807 Riverside Drive / Berler Levy House

George F. Pelham 1924

809-811 Riverside Drive
Moore & Landsiedel, 1920

Audubon Park Historic District

Nathan Berler, a wholesale clothing manufacturer and real estate developer, built this apartment building and pair of attached houses in the Mediterranean Revival Style. The duplex was intended to serve as a prototype for an alternative to the apartment house typology dominating the area. It was equipped with an organ and flanked by one-story conservatories on each side. Its early occupants included prominent locals, such as Jewel Plummer, an African-American woman who worked as a biology teaching fellow at New York University. Four years later, Berler changed his mind and constructed an apartment house next door, using the same green roof tiles and red-brick as the duplex. Although smaller than its neighbors, it featured 52 units and boasted a private ballroom decorated with antique gold, polychrome and crystal chandeliers. By the 1930s, the ballroom was converted into a common space used by local organizations like the Washington Heights Actors Guild.