An illustrated tour of the elegant entrances to New York City’s most celebrated apartment houses
This handsome, oversized book introduces us to the grandest entrances of New York City’s residential buildings. These posh portals come in an array of forms and styles, such as the porte cochere, with a passage to admit carriages or motor cars; the classic awning, originally meant to be retracted in good weather; and Neoclassical, Romanesque, and Gothic revivals.
Architectural historian Andrew Alpern highlights approximately 140 entrances, from the nineteenth century to the present, including those of the Dakota, the first true luxury apartment house in New York; San Remo, one of Central Park West’s most impressive apartment houses; and the Ansonia, at one time the largest hotel in the world. Each entrance is accompanied by a description of its signal features and the history of the building that surrounds it. All are represented in splendid color photographs, and many by charming watercolor drawings.
These ornate entrances offer a glimpse into New York’s past, as well as its future—for today, once again, entryways have begun to feature heavily in the marketing of residential buildings. Posh Portals will be an inspiration for architects and a delight for city dwellers.
About the Author
Andrew Alpern Andrew Alpern is an architectural historian, architect, and attorney who is an expert on historic apartment houses in New York. He has ten prior books, six of which tell the stories of some of New York’s architectural assets and the people behind them. Alpern has also published scores of articles about historical architecture and particular buildings. He donated to the Columbia University Libraries his 50-year archive of the work of writer/artist Edward Gorey, and his 50-year collection of 300 years of architectural drawing instruments, which have been made obsolete by computer drafting. He has been a resident of Manhattan since 1938.
“Architectural historian Alpern (The Dakota) provides a detailed look at ornate entrances to some of New York City’s most impressive and historic residential buildings in this lavish book. . . [A] stylish, sophisticated look at the homes of New York City’s upper crust.” —Publishers Weekly