShark]

13. Rego Park Jewish Center

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Built in 1948 by Frank Grad & Sons, the Rego Park Jewish Center and Synagogue is a great example of Streamline Moderne, a later type of Art Deco. The relatively plain facade features a brightly-colored kaleidoscopic mural by Hungarian-born artist A. Raymond Katz. [Photo by Peter Greenberg/Wikimedia Commons]

14. McCarren Park Pool & Play Center

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McCarren Park
Brooklyn, NY 11222

Originally built through the Works Progress Administration, McCarren Park's Pool and Play Center highlights the late Art Deco style Art Modern, with its streamlined curvilinear forms. The pool closed in the mid-80s and languished for decades, but a $50 million renovation restored and rebuilt the Aymar Embury II-designed complex, and it re-opened in 2012.

15. 711 Brightwater Court

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711 Brightwater Court
Brooklyn, NY 11235

In Brighton Beach, the apartment building at 711 Brightwater Court, just a block from the beach, is an Art Deco delight created by architect Martyn N. Weinstein in 1934. Glazed terracotta, zig-zagging brick patterns, and colorful tile work make up the facade, and the front door is surrounded by luxurious black and gold ornamentation. The Art Deco Society says "it is unbelievable that this building is not a designated landmark in New York City."

16. Brighton Beach Apartments

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1159 Brighton Beach Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11235

Architects Kavy & Kavovit also designed a lovely apartment building in Brighton Beach in 1934, but the Art Deco Society says this building's facade "is much more organic than most Deco buildings." At first glance, it looks very similar to many prewar apartment buildings throughout Brooklyn, but closer inspection reveals glazed terra-cotta accents featuring foliage and sunbursts and curvilinear ironwork leading to the front door.

17. 185 Montague Street

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185 Montague Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Museum of the City of New York

]

18. The Ambassador

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30 Daniel Low Ter
Staten Island, NY 10301

Staten Island is often denigrated as the "forgotten borough," but not when it comes to Art Deco architecture. There are a few buildings of note, including the Ambassador Apartments in St. George. As Forgotten NY points out, its design marks a departure from the rest of the neighborhood surrounding the Staten Island Ferry, which mostly dates to the 1830s. The 1932-built facade's standout characteristic is its wonderfully bright blue-and-gold terra cotta ornamentation, influenced by Aztec and Mayan motifs. As per Forgotten NY, Paul Newman and Martin Sheen lived at the Ambassador, and the latter's son—better known as the Mighty Ducks' Emilio Estevez—was born there, too.

19. Bayley Seton Hospital

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Vanderbilt Ave.
Staten Island, NY

Though it originally opened in 1831, Bayley Seton Hospital got a new main building in the 1930s. Now, though, the 30-acre hospital complex is largely abandoned—and hence deteriorating—making it a favorite of urban explorers. But the Art Deco exterior of the grand main building, which still functions as a psychiatric and social services outpatient hospital, is still worth a look. One preservationist called it one of the borough's "architectural masterpieces."

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1. 1 Wall St

New York, NY 10005

Ralph Walker's limestone-clad 1 Wall Street is an Art Deco beauty inside and out. The 50-story building was constructed during the same years as the Empire State and Chrysler buildings, and it was originally occupied by the Irving Trust Company. It features setbacks characteristic of Art Deco, as well as vertical designs etched along the faceted facade, but the interiors are what truly make 1 Wall Street special. The building's soaring double-height lobby on Wall Street, the bank's original reception room, is a stunning space designed by Hildreth Meiere. Known as the Red Room, it's covered with a mosaic of red, gold, and orange tiles that were made in Berlin. On the 49th floor, an observation room occupies "a gaspingly high space," as the Times says, with vaulted ceilings covered with shells from the Philippines. The interiors, however, are not protected as landmarks, so there's a chance that developer Harry Macklowe could destroy them when he converts the building to condos and rentals, but if the man has any sense at all, he won't.

2. 29 Broadway

29 Broadway, New York, NY 10006

Not far from 1 Wall Street sits another Art Deco building finished in 1931. Built by Sloan & Robertson, known for many Art Deco structures in New York, 29 Broadway has a more understated look. A geometric pattern runs up the white marble facade alongside black bands of windows, and the lobby features sculpted marble and an aluminum leaf ceiling. From the style of the building's street number to the shape of the handrails to the cylindrical light in the entrance vestibule, Art Deco details abound.

29 Broadway
New York, NY 10006

3. 25 Central Park West

25 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

In the official landmarks designation for The Century at 25 Central Park West, the building is described as "a sophisticated essay in Art Deco design," which makes the structure standout from the other two-towered apartment buildings along Central Park West, most of which are Beaux-Arts. Designed by Irwin Chanin, the towers of the Century are topped by complex crowns featuring vertical fluting and cantilevered floor plates. [Photo via Wikimedia Commons/David Shankbone]

25 Central Park W
New York, NY 10023

4. 386 Fort Washington Avenue

386 Fort Washington Ave, New York, NY 10033

According to the Art Deco Society, the Deco style proliferated throughout the Great Depression because it allowed architects to create ornamentation using different colors of brick laid in patterns, rather than relying on hand-carved decoration. As such, a lot of lesser developments adopted the style; a great example of this is a six-story apartment building near 177th Street in northern Manhattan. The architects are unknown, but the facade features stripes of orange brick, which are complimented by the placement of the fire escapes.

386 Fort Washington Ave
New York, NY 10033

5. 1001 Jerome Ave

1001 Jerome Avenue, Bronx, NY 10452

Horace Ginsberg & Associates built what is believed to be the Bronx's first Art Deco apartment building in 1929 along Jerome Avenue near what is now Yankees Stadium. The Art Deco Society says the 11-story building "boldly displays some of the most supreme polychromatic terra-cotta embellishment."

1001 Jerome Avenue
Bronx, NY 10452

6. Fish Building

Bronx, NY 10456

The Grand Concourse in the Bronx is lined with several Art Deco buildings, but the most striking among them is undoubtedly Horace Ginsberg & Associates's Fish Building, nicknamed such for the glittering sea life mosaic on its facade. The mosaic frames the building's entrance, which sits under a stainless steel canopy with a fluted edge. Inside, the lobby features a boldly patterned terrazzo floor, two murals by Rene and CP Graves, stained glass windows, and ornamented elevator doors.

7. 888 Grand Concourse

888 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10451

Also situated on the Grand Concourse is the Emery Roth-designed apartment building at no. 888, completed in 1937. In 2009, the Times described the building as "a particular stunner, a medley of curves, scallops and concave spaces executed in black granite, bronze, stainless steel, marble mosaic and gold stripes." But the lovely building has fallen on hard times; in 2013, the Daily News reported that its neglectful landlord let 341 housing violations rack up.

888 Grand Concourse
Bronx, NY 10451

8. Bronxdale Swimming Pool

2016 Bronxdale Avenue, Bronx, NY 10462

Now the Bronx Park Medical Pavilion, this glorious Art Deco gem originally fronted the Bronxdale Swimming Pool when it opened in 1928. The Art Deco Society says it's "more reminiscent of the pastel toned Miami Art Deco rather than the towering skyscraper style synonymous with New York City Art Deco," and it shows that horizontal lines were just as important to the style as verticality. [Photo via PropertyShark]

2016 Bronxdale Avenue
Bronx, NY 10462

9. The Herman Ridder Junior High School

1619 Boston Road, Bronx, NY 10460

One of New York's grandest Art Deco examples is the Herman Ridder Junior High School by Walter C. Martin. Completed in 1931, the building features an entrance tower reminiscent of a setback skyscraper and verticality is emphasized with structural ornamentation flanking the windows and cresting above the parapet.

1619 Boston Road
Bronx, NY 10460

10. Marine Air Terminal

LGA Airport, Flushing, NY 11371

While JFK's landmarked TWA Terminal gets a lot of design love, LaGuardia's landmarked Marine Air Terminal is often forgotten, but the Art Deco structure is arguably the best part of the oft-derided airport. William Delano designed the round building in 1940, and according to the National Parks Service, it "remains the only active airport terminal dating from the first generation of passenger travel in the United States." A decorative mosaic of flying fish rings the top of the exterior, and inside hangs James Brooks's mural Flight. [Photo of the terminal in 1974, via Wikimedia Commons.]

LGA Airport
Flushing, NY 11371

11. Ridgewood Savings Bank

107-55 Queens Boulevard, Flushing, NY 11375

The first branch of the Ridgewood Savings Bank, designated a city landmark, highlights how the Art Deco style "appropriated different classical motifs and simplifies their decorative embellishments into clean, geometric forms," according to the Art Deco Society. The building takes, for example, the Neo-Classical column and flattens it into a simplified shape. The building was designed by Halsey, McCormack and Helmer and complete in 1940.

107-55 Queens Boulevard
Flushing, NY 11375

12. Title Guarantee Company

90-04 161st Street, Jamaica, NY 11432

In its official landmark designation, the former Suffolk Title Guarantee Building was described by the LPC as "a rare example of the skyscraper-style applied to small buildings." The building is just seven stories tall, but architects Dennison & Hirons "[echoed] the dominant shapes of the prominent Art Deco skyscrapers of the period" and "emphasized the verticality of the structure with continuous masonry piers and a variety of setbacks near the top." [Photo via PropertyShark]

90-04 161st Street
Jamaica, NY 11432

13. Rego Park Jewish Center

Rego Park, NY 11374

Built in 1948 by Frank Grad & Sons, the Rego Park Jewish Center and Synagogue is a great example of Streamline Moderne, a later type of Art Deco. The relatively plain facade features a brightly-colored kaleidoscopic mural by Hungarian-born artist A. Raymond Katz. [Photo by Peter Greenberg/Wikimedia Commons]

14. McCarren Park Pool & Play Center

McCarren Park, Brooklyn, NY 11222

Originally built through the Works Progress Administration, McCarren Park's Pool and Play Center highlights the late Art Deco style Art Modern, with its streamlined curvilinear forms. The pool closed in the mid-80s and languished for decades, but a $50 million renovation restored and rebuilt the Aymar Embury II-designed complex, and it re-opened in 2012.

McCarren Park
Brooklyn, NY 11222

15. 711 Brightwater Court

711 Brightwater Court, Brooklyn, NY 11235

In Brighton Beach, the apartment building at 711 Brightwater Court, just a block from the beach, is an Art Deco delight created by architect Martyn N. Weinstein in 1934. Glazed terracotta, zig-zagging brick patterns, and colorful tile work make up the facade, and the front door is surrounded by luxurious black and gold ornamentation. The Art Deco Society says "it is unbelievable that this building is not a designated landmark in New York City."

711 Brightwater Court
Brooklyn, NY 11235

16. Brighton Beach Apartments

1159 Brighton Beach Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11235

Architects Kavy & Kavovit also designed a lovely apartment building in Brighton Beach in 1934, but the Art Deco Society says this building's facade "is much more organic than most Deco buildings." At first glance, it looks very similar to many prewar apartment buildings throughout Brooklyn, but closer inspection reveals glazed terra-cotta accents featuring foliage and sunbursts and curvilinear ironwork leading to the front door.

1159 Brighton Beach Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11235

17. 185 Montague Street

185 Montague Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Museum of the City of New York

]

185 Montague Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

18. The Ambassador

30 Daniel Low Ter, Staten Island, NY 10301

Staten Island is often denigrated as the "forgotten borough," but not when it comes to Art Deco architecture. There are a few buildings of note, including the Ambassador Apartments in St. George. As Forgotten NY points out, its design marks a departure from the rest of the neighborhood surrounding the Staten Island Ferry, which mostly dates to the 1830s. The 1932-built facade's standout characteristic is its wonderfully bright blue-and-gold terra cotta ornamentation, influenced by Aztec and Mayan motifs. As per Forgotten NY, Paul Newman and Martin Sheen lived at the Ambassador, and the latter's son—better known as the Mighty Ducks' Emilio Estevez—was born there, too.

30 Daniel Low Ter
Staten Island, NY 10301

19. Bayley Seton Hospital

Vanderbilt Ave., Staten Island, NY

Though it originally opened in 1831, Bayley Seton Hospital got a new main building in the 1930s. Now, though, the 30-acre hospital complex is largely abandoned—and hence deteriorating—making it a favorite of urban explorers. But the Art Deco exterior of the grand main building, which still functions as a psychiatric and social services outpatient hospital, is still worth a look. One preservationist called it one of the borough's "architectural masterpieces."

Vanderbilt Ave.
Staten Island, NY