French Architecture and Architects

The French architecture and architects in the neighborhood have included:

Ernest Flagg, an American architect in the Beaux-Arts style, who designed St. Luke’s after having recently returned from study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He won the contest over three other architects because he was related by marriage to Cornelius Vanderbilt II, chair of the hospital’s executive committee Flagg’s design was symmetrical and beautiful like buildings of the French Renaissance. Some architects had drawings in the cathedral style argued that it was too unlike the cathedral.

507 W 111 Street was inspired by George Pelham’s Blennerhasse, with two story limestone base, entry portico, red brick upper facade highlighted with French-inspired Beaux-Arts white terra-cotta features. Many Morningside Heights buildings combine Beaux-Arts ornamentation with American colonial brickwork. The neighborhood’s apartment buildings are designed in Italian Renaissance, French Renaissance, French Beaux-Arts, and Gothic, and American colonial styles.
McGiffert Hall (122nd & Claremont) is a student residence designed by Allen & Collens, who were also responsible for the architecture of Riverside Church and the Union Theological Seminary. They built the hall complement the style of both of those earlier buildings. McGiffert is a neo-Gothic style structure heavily influenced by the French Gothic style of Riverside Church rather than the English Gothic aesthetic of the Seminary.

Riverside Church‘s edifice was modeled after the Cathedral of Chartres, in Chartres, France, a 13th century gothic cathedral. John D. Rockefeller donated three paintings by Heinrich Hoffman to the church, one of which is a late 16th or 17th century French Renaissance tapestry.