Our Building History

213 West 58th Street Designated Landmark: August 29, 1989

Originally The Helen Miller Gould Stable, 1902 – 1903 Architects: York & Sawyer

unity buidingThis elegant French Renaissance stable, which set an exceptionally high standard for carriage house design, was built by the eldest daughter of transportation and communications tycoon, Jay Gould. While the father’s poor public reputation led to the tag “robber baron,” the daughter devoted herself to shedding that image with a host of generous philanthropies. When she died in 1938, The New York Times called her “the best loved woman in the country.”

At the time of the stable’s construction, the stretch of 58th Street between Fifth Avenue and Broadway resembled a mews. Neighborhood residents stabled their horses here, while those who enjoyed driving through nearby Central Park appreciated the convenience of liveries. Miss Gould, who lived close by at the Fifth Avenue mansion bequeathed by her father, demolished an existing stable on the lot to make way for this Parisian-style structure that housed on separate floors horses, hay and feed, a coachman, and a groom.

Architect Sawyer studied for a year at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and elements of his façade suggest the uniform, symmetrical elevations of the 17th century buildings that defined Henri IV’s exclusive Place des Vosges. A suave, dignified effect is evoked by the building’s subtle verticality, its attenuated, hipped slate roof and tall flanking chimneys and detailing such as the limestone tethering rings at the arched entrance. Ornamentation like the flat arch voussoirs of the third story windows and the triglyph brackets supporting the cornice imbue what was a purely utilitarian building with an air of luxury.

– The New York Landmarks Commission