Osborne Apartments

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The Osborne
General information
Type Housing cooperative
Architectural style Italian-Renaissance
Address 205 West 57th Street
Town or city New York, NY
Country United States
Construction started 1883
Completed 1885
Renovated 1906
Technical details
Structural system Skyscraper
Floor count 11 (front)
15 (rear)
Design and construction

James Edward Ware

Osborne Apartments
Osborne Apartments in 2008
Osborne Apartments is located in New York City
Osborne Apartments
Location 205 West 57th Street,
New York, New York
Coordinates 40°45′57″N 73°58′48″W / 40.76583°N 73.98000°W / 40.76583; -73.98000Coordinates: 40°45′57″N 73°58′48″W / 40.76583°N 73.98000°W / 40.76583; -73.98000
Built 1883
Architectural style Renaissance, Romanesque
NRHP Reference # 93000333[1]
NYCL # 224
Significant dates
Added to NRHP April 22, 1993
Designated NYCL August 13, 1991
Main contractor Thomas Osborne

The Osborne Apartments are located at 205 West 57th Street in New York City. The Osborne began construction in 1883 and was completed in 1885 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 22, 1993.

The building stands behind its dour and reticent rusticated brownstone cladding,[2][3] on the northwest corner of 57th Street and Seventh Avenue,catercorner from Carnegie Hall. The Osborne, far less prominent for the city's visitors than The Dakota, was designed and built by James Edward Ware in 1883–85 and expanded with an annex to the west in 1906, designed by Alfred S. G. Taylor and Julien Clarence Levi. The stone contractor Thomas Osborne, whose ruinous speculative investment it was, gave the building his name.[4] A visual connection to Osborne House, Queen Victoria's summer residence in the Isle of Wight is also made.

Three modillioned cornices divide the height into three broad horizontal bandings, with a two-story attic added for servants' quarters in 1891 that is capped with a top cornice. The original building is constructed of masonry bearing walls ranging from 4 1/2 feet thick at its base to 18 inches at the top floor. The 1906 Annex is constructed of steel-framing behind brick and brownstone curtain walls.

Its range of street-level shopfronts is broken at the center of the main, 57th Street front by its entrance. The unusually richly decorated lobby, in American Renaissance taste, has stuccoed and mosaic-tiled walls, floors that mix tile mosaics and slabs of varicolored Italian marble. Complementary marble was used for the wainscoting and carved marble recesses with benches. Mosaics and glazed terracotta "Della Robbia" panels cover the walls and ceilings in rich hues of red, blue and gold leaf.[5] with contributions by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the great sculptor of the American Renaissance, the muralist John La Farge, glass by Tiffany Studios and French designer Jacob Adolphus Holzer.[6]


The Osborne was uniquely designed with 11 stories on the south-facing 57th Street front, containing the parade rooms of the apartments—foyers, parlors, dining rooms, with 14-foot ceilings—and 14 stories on the back, where bedrooms and private baths were either up or down a flight of seven steps, and the ceilings were just over 8 feet high. In 1891, the 11th-floor attic, which occupied the southern section of the building only, was extended to the north edge of the building to provide additional servants quarters, making it now 15 stories in the rear. About half of the spacious Gilded Age apartments, originally just four to a floor, in a variety of spatial configurations with separate servant quarters, have been subdivided since World War I. Floors are of parquet with banded edgings, fireplaces richly carved with tiled surrounds. Insulated walls thirty inches thick insulate apartments from neighbors' noise.

The Osborne Apartments building was designated an official city landmark in 1991.

Notable residents[edit]

Other residents noted in Faith Stewart-Gordon's memoir[13] include pianist André Watts; Gary and Naomi Graffman; writer Hortense Calisher; Curtis Harnack; Leo Lerman; Shirley Booth; Lynn Redgrave and her husband John Clark; Blanche Thebom; Tom Poston; and Sylvia Miles.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ Dolkart, Andrew S. "The Architecture and Development of New York City". Loosely modeled on an Italian-Renaissance palace 
  3. ^ Gray, Christopher (February 6, 1994). "Streetscapes/The Osborne; Restoring a Stone Dealer's Idiosyncratic Building". New York Times. this huge clunky mass neatly defeats stylistic description, and it is really the vernacular of the practical building, quite innocent of esthetic pretension 
  4. ^ The most extensive description of the Osborne is Andrew Alpern's essay in Luxury Apartment Houses of Manhattan, An Illustrated History, (Dover Publications, New York), 1992.
  5. ^ [Barbara Whitaker, "Habitats/The Osborne, 205 West 57th Street", The New York Times], October 12, 1997.
  6. ^ City Realty: The Osborne
  7. ^ a b c d Taylor, Candace (May 11, 2009). "Bobby Short and Leonard Bernstein Home on the Market". The Real Deal. Retrieved August 19, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Jessica Chastain Buys Leonard Bernstein's Former Co-op". Curbed. March 11, 2015. 
  9. ^ Johnson, Richard (July 25, 2014). "Leggy model suing photographer Peter Beard and wife". new York Post. Retrieved August 19, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Knicks president Phil Jackson drops $4.85M on Midtown pad". New York Daily News. August 15, 2014. 
  11. ^ Alleman, Richard, and Richard Alleman. New York: the Movie Lover's Guide : the Ultimate Insider Tour of Movie New York. New York: Broadway, 2005. Print.
  12. ^ Woollard, Deidre (April 28, 2009). "Charles Osgood at the Osborne, Estate of the Day". Luxist.com. Archived from the original on April 30, 2009. 
  13. ^ Stewart-Gordon, The Russian Tea Room: A Love Story

External links[edit]