Mansions in the Clouds: The Skyscraper Palazzi of Emery Roth

Steven Ruttenbaum, Author Balsam Press $40 (223p) ISBN 978-0-917439-09-4
Roth's ornate, eclectic apartment buildings in New York City harked back to Renaissance palaces at a time when architectural fashion was embracing Wright and Le Corbusier. Despising the ""baldness'' of so much modern architecture, he wedded limestone, brick and terra-cotta in functional yet richly detailed commercial buildings with Old World charm. Arriving in New York in 1884 as a penniless Hungarian immigrant, he rose to become a well-connected architect, weathering changes of taste and economics as he switched from '20s Art Deco to '30s Moderne to a hybrid of the classical and the new. Hotel St. Moritz, the Ritz Tower, the Normandy Apartments on Riverside Drive and some 250 other Manhattan buildings attest to his staying power. When the era of grand-scale living shrank, Roth made the typical 12 17 living/sleeping room both efficient and elegant. This, the first book on a neglected architect, is long overdue. (October 22)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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