Yorkville Bank Building Acknowledged as Potential Neighborhood Landmark

Written By Gabrielle Hughes | March 28, 2012

Although the intersection of 85th Street and Third Avenue is currently home to a Gap and an Equinox, 1511Third Avenue is now being recognized as a historic site by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The former banking center of Yorkville was recently nominated by a past LPC executive director, as many of the Manhattan neighborhood's frequenters have been questioning why the building has not already been landmarked.

Originally built in 1905, the Italian Renaissance Revival-style building stands four stories tall, and is comprised of granite, limestone, brick and terracotta. Along with being recognized for its architectural integrity, the structure also holds strong ties to the Upper East Side’s once-thriving German immigrant community. The area is now known for its array of luxury apartments and wealthy dwellers, but Yorkville was densely populated with German residents until the second half of the 20th century, and the building itself was financed, designed, constructed, and frequented by Germans-Americans. 

While it is a candidate for achieving historic status, the current owner has decided to hold renovations throughout the building. The Yorkville Bank building is set to get new windows, a ramp for wheelchair accessibility, and new interior doors. However, the exterior doors of the building are highly regarded by many, so the sculpted bronze entrance of the structure will remain in place. 

After being granted acknowledgment by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, it was realized that there are few New York City landmarks signifying the immigrant history of the Upper East Side. 1511 Third Avenue is clearly a great example of the magnificent architecture produced by foreign settlers, and having the building declared a landmark will surely contribute to remembering the neighborhood's cultural past.


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