Friday, February 24, 2012

The Otto H. Kahn Residence

The Otto Hermann Kahn residence designed by J. Armstrong Stenhouse in conjunction with C.P.H. Gilbert c. 1918 at 1 East 91st Street in New York City. Kahn was a partner at Kuhn, Loeb & Company. Since the late 1930s the house has functioned as the Covent of the Sacred Heart. Click HERE to see Kahn's Long Island estate 'Oheka'. Click HERE to read Christopher Gray's Streetscapes column on the Otto Kahn house and HERE to see the residence on google street view.










Photos from Architectural Record, 1919.

11 comments:

ArchitectDesign™ said...

It even looks like a school! Not very homey but at least very beautiful.

archibuff said...

A magnificent city townhouse. Always loved the idea of an off street, private entrance as well as the large internal courtyard to bring in light to rooms with no street frontage. Beautiful interiors and the building functions well today with a renewed lease on life after serving as a private home. Nice to see both the city and country houses of Otto Kahn are well preserved. Unfortunately so many other suitable homes that could well have been re-purposed, have been destroyed over time. (I won't mention Spring Hill in Old Westbury)

Intersting that the photo credits only mention Stenhouse and not CPH in collaboration as is frequently listed. (Duly noted that many foreign architects needed a licensed American architect to sign off on their work so they could build here) I think these photos must have edited out the other architects name. Hmmm? Anyone see DED lately?

Zach said...

I suppose I probably shouldn't mention either that like Greentree, the Otto Kahn house is an extremely poor choice to compare to Spring Hill. Kahn died in 1934 and there was no one else in his line willing to take on the house. So it became a school.

The Phipps family continued to live on Spring Hill for almost 40 years after the demolition of the house. But again...I won't bring it up.

Anonymous said...

I believe the model was teh Cancelleria in Rome, which is one of Rome's many splendid Palazzo's

archibuff said...

LOL.....another discourse for another blog

The Down East Dilettante said...

Archibuff, the Gilbert connection is a modern trope. Stenhouse is the designer, Gilbert the facilitator. His name as co-architect doesn't make an appearance in print until modern architectural guides. It undoubtedly happened as a result of checking building permits, etc., and the rest is history. What's published in one place gets picked up by another, then another, then becomes accepted as fact. This truly isn't a slam at Gilbert at all, but simply how it is. Stenhouse was the designer, Gilbert was the architect of convenience. Not all information is reliable.

The Down East Dilettante said...

PS, Stefan is so right. This house is very beautiful---the porte cochere is magnificent, the progression of space through the halls and stairs, with vistas through to the courtyards--priceless.

The Ancient said...

The exterior doesn't excite me -- I'd rather go to Italy and look at the original -- but I like the interior courtyard enormously. It's really a bravura performance.

The flip side of this, of course, is that if you were asked to illustrate the old maxim, A House Is Not a Home, you'd pick this house -- at least on the basis of these photographs.

P.S. Ask yourself, What's easier to imagine? Little Otto Kahn padding up the stairs or Bela Lugosi gliding down them?

The Ancient said...

John Foreman finagles his way nto the house and comes away with pictures:

http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/node/1907845

Zach said...

That first photo looks oddly familiar...

banjoseth said...

@The Ancient, go to Italy if you like, but as Corbu said - "In New York, then, I learn to appreciate the Italian Renaissance. It is so well done that you could not believe it to be genuine."