It was the turn of the 20th century, and vast numbers of immigrants, primarily from the building trades, were landing on the shores of New York. Carpenters, masons, craftsmen had left their homes in Europe seeking a better life. One of those was a young Sicilian architect, Gaetan Ajello, whose first achievements are reminiscent of the early Italian Renaissance style with their cream and white marble, terra cotta and glazed brick. Today, a stroll through the streets of the Upper West Side will reveal the Ajello name carved on many a cornerstone of some of the area’s most distinctive buildings.
The magnificent Beaux Arts limestone facade of this elegant structure reveals 70 feet of frontage, modernized with energy efficient tilt-and-turn European-style windows. While its outward appearance continues to retain the characteristic grace and charm of its era, within its walls a total transformation has taken place.
Under the creative guidance of renowned architect Mario Arbore, the building’s nine floors feature 1 to 3 luxurious condominium residences per floor: these homes showcase the decorative elements of the Beaux Arts style, balustrades, cartouches, rich moldings-all of those wonderful details that made this epoch so sought after. Today, 235 West 71st Street offers each resident a home where the reliability and conveniences of modern construction combine with the heart and soul of pre-war design.