In their latest monograph,
New York Transformed: The Architecture of Cross and Cross, architect Peter Pennoyer and historian Anne Walker of Peter Pennoyer Architects explore the work of John and Eliot Cross. While not household names, these two brothers, partners and master architects contributed to a rich and lasting architectural tradition that left an indelible mark on the New York City skyline and beyond. Below we have an excerpt of select images from the monograph. 90
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A townhouse at 862 Park Avenue in Manhattan was the first major residential project for the young architects. The house was commissioned in 1912 for Justice J. Frederic Kernochan and his wife. Above is the entrance detail on the home.
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An example of the Crosses’ work outside of New York is the Ayrault House in Newport, Rhode Island. The house, completed in 1916, was done
in the Colonial Revival style, as seen in this Stair hall.
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One of the firm’s most important estates was an English Country-style manor called Bayberry Land in Southampton on the East End of Long Island, which was a summer home for
Charles Hamilton Sabin and Pauline Morton Smith Sabin.
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At the same time work was occurring on Bayberry Land and Ayrault House, the Cross brothers started on a project that marked a departure from the Colonial Revival style of their other commissions. Designed for Samuel Frazier Pryor and his wife, Pryory in Greenwich, Connecticut featured more romance, texture and playfulness.
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In 1919 the Crosses were commissioned to create Gustav Kermann Kinnicutt’s estate in Far Hills, New Jersey, known as Mayfields. The west facade and roof detail of the home highlight the firm’s signature unpretentious luxury. The home had a tremendous influence on the Kinnicutt’s daughter, Sister Parish (née Dorothy May Kinnicutt), and her future as an interior designer.
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In 1927 the Cross and Cross firm was brought on as supervising architects for an ambitious residential project at 960 Fifth Avenue. The building was comprised of two sections with 14 co-op apartments and 52 rental apartments, all of which had different layouts except for three apartments.
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In the 1920s the Crosses had extended their practice beyond residential commissions, and in 1929 they were asked to lead the renovation of the Hôtel de Coislin in Paris, which was being transformed into a branch for Guaranty Trust bank.
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Back in the United States, the Cross brothers were commissioned in 1929 to design the City Bank Farmers Trust Company Building at 20 Exchange Place in New York City. Contending with zoning restrictions, an awkward building site and loose soil, the 54-story tower ended up being the fourth tallest building at the time.
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New York Transformed: The Architecture of Cross and Cross by Peter Pennoyer and Anne Walker is available through Monacelli Press.