By Brian J. Pape, AIA, LEED-AP
Rhinelander Row is the eleven homes of three-storied, wooden-balconies built by landowner William Rhinelander in 1848, also known as “Cottage Row,” on the West side of Seventh Avenue between 12th and 13th Streets in the West Village.
A New York Times article from 1937 said of Rhinelander Row, “With their wide piazzas and ample balconies on the upper floors they have been for many years refreshing reminders of the simple but comfortable residential days in that interesting part of the city.”
A real estate empire was started by the descendants of Philip Jacob Rhinelander, a Huguenot of German descent who moved to NY in 1686, acquired land on Barclay Street, then expanded uptown, especially in Yorkville. An estate in Greenwich Village was inherited by William C. Rhinelander (1790-1878), from his wife Mary, daughter of millionaire John Rogers. Assets of the Estate of William C. Rhinelander, worth many millions of dollars, were divided principally by his four children, Serena, Julia, Mary R. Stewart, and William. In 1947 the Rhinelander Real Estate Co. was merged with Serinco, Inc., and in 1961 was dissolved, ending a family dynasty.
Rhinelander Row shouldn’t be confused with a fancier Rhinelander Gardens, designed by James Renwick on West 11th Street near 6th Avenue in 1855, until replaced to build P.S. 41 in 1957.
Today, the 1962 Joseph Curran Building, aka “Maritime Union Building” aka “the O’Toole Building,” is the Lenox Health Greenwich Village medical facility, since 2016.
Brian J. Pape is an architectural consultant in private practice and serves as Co-chair of the American Institute of Architects NY Design for Aging Committee.