In the 1920s, you could order an entire house from a Sears catalog. No Art Deco homes unfortunately. But suppliers of terracotta produced books of ornaments and trim, including Art Deco, that architects could order, presumably without knowing another architect had ordered the same thing!
Which brings us to Art Deco Separated At Birth #17. I was in New York for a book signing for my friend Anthony Robbins’ terrific Art Deco guidebook. (I played a small role, supplying a photo section.) I had a wishlist of things to photograph including an apartment building in Queens with an amazing entrance:
At first, Tony thought this was the Brightwater Court apartments in Brighton Beach (architect Martyn N. Weinstein, 1934) but on closer examination the two were distant relatives. Well, if you consider Queens and Brooklyn, distant.
But there was more to come.
While we prepared our Art Deco outing, a friend of Tony’s told us there was black gold in the Bronx, too:
Except for Brightwarter Court, the architects are unknown. Now, I would have suspected the same architect was responsible for all, but according to Anthony Robbins, an expert in such matters, New York architects rarely worked outside of their chosen borough.
We’ll probably never know but since Brightwater Court is the jazziest of the three, here are a couple more views.