19 East 54 Street: Minnie Young Residence
Minnie E. Young House
19 East 54th Street
Hiss & Weekes, 1899
The austere, granite facade of 19 East 54th Street is quite a surprise when compared with the ornate Beaux-Arts designs for which the architectural firm of Hiss & Weekes is best known, most notably the Gotham Hotel. For the widowed Minnie Young, Hiss & Weekes designed a restrained Italian Renaissance inspired town house with a central entrance, pedimented piano nobile windows, and a deep cornice. The openings in the granite facade are crisply cut and virtually devoid of applied decoration. Minnie Young lived in this house with her widowed sister, Joanne B. Arents, and a significant number of servants – nine in 1900 and seven in 1910. As the neighborhood changed, the house was converted for commercial use (thus the display windows on the first floor), including, in the 1960s, the prestigious Kenneth Beauty Salon, which included Jacqueline Kennedy among its clients.
“An 1890 Granite-Front Phoenix,” New York Times, September 29, 1991, sec. 10, 1.
United States Census, 1900, 1910.