Toll Brothers aspires to unity on Park: Architecture review

By James Gardner | October 21, 2013 12:15PM

It’s certainly easy to feel for the good people who inhabit the two buildings that flank 1110 Park Avenue. Because of the L-shaped footprint, their windows now clear the two low-lying structures that stand between them and the street, affording their residences charming and highly salable glimpses of that famous boulevard. If Toll Brothers has its way, however, all of that will change.

A 15-story building will plug the space between the two tall buildings on either side, 1100 and 1112 Park Avenue, and the view will be gone. Naturally, all sides have lawyered up, as New Yorkers are wont to do, and there are efforts to landmark the area up to 96th Street, in hopes that that might stop the new construction.

But if you do not inhabit either of those buildings, there are good reasons to support the new development. The proposed 1110 Park has no aspirations to originality. To the contrary, it seeks nothing more than to appear as though it’s been there for the past four generations. Designed by Barry Rice, it bears a general resemblance to the Touraine, which Lucien Lagrange recently completed for Toll Brothers On Lexington And 65th Street. Like that development, 1110 Park offers a pale, limestone covered facade conceived in a style that recalls Parisian architecture of a hundred years ago.

At street level, it consists of a two-story rusticated base, with rustication continuing on as quoins, or corners, up to the 10th floor. There follows for two stories a slight recession of the middle windows, culminating in a three-story setback. Balconies appear along the central bay axis on several of the floors, and the windows have rounded tops at the 12th and 15th floors. The building will comprise 11 units in all, among them a triplex and several duplexes.

The result, if built and built according to the rendering, will be a fine and decent building that enhances rather than disturbs the generally prewar feel of this part of the city. Better still, because its height will be flush with that of its neighbors, it will create a very pleasing and uniform street wall, which this stretch of Park Avenue has never known.