39 East 51st Street

(3) Robert & Mary McCurdy Residence 39 East 51st Street 
York & Sawyer, 1902-03 
Built FAR:3.63 proposed 14.4

39 East 51st Street House
York & Sawyer, 1902-03

39 East 51st Street, a handsome design by the prominent New York City architectural firm of York & Sawyer, is the only extant town house on East 51st Street between Madison and Park Avenues, a reminder of the fact that at the turn of the twentieth century this area of Midtown Manhattan was part of the city’s most prestigious residential neighborhood. The house was apparently one of three commissioned by Jennie S. Parker. There is no evidence that Parker ever lived here, and by 1909 this was the home of banker and stockbroker Robert H. McCurdy and his wife Mary, as well as their eight servants (six from Ireland, a French ladies’ maid, and a Swedish laundress). York & Sawyer designed a well-proportioned and boldly detailed Renaissance-inspired town house with a rusticated limestone basement and first story with brick above, recessed entry framed by Doric pilasters, piano nobile windows with balustrades and segmental-arch pediments, and a mansard roof. Although best known for their bank buildings, York & Sawyer also designed many residential structures, of which the McCurdy’s house is one of the few to survive.

References:

United States Census, 1910.

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