355 Riverside Drive (Thursday Doors)

In youth, a burgeoning
investor, he savored
property that favored
elegant style.

Older, family absent,
weary of empty rooms,
his fine jewel was doomed
to destruction.

A tower was summoned–
an inelegant box–
he resided on top
with river views.

It isn’t illegal
to transform artistry
into utility–
but it should be.

Above is the building that sits at 355 Riverside Drive today. The top photo is the house it replaced. Built by banker Samuel Gamble Bayne to replace a slightly more modest residence across the street, Bayne at one time owned the entire block between 107th and 108th street from Riverside Drive to Broadway. Both original residences were designed by architect Frank Freeman in the Romanesque style.

I don’t know if the actual door in the new building is what was there when it was built–it’s pretty but plain– but the door surround and the space between the first and second floor windows do have some interesting ornamentation, and I also like the raised brickwork on the bottom floors.

The window guardians (I think Green Man) are a nice touch.

One of Bayne’s daughters had married an architect, Alfred C. Bossom, and that is who the developer Bayne sold his house to, Harris H. Uris, used to design the new building. Bayne, whose wife had died after his four children moved out, no doubt found the house too large, but it’s a shame he couldn’t have found a buyer to preserve the house. He must have liked the location, as he moved into the new apartment building, occupying the entire 14th floor.

The two mansions to the right of the original house in the very top picture still exist, as do the brownstones on 108th street. When I get back uptown, I’ll photo them as well–I think I have photos of some of the doors from when I was just taking pictures of every door I saw, but none that have the details or entire building.

There’s a nice little courtyard garden in the back of the building. You can read more details, and see more photos of 355 Riverside Drive, here.

And here’s an apartment that was recently for sale in the building–you can get an idea of the views Bayne must have had from his windows.

I’ve written an abhanga poem, with synonyms for spring and green, for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday prompt. And I’ve also used some words from this week’s Random Word List.

And visit Dan Antion, who has lots of doors every week, here, at Thursday Doors.

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About memadtwo

For more madness, follow me on Instagram @h_zimel methodtwomadness is a blog of two friends, Nina and Kerfe kblog is Kerfe's solo branch on the tree

78 responses to “355 Riverside Drive (Thursday Doors)”

  1. merrildsmith says :

    It’s a shame the original building was torn down, but at least this building does have those details, even though the building itself is nothing special. The door is plain, but I think it fits. The courtyard looks pretty, too. Spectacular views from the apartment, but it better have for over $2 million!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sherry Felix says :

    Pity the original house was torn down.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Suzanne says :

    What a shame that such a wonderful building was demolished. I like your view of New York and the way you show us something of what it must be like to live there.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Dan Antion says :

    It’s a shame the original building was torn down, only to be replaced by about the most boring box one can imagine. I like the interior – a bit beyond my reach financially – but it still makes me sad.

    I think your poem is spot on. A nice tribute.

    Liked by 2 people

    • memadtwo says :

      Thanks Dan. You can’t beat the views from that apartment. And in the realm of NYC real estate, it seems reasonably priced. Crazy to think that’s true.
      But you are correct–boring architecture.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. janetweightreed10 says :

    Thank you for this….an interesting and informative post. I lived in New York (Manhattan) from 1967 til 1971. I love to return there and spend time looking over so many interesting buildings. Janet X

    Liked by 2 people

  6. boundlessblessingsblog says :

    Superb and interesting details of the building and such awesome doors. Lovely poem too, Kerfe.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. poetisatinta says :

    Thanks so interesting and I love the poem too 🀍

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Aletha Kuschan says :

    Lovely tribute to an absent house. I wonder how a society finds its way back into a path of beauty.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. sustainabilitea says :

    What a shame! That happens all too often. I do like the courtyard you found and your words for today. πŸ™‚


    Liked by 2 people

  10. JosieHolford says :

    Getting into my immediate neighborhood. Love it. I too like stickybeaking around and finding good stuff. Makes me wonder what date that original building was torn down (and why) and when the replacement was built.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Claudia McGill says :

    I love the rhythm of this poem and you tell a story so familiar. Who knows what the next structure on the site will look like?

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Liz Gauffreau says :

    I’m with your poem on the replacement building.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Prior... says :

    Hi – enjoyed the poem and how it went so well with the photos (which was the goal, I know… πŸ™‚
    So interesting to learn about this area – I clicked on the listing and ouch – that is expensive – (all about location)
    and the original house that was replaced sure was wonderful.

    Oh and I wonder how they raised the bricks like that and if it was only for design??

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Ingrid says :

    I echo the sentiments of your final stanza, Kerfe!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Patricia Furstenberg says :

    It happens so often, lately.
    Loved your poem.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. robertawrites235681907 says :

    Hi Kerfe, I also started off taking pictures of just the doors and progressed to the entire building for more context and historical meaning. A really lovely poem to go with these two pictures and I agree with your sentiment.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. sunhesper says :

    That last stanza is perfect. I’m not hostile to change and development out of hand, and certainly have to cope with it frequently here, but when the elegance and imagination and soul is lost, my heart hurts. At least we have historical photos; I can always hope the architects working in the future will be inclined to look to them for inspiration.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Colleen M. Chesebro says :

    Those details are always so interesting… I see the Green Man too. I wonder if it’s Puck, from a Midsummer’s Night Dream? Those garden areas are so peaceful. A bit of magical spaces in a busy city. Your Abhanga poetry is superb. It’s a shame the building was torn down.

    Liked by 1 person

    • memadtwo says :

      Thanks Colleen. I’ve always liked that little courtyard. But I would have loved to see that mansion in person!

      I was reminded of the Abhanga when I was looking though old posts and saw one I’d written a few years ago for Tanka Tuesday.


  19. equinoxio21 says :

    Nice. Why the “Green man”?

    Liked by 1 person

  20. msjadeli says :

    Kerfe, that top photo looks like our local library, funded way back when by a lumber baron and kept nice by a special millage that keeps getting renewed. It’s safe for now, thank goodness. The city recently sold a humongous beautiful building that has been various things over the years to private developers. IT MAKES ME SICK. There’s no telling what they will do to it. Just like trees, there seems to be scant protections for treasured architecture 😦 That said, I do like the features of the new building even incomparable to the original building. Also very nice courtyards between the buildings. Will go check out those links now…

    Liked by 1 person

  21. D. Wallace Peach says :

    This post was heartbreaking to read, Kerfe. The house in that top photo is amazing. I just love homes like that. To think that it was torn down for that box… sigh. At least they incorporated some nice features, but what a shame. I’m looking forward to your photos of the neighboring ones. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  22. neil reid says :

    Old adage comes back to roost. People is just people. Money only means money, nothing else. Used to think poor folk had lesser sense of art/craft – but no, rich people can be just as ignorant. As here your sad story tells. First house looked like more fun than Disneyland.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. judeitakali says :

    Looved the poetry, and your photos too, very much

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Teagan Riordain Geneviene says :

    Groan! That house was magnificent, and the buildings next to it were beautiful too. How awful to tear them down. Even worse, at a time when there was ample space…
    Thanks for the poem, photos, and history. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. yvettemcalleiro says :

    Progress is not always better. Great poem, Kerfe! I love how you preserved that house’s moment in time.

    Yvette M Calleiro πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  26. D.L. Finn, Author says :

    I hate when we loss beauty like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Bela Johnson says :

    Oh, this is depressing. I guess the garden courtyard is some small compensation. Not really. It just all makes me sad. Imagine the immigrant labor that built that first place. Because nobody would have enough money to pay resident artisans to build it. And then to demolish it and put that ugly thing up there. So freaking sad. πŸ˜’πŸ’•


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