Butterfield House (New York City)

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Butterfield House is a cooperative apartment building on West 12th Street in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, designed by the architects and urban planners William J. Conklin and James Rossant then of Mayer, Whittlesey & Glass. It is situated between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue within the Greenwich Village Historic District. The building was described in The New York Times as "a modernist landmark" that "received numerous accolades when it was built in 1962".[2]

Butterfield House
Butterfield House 20 West 13th Street.jpg
Rear view from West 13th Street
General information
Architectural styleMid-Century Modern
Location37 West 12th Street,
Manhattan, New York City, NY 10011
United States
Coordinates40°44′08″N 73°59′44″W / 40.7356°N 73.9956°W / 40.7356; -73.9956Coordinates: 40°44′08″N 73°59′44″W / 40.7356°N 73.9956°W / 40.7356; -73.9956
Design and construction
ArchitectWilliam J. Conklin and James Rossant while at Mayer, Whittlesey & Glass
Main contractorDaniel L. Gray, Dangray Construction[1]

Mimi Sheraton referred to it as "one of the Village’s most coveted residences." [3] Architectural critic Paul Goldberger included Butterfield House on his list of the “10 Top Postwar Apartment Buildings” in New York City.[4]

The building shares the block of West 12th Street with historic townhouses and when the street received its landmark designation in 1969 it was described as "one of the most distinguished examples of street architecture of the mid-Nineteenth Century." [5]


"The delicacy of form and elegance of detail, inherent in the design, make [Butterfield House] as one with its residential neighbors."

— New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, 1969 [6]

Butterfield House is an example of the International Style and Mid-Century Modern architectural styles and was designed by the architects William J. Conklin and James Rossant. Both men were acolytes of Walter Gropius who they studied under at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Gropius is the founder of the Bauhaus School,[7] and is widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of modernist architecture. [8][9]

Rossant's obituary in the New York Times states, "Butterfield House was hailed as a model of how to integrate modern architecture into a historic townhouse district." [6]

The Municipal Art Society awarded Mayer, Whittlesey & Glass a Certificate of Merit in 1963 for its work on the Butterfield House.[10]

The building has been referred to as "[one] of Manhattan's finest postwar apartment buildings.".[11] In 2016, the building was included on a list of thirteen "Architectural Masterpieces" that you can live in.[12]

The building is notable for its deep bay windows, historic brown-brick facade, and floor-plan design where many of the units are floor-through apartments that offer views of the street on one side and the landscaped inner gardens and fountains on the other. The majority of the apartments have balconies or terraces facing the inner garden. Originally consisting of 102 apartments, including multiple penthouses, apartments have been combined over the years and Butterfield House now has fewer than 100 units. The architectural height of the building is 78.03 metres (256.0 ft). The Post-War Modern building's rear entrance address is on West 13th Street.


The building was named after Union Civil War General and medal of honor recipient Daniel Butterfield. General Butterfield is credited with composing Taps, the bugle call played at dusk, during flag ceremonies, and at military funerals by the United States Armed Forces.[13] The building sits on the site of his former home on 12th Street.[14][15]

Notable residentsEdit

Current and former notable residents of the Butterfield House:



  1. ^ "House at 37 W. 12th St. Becomes a Cooperative". New York Times. July 23, 1963. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  2. ^ "At a Modernist Landmark, the New Guard Moves In". New York Times. NYTimes. 2006. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  3. ^ Sheraton, Mimi (October 20, 2006). "My Manhattan: West 12th Street, by the Numbers". The New York Times. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  4. ^ "Top Postwar Apartment Buildings". New York Times. NYTimes. 1979. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  5. ^ New York City Landmark Preservation Commission Greenwich Village Historic District Designation Report, Volume 1 (PDF). 1969.
  6. ^ a b "James Rossant, Architect and Planner, Dies at 81". New York Times. NYTimes. 2009. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  7. ^ Bauhaus, The Tate Collection, retrieved 18 May 2008
  8. ^ "Butterfield House". James Rossant. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  9. ^ "William J. Conklin, Architect With a Broad Stamp, Dies at 95". New York Times. NYTimes. 2009. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  10. ^ "City Arts Society Honors Architects". The New York Times. May 21, 1963. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  11. ^ "ARCHITECTURE: A BRIDGE KNOWN AS RAMAZ SCHOOL". New York Times. NYTimes. 1981. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  12. ^ Peterson, Spencer (May 26, 2016). "How to live in an NYC-area architectural masterpiece". New York Post. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  13. ^ "Detailed History of Taps". West-point.org. July 4, 1969. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
  14. ^ "NYPL Photo Collection".
  15. ^ "All Around the Town: Amazing Manhattan Facts and Curiosities".
  16. ^ "Michael Aram Unveils Migrations Memorial for Armenian Genocide". Architectural Digest. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  17. ^ Velsey, Kim. "Warby Parker Founder Neil Blumenthal Expands Butterfield House Holdings". NY Observer. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  18. ^ Poli, Bruce (March 10, 2018). "Ramsey Clark at 90: America's Most Liberal Attorney General and Veteran West Villager". Westview News. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  19. ^ Polsky, Sara (November 2, 2011). "Buy a Former Today Show Host's Penthouse for 7m". Curbed.com. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  20. ^ "Butterfield House, 37 West 12th Street, Apt. 8J". CityRealty.com. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  21. ^ "Poet Stanley Kunitz's Former Co-op Is for Sale". New York Magazine. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  22. ^ "Adam Lippes Presses Restart On His Approach to Fashion–and His Business". Elle. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  23. ^ "Inside the home of the real-life Don Draper, George Lois", YouTube, retrieved September 9, 2019
  24. ^ "History". Van Ameringen Foundation. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  25. ^ "Henry Van Ameringen". Influence Watch. Retrieved September 23, 2019.

External linksEdit