383-389 West End Avenue (and 301-307 West 78th around the corner) were built in 1886, when West End Avenue was still called 11th. They were among the finest buildings their architect, Frederick B. White, ever designed, for the simple reason that White died at age 24 just after the buildings were opened. According to American Architect and Building News, a leading trade publication in 1886, White had designed over 200 buildings at the time of his death.
The AIA Guide to New York City gushes, “The brickwork (and supporting terra cotta) is a work of virtuoso masonry, the great arches monumental.” According to the NY Times’ Christopher Gray, a critic from The Real Estate Record and Guide “also praised the wide variety of woods in the interiors: ‘mahogany, cherry, maple, olive, curled birch, ash and quartered oak.’ ”
Also notable for these dwellings, and other buildings from the period, are the delicate glasswork on the front door transoms. And, a spectacular stepped gable, a tradition of the Flemish style, links 385 and 387.
As always, Daytonian in Manhattan has a comprehensive story about this extraordinary grouping.