Andrew Alpern, author of Posh Portals: Elegant Entrances and Ingratiating Ingresses to Apartments for the Affluent in New York City (Abbeville Press, 2020), says first impressions count when it comes to the luxury buildings of the city, which is what inspired him to write Posh Portals.
Alpern Alpern believes that the entrance to a building conveys a lot of information about that building – about its historical context, and about the sorts of people that its designer and builder were hoping to attract. Posh Portals surveys 168 buildings that the author considers the very best examples of his subject.
Alpern’s fascination with New York’s apartment houses began as a little boy when he would visit the apartments of his friends and would draw the layouts of the rooms to show his parents how those friends lived. This interest in architecture developed into a 30-year career as an architect. For a mid-life psychic jolt, he then went to law school and for 25 years he practiced law for a Wall Street partnership and then as General Counsel to an investment adviser firm until he retired two years ago at age 80.
During this entire time he has remained an architectural historian, turning that interest into eleven books and scores of published articles about historical architecture and particular buildings, along with dozens of book reviews and nearly 100 published Letters to the Editor. His expertise on New York’s apartment houses is legendary. His first book on the subject appeared in 1975 under the title of Apartments for the Affluent (McGraw-Hill).
The Bloomingdale Neighborhood History Group will host Alpern for “Posh Portals of the Upper West Side,” a virtual tour of some of these extraordinary entrances on the Upper West Side on Monday, June 21st. For this presentation, Alpern has chosen his favorite examples and constructed a program that will lead the audience on a one-of-a kind tour.
The event begins at 6:30 pm and is free and open to the public. A link to the webinar will be found on the history group’s website.
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