10 Gracie Square
Circa 1930 // ARCHITECT: Van Wart & Wien + Pleasants Pennington // BUILDER: T.E. Rhoades Co., Inc.
This is the grandest of the three prewar Gracie Square buildings located between 83rd and 84th Streets. It is built on a large parcel measuring 120 feet wide (facing Carl Schurz Park) by 204 feet deep (facing the East River). The street-facing facades are interesting as they follow an unusual design concept also employed at 1 Gracie Square, i.e., making the building look like multiple, smaller scale buildings. As such, there are really two discreet parts of the facade — a brick section and an all-stone clad section.
There are numerous unusual elements to this building including a private covered driveway (porte-cochere) and large balconies (quite unusual for a building built at this time) along the staggered front, facing the East River. There is a complete lack of applied ornament on the stone clad section of the building, and the fenestration pattern evokes a much more modern design ethos. My suspicion is that associate architect, Pleasants Pennington, was the force behind this modernistic push. Lack of applied ornament was an integral feature of his contemporaneous building at 1001 Park Avenue.
The interiors at 10 Gracie Square are extremely luxurious, ranging in size from 6 to 18 rooms as originally conceived. Mostly made up of duplex apartments with very gracious curving staircases, and all having East River views from at least two rooms. The rooms themselves are very large with 30-foot Living Rooms and 25-foot Formal Dining Rooms, both typically graced with wood-burning fireplaces.
Residents of 10 Gracie Square have included Gloria Vanderbilt, conductor André Kostelanetz, critic Alexander Woollcott and publishers John Fairchild and Horace Havemeyer III.
I recently discovered an interesting article about this very special building in the New York Times archives:
“Streetscapes: 10 Gracie Square; Under a Most Elegant Facade, Rust”
**The Carl Schurz Park Conservancy is the oldest community-based volunteer park association in the city of New York.
WHAT A BUYER CAN EXPECT TO PAY: A mid floor Classic 6 will cost $3.5M – 4.5M+, and a 13 room duplex will set you back $10M+