060-030842A.jpg (48831 bytes) New York Architecture Images-Upper East Side

Hotel Carlyle


Bien & Prince


33 East  76th St., At Madison Ave.




Art Deco  


yellow brick and limestone









The Carlyle is the Rolls Royce of New York hotels: quiet, stately, elegant, slightly stuffy and very expensive. Located in the sedate reaches of the Upper East Side, the hotel has been Old Money's traditional Manhattan address. But, like all good hotels, it holds just as much appeal to the locals as well. With its whimsical murals of animals in Central Park, Bemelmans Bar--named after Ludwig Bemelman, creator of the Madeline book series--has long been one of the most pleasant watering holes in the city. Across the foyer is the Café Carlyle, one of the finest cabarets in the city featuring headliners like Eartha Kitt, Dixie Carter and perennial favorite Bobby Short. The hotel's French restaurant is one of the finest in the city, although equally popular is the lounge where diners may have light meals or high tea. Rooms tend to be on the small side but are in excellent taste.

"The Carlyle's tower, said to be inspired by John Francis Bentley's 
Byzantine-style Westminister Cathedral in London, although Bertram 
Grosvenor Goodhue's more abstract integrations of Roman and Byzantine 
sources seem more clearly evident as an influence, became the symbolic 
campanile for the most fashionable district of the Upper East Side," 
wrote Robert A. M. Stern, Gregory Gilmartin and Thomas Mellins in their 
fine book, "New York 1930, Architecture and Urbanism Between The Two 
World Wars," (Rizzoli International, 1987).

"There is a fine, sweeping vigor in the [tower's] shaft, which sets 
back at the top simply and gracefully to an octagonal tile roof capped 
by a gilded element that looks like a gigantic screw-plug for an 
electrical light connection," observed T-Square, an architectural 
journal, shortly after its completion.