Welcome to the Archives of the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation. The purpose of this online database is to function as a tool for scholars, students, architects, preservationists, journalists and other interested parties. The archive consists of photographs, slides, articles and publications from Rudolph’s lifetime; physical drawings and models; personal photos and memorabilia; and contemporary photographs and articles.
Unless otherwise noted, all images and drawings are copyright © The Estate of Paul Rudolph and The Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation. Please speak with a representative of the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation to get permission to use any drawings or photos. Drawings, sketches and other materials produced by Rudolph’s architectural office at the Library of Congress are maintained there for preservation, but the intellectual property rights belong to the Paul Rudolph Estate and Ernst Wagner, founder of the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation.
Address: 101 East 63rd Street
City: New York
State: New York
Zip Code: 10065
Nation: United States
Google Maps Address: 40.76533, -73.96729
Floors (Above Ground):
Client: Alexander Hirsch; Halston
Architect: Paul Rudolph
MEP: Caretsky, Mechanical Engineers
Contractor: Blitman Corporation
Situated between a Federal style church and a traditional apartment house, this townhouse was initially designed and built for Alexander Hirsch and Lewis Turner—but it’s most famous resident & owner was the American fashion designer, Halston.
Townhouses of unabashedly Modern design were, in that era, rare in that neighborhood (indeed, anywhere in the city).
Because Rudolph departed from the typical approach to designing the face of a NYC townhouse (which generally manifested as solid brick or masonry, with openings in a gridded pattern). Even Philip Johnson’s design for a townhouse, in the adjacent neighborhood, did not greatly depart from that formula.
Steel beams, columns, and panels, infilled with glass, are the architectural signature of Mies van der Rohe—but that master hardly ever diverged from arranging them in a homogenous lattice. By contrast, Rudolph’s didn’t just lay-out this façade—he sculpted it, pushing the elements into different planes, and using subtle asymmetries, to give a serene aliveness to this otherwise understated “citizen of the street”.
For Rudolph, this sculpting—merging Mies and Mondrian, but taking them to a more sophisticated level of visual complexity—would be further explored in the exteriors of the additions to his own residence at 23 Beekman—and would reach an ultimate rich expression, two decades after the Hirsch Residence, in the Modulightor Building.
While this house’s exterior may be a precursor of Paul Rudolph’s future ventures, the interiors rely on the “lab results” from his previous residential experiments. This is particularly true when one compares Hirsch to Rudolph’s New Haven home: one can see the precedents for the cantilevered stairs, the dramatic double-height socializing space (with a matchingly large-scaled artwork), a cavalier attitude to railings, and a broad wall of glazing onto a private (and in both cases, Rudolph-designed) court.
DRAWINGS - Design Drawings / Renderings
DRAWINGS - Construction Drawings
DRAWINGS - Shop Drawings
PHOTOS - Project Model
PHOTOS - During Construction
PHOTOS - Completed Project
PHOTOS - Current Conditions
LINKS FOR MORE INFORMATION
“Article on planned conversion by architect P. Rudolph of run-down carriage house.” il. New York Times (19 February 1967): VIII, 1:7.
Chermayeff, Ivan. Observations on American Architecture. New York: Viking, 1972. il. p. 89.
“Chronological list of works by Paul Rudolph, 1946-1974.” il., plan. Architecture and Urbanism 49 (January 1975): 162.
Futagawa, Yukio, ed. Global Interior: Houses in U.S.A., 1. Tokyo: A.D.A. Edita, 1971. il., plan, sec. pp. 160-167.
Goldberger, Paul. The City Observed: New York. New York: Random House, 1979. il. pp. 234-235.
“Hirsch residence.” il., plan, sec. Architecture and Urbanism 80 (July 1977): 64-65.
Rudolph, Paul. The Architecture of Paul Rudolph. Introduction by Sybil Moholy-Nagy. New York: Praeger, 1970. il., plans, sec. pp. 80-83.
Paul Rudolph, Dessins D’Architecture. Fribourg: Office du Livre, 1974. plan, sec. pp. 40-41.
Smith, Herbert L. “Record houses of 1970.” il. (pt. col.), plan, sec., port. Architectural Record 147 (Mid-May 1970): 42-45.