Tuesday, May 25, 2010

☞ BESPOKE: Etched Brownstone Glass Doors

There's not much etched glass to be found in Manhattan these days and the house at 139 West 120th Street might be one of the few examples of this custom art. Two large, decorative, Art Nouveaux letter B's can be found etched on the glass doorway of the house located just east of ACP/7th Avenue. The only information we have found on the building is that it is a rental and not much else. Does anyone know how old these doors are or if the windows were added in recent years? Also, what do those letters stand for? Photo by Ulysses


  1. Nice etched glass....I like it!

    FYI - There is a brownstone located at 148 W. 127th St (bwtn Lenox and ACP) with a solid wooden door that seems to have been carved by hand...I believe the carving/art work, which covers the entire door, has an African theme. An amazing door!

  2. This glass etching is really beautiful, I guess it gets broken over the years and is replaced with plain glass so this detail is lost. I am curious about the glass outer doors often seen in Mount Morris Park District that appear to serve as storm doors as they are so close to the inner wooden doors. I particularly like these glass outer doors when combined with some interesting iron work to make them more secure. Great story.

  3. I just painted 144 West 120th Street.
    It is The Harlem 144 Guest House & has a hand carved door with a glass outer door.
    Maybe the owner will post a comment.

  4. I am the owner of 144 and have lived here for 30 years. The etched glass doors at No. 139 are not original, nor are the windows that took a less expensive route and installed rounded panes at the top squared off by double hung panes below. In addition, the brownstone masonry was replaced with white (terrible!). That's what you get when the area is not protected by landmark designation. See No. 135 which features original doors and windows.

  5. Valerie, is their any kind of movement to get these blocks landmarked? The blocks between Lenox and ACP which I understand are not landmarked but still part of the Mt. Morris historic district by other definitions. They are beautiful blocks (I am on one of them) and it would be great if they could be preserved.

    I have seen the inside of this place and while it's a high quality reno the owner did kill most of the original detail except for the fireplaces and staircases.

  6. The area west of Lenox Avenue from 118th to 124th is on the National Register of Historic Properties. Currently, the Mount Morris Park Improvement Association is talking about pursuing landmark designation for the west side of Lenox Ave. If you want to get involved go to www.mmpcia.org and get on the mailing list, and better still, join.