The Sherry-Netherland

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The Sherry Netherlands Hotel in New York City crop.jpg
General information
Architectural styleRomanesque Revival
Gothic Revival[1]
Location781 Fifth Avenue
Manhattan, New York City
Coordinates40°45′52″N 73°58′21″W / 40.764421°N 73.972625°W / 40.764421; -73.972625Coordinates: 40°45′52″N 73°58′21″W / 40.764421°N 73.972625°W / 40.764421; -73.972625
Construction started1926
OwnerAtlas Corporation
Height560.01 feet (170.69 m)[2]
Technical details
Floor count38[1]
Design and construction
ArchitectSchultze & Weaver
Buchman & Kahn[2]

The Sherry-Netherland is a 38-story[1] apartment hotel located at 781 Fifth Avenue on the corner of East 59th Street in the Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. It was designed and built by Schultze & Weaver with Buchman & Kahn.[4] The building is 560.01 feet (170.69 m) high, and was noted as the tallest apartment-hotel in New York City when it opened.

The building is located in the Upper East Side Historic District, created in 1981.[5]


The hotel's facade (2016)

The building houses 165 apartments that were converted to co-ops in 1954.[6] There are only 50 hotel rooms and suites, but in the tower above the 24th floor there are single apartments to a floor. The Neo-Romanesque/Neo-Gothic [1] roofline with gargoyles[7] disguises the water tower.[8]


The site had been occupied since the early 1890s by the Hotel New Netherland, designed by William Hume for William Waldorf Astor, a member of the prominent Astor family. The building that was to replace it would occupy the same footprint and frontage on Fifth Avenue.

Demolition began in the early winter of 1926, and construction began before the year was out, but the upper floors suffered a spectacular fire when wooden scaffolding caught alight on April 12, 1927 before the building was completed.[9] The fire burned for 12 hours[10] and flames were said to have been visible from Long Island. It ignited a debate in the press concerning the ability of the available technology to put out fires in high-rise buildings.[11]

Restored lobby (2014)

At the time of the hotel's construction, the Vanderbilt mansion, diagonally across Fifth Avenue, was being demolished. High relief carved limestone panels by Karl Bitter from the Vanderbilt's porte-cochere[12] and ornamental frieze roundels from that mansion were installed in the Sherry's classicizing groin-vaulted lobby, where massive marble-veneered pilasters with gilded Italian Renaissance capitals articulate walls paneled in small rectangles, Jacobean-fashion.[13] Because of Prohibition, the Sherry was designed with smaller public restaurant square footage than other pre-war hotels.[14]

In March 1927, construction was almost completed and the property was turned over to Louis Sherry, Inc., a subsidiary of Boomer-duPont Properties Corporation. Lucius Boomer was a noted hotel operator and was also affiliated with the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, while Louis Sherry was a noted restaurateur, famous for ice creams and other confections, and had run a hotel and restaurant, Sherry's, at 44th Street and Fifth Avenue, closing it soon after Prohibition. Sherry had died before his name became associated with the new venture.

In 1949, the hotel was sold to Floyd Odlum and Boyd Hatch's Atlas Corporation.[15]

When the New York City Landmarks Commission created the Upper East Side Historic District on May 19, 1981, the Sherry-Netherland was included within its boundaries.[1]

In 2014, the lobby ceiling was restored by Evergreene Architectural Arts. The frescoes on the ceiling were based on Raphael's frescoes in Cardinal Bibbienna's Loggetta at the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City. The style was recreated by artist Joseph Aruta in the 1920s.



  1. ^ a b c d e Staff; Pearson, Marjorie (ed.) Upper East Side Historic District Designation Report New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, pp. 907-08, 1338
  2. ^ a b c "Hotel Sherry-Netherland". Emporis. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  3. ^ Official website
  4. ^ White, Norval & Willensky, Elliot (2000). AIA Guide to New York City (4th ed.). New York: Three Rivers Press. ISBN 978-0-8129-3107-5., p.382
  5. ^ New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission; Dolkart, Andrew S.; Postal, Matthew A. (2009). Postal, Matthew A. (ed.). Guide to New York City Landmarks (4th ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-28963-1., p.154
  6. ^ Toy, Vivian S. (February 25, 2010). "Geffen Buys Fifth Avenue Co-op for $14 Million". The New York Times. Retrieved March 21, 2010.
  7. ^ Gargoyles of New York: Sherry-Netherland illustrations; Architectural drawing for the tower cupola (The Wolfsonian–Florida International University, Miami Beach,).
  8. ^ "The Sherry Netherland Hotel"
  9. ^ thequintessential (June 2, 2009). "Sherry-Netherland Hotel Fire". Iconic Photos. Retrieved April 7, 2010.
  10. ^ "Scaffold Safety - Fire Changes Wood to Metal" Masonry Construction Magazine (November 1, 2006) Accessed: September 11, 2012
  11. ^ Schultze, Leonard; Weaver, Spencer Fullerton; Lamonaca, Marianne; Mogul, Jonathan (2005). Grand Hotels of the Jazz Age: The Architecture of Schultze & Weaver. Miami Beach: Wolfsonian-Florida International University. p. 197. ISBN 1-56898-555-X.
  12. ^ Johnson, Richard (December 2011) "The Sherry-Netherland, New York City" {image and text) Flickr
  13. ^ Architectural details main lobby (The Wolfsonian–Florida International University, Miami Beach); the small lobby is often compared in style to the Vatican Library, with which it only shares cross-vaulted ceilings and marble revetments.
  14. ^ Plan and elevation of the Dining Room (The Wolfsonian–Florida International University, Miami Beach)
  15. ^ Turkel, Stanley (September 19, 2014). "The Sherry-Netherland Hotel". Hotel Mavens. Author House. pp. 113–127. ISBN 9781496933355.

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