Hello and welcome back to the SWA Architecture weekly blog post. This week we take a look at a historical landmarked project located at 267 W 139th Street. This building is part of the well known St. Nicholas Historic District, consisting of four rows of houses built by David H. King Jr.
This building, which was originally constructed in 1891, looks almost exactly as it did at the time it was built. Both then and now, it has been a source of pride not only to its own residents, but to all the people living in the area. In 1933, Abram Hill, one of the collaborators on the play, "Anna Lucasta", and a founder of the American Negro Theatre, wrote a play about this historic district, called "On Striver's Row". This nickname became popular in the 1920's and 1930's and signaled the great desirability of this two block area the building is located at.
This structure is a prime example of Nineteenth Century Urban design, influence by English antecedents. The district, designed by three of the most prominent architectural firms of the day, was one of the most prestigious sections of Harlem and is still considered as such.
The original architectural firm of this specific building we are looking at was McKim, Mead and White, who are widely regarded as one of the finest architectural firms ever. They represent basically the Italian Renaissance style, which this firm was one of the first to establish in New York City, and are now commonly linked to.
So where does SWA Architecture come in? In 2014 the building had a fire and SWA Architecture was hired to be the architect and expeditor of note for the renovation of the storefont. You can see a photograph above right after the fire. We also worked with landmarks to replicate the storefront bays. We did all the installations for the storefront and are currently working with ownership to be the architects and expeditors for the apartment upstairs. You can see how it looks now in the photograph below.
That’s it this week for the SWA Architecture weekly blog post. Hope you enjoyed this history lesson and taking a peak into a very proud work of ours. Stay tuned for a possible bonus post this week and follow us on Instagram - @swa_architecture