Upper West Side, Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States

The 104 Riverside Drive House, originally designed by well-known architect and developer Clarence F. True, was built on speculation in 1898- 99 as one house of a picturesque group of six houses on the southeast corner of Riverside Drive and West 83rd Street. Today the 104 Riverside Drive House is architecturally significant and as one of the five extant houses in this group represents the first period of development on Riverside Drive. True designed several hundred houses, primarily in groups, on the Upper West Side in the years between 1890 and 1901, and was largely responsible for promoting the development and establishing the character of lower Riverside Drive. The houses in the group at Riverside and West 83rd Street were designed in True’s signature “Elizabethan Revival” style based on French and English Renaissance prototypes and built by True’s development firm, the Riverside Building Company; they are the northernmost of True’s designs built along the Drive. The design of the L-shaped 104 Riverside Drive House is characterized by such picturesque elements as contrasting light orange Roman ironspot brick and limestone facing, round-arched and rectangular windows, keyed surrounds, decorative stonework, quoins, a prominent chimney, and a side courtyard. This house was originally designed with a projecting bowfront and a low stoop, but these features (along with those of the adjacent houses) became the focus of an interesting legal controversy several years after construction. As the result of a lawsuit brought by an adjacent property owner, the court ruled in 1903 that no one had the authority to place permanent encroachments onto public thoroughfares, and the owners of the houses in the True group facing onto Riverside Drive were thus ordered to remove the proj ections. In 1911 the main facades were removed and rebuilt to follow the diagonal of the Riverside Drive property lines. No. 104 (ow

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s