Today, luxury buildings like 432 Park Avenue are changing the New York City skyline. But nearly a century ago, luxury had another look, and one of the most famous architects to create it was an Italian immigrant named Rosario Candela.
Candela’s buildings, many located on Fifth and Park avenues, still exist and are highly coveted addresses, according to CityRealty.
“These buildings reek with good taste, better proportions, lavish expanses of limestone on the exterior and considerable square footage inside the apartments. Informal, open kitchens were not his thing. Most of his widely coveted buildings appear understated from the outside. Apartment layouts generally are grand and formal…”
A 1988 New York Times article on the architect, who lived from 1890 to 1953, said that his “elevated concepts of layout, amenities, spaciousness and luxury set a new standard for the way rich people should live in multiple dwellings.”
Written during a different time in New York, the article added that “no one today even thinks of building in the grand Candela manner. The economic moment when that was possible has long since has passed, but that makes the Candela apartments that survive among the most sought after in the city.”
Though luxury construction may be booming since the eighties, his buildings are still surviving the test of time.
According to the Real Deal, the former Stanhope Hotel at 995 Fifth Ave., which Candela designed in 1926, was renovated several years ago, and the same 2008 article cites a rehab of a 771 Madison Ave. and 66th Street building that he designed.
City Reality put together a list of Candela’s top 10 New York City-designed buildings, which included 1 Sutton Place South, completed in 1926.
Located between 56th and 57th streets, the 13-story co-op is known for its triple-arched driveway entrance that opens to a lobby, which then gives way to a private garden overlooking the East River.
The neo-Georgian structure also features a seven-room 5,000-square-foot penthouse, with 6,000 square feet of terraces that wrap entirely around it, according to Douglas Elliman.
Janen Annenberg Hooker, daughter of Triangle Publications founder Moses Annenberg and sister of communications magnate Walter Annenberg, once lived in the penthouse, according to an Elliman spokesman. The penthouse also “features an elaborate palazzo, two 40-foot-high drawing rooms on opposite ends of the apartment, 18th-century gold and ivory door frames and white marble floors.”
The penthouse may not be for sale, but for $11,495,000, a 12-room apartment also with river views is on the market. That unit has a wood burning fireplace, oak herringbone floors, library and dressing room adjacent to the master bedroom that is large enough to be converted to a bedroom. It additionally features its own private elevator vestibule
According to the Real Deal, Candela, in what is a “controversial concept now,” added a middle elevator for residents’ staff, so the two wouldn’t mix in communal spaces – his own spin to what most buildings had at the time – a front elevator for residents and a back service elevator.