The Carriage House was built in 1902 and is one of New York City’s landmarks. It was designed by architect Ralph S. Townsend as a private stable. It was later owned by George S. Bowdoin, a partner at J. P. Morgan. The 2 ½ story Dutch Renaissance Style Revival building has an elegant traditional carriage house exterior and a modern loft-like interior with high quality finishes...
Until the earliest 20th century, horse drawn vehicles were the primary mode of transportation in New York City, and horses were a vital part of city life. This structure was built in 1902 during the last phase of stable construction in the city for William H. Martin, a real estate developer and senior partner in the clothing firm Rogers, Peet & Company. The stable was purchased in 1907 by George S. Bowdoin, a partner of J.P. Morgan and Company, who lived at Park Avenue and East 36th Street.
The 2 ½ story Dutch Revival style alludes to New York City as the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam. Its configuration is typical of private stables of the era, with space for the carriage and horses on the ground floor and living quarter for the coachmen above.
Bold ornamentation and a strong roofline distinguish this building from others around it. Each of the three arched entries is defined by over scaled stone quoins and voussoir. Sculpted stone horse heads accentuate each end of the narrow spandrel above and in the center is a shield inscribed with the address number “149.” Between the two small windows on the second story is a large stone panel with a shield with the date “A.D. 1902.”
An elaborate stepped gable arises from a mansard roof with stone quoins, marking each vertical edge of the gable, and a stone volute capping each step. A semi circular stone pediment tops the sculpture. In the center of the gables is an oval window, with an ornate stone surround, above which sits a carved bulldog’s head.
In 1918, Edith Bowdoin inherited the stable from her father and converted it into a garage. She owned it until 1944; since then various owners have reconfigured the upper floors. In 1982 architect and engineer Cy Mills designed a modern loft interior to be used as a gallery.