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Midtown: Home of Diplomacy

12/22/2015

Due to its prime location, Midtown has long been the home for diplomats from numerous countries, many of which have chosen to house their New York-based consulates and related offices in the area’s historic buildings. With a high number of diplomats and diplomatic staff members from all over the world based in its neighborhoods, Midtown has become Manhattan’s window to rest of the world as well as the surrounding world’s window in.

Not far from the new Halcyon condo, one can peruse an array of striking historical buildings constructed in various European styles, some of which serve as home base for governments that wish not only to be represented in NYC, but to effectively serve their citizens who live in New York and surrounding states. Many of these buildings are over a century old, with much of their original design elements still intact. They stand as representations of another time—unique and dramatic structures that helped cultivate the diversity in architecture that exists throughout Midtown and the rest of Manhattan. Here are three of the most architecturally impressive consulate buildings in Midtown:

Joseph De Lamar House – Consulate General of the Republic of Poland | 233 Madison Ave.

The lavish Joseph De Lamar House, designed by famed American architect C.P.H Gilbert, was built on the corner of Madison Avenue and 37th Street in 1905. Originally used as a private mansion, it provides a prime example of the Beaux-Arts style of architecture that later became very popular throughout the city. As is typical with Beaux-Arts structures, the Joseph De Lamar House has a series of balconies situated between vibrant, layered stonework as well as a beautiful mansard roof. The stately structure immediately catches theeye. While clearly not a modern creation, it looks nearly brand new more than a century after it was built. Since 1973, the Joseph De Lamar House has served as the home of the Consulate General of Poland.

The Charles E. Mitchell Mansion – Consulate General of France | 934 5th Ave.

Designed by the renowned New York architecture firm Walker & Gillette, the Charles E. Mitchell Mansion was built in 1926 and has served as the home of the Consulate General of France since the early 1950s. The building has been kept almost entirely intact since its initial construction and is a stunning example of the Parisian and Italian Renaissance style of architecture. At five stories in height, it was constructed from brilliant limestone and brings a decidedly European flair to its neighborhood. Along the second floor, three massive, arching French windows lead out to the three large balconies that most often draw attention to the building.

New India House – Consulate General of India | 3 East 64th St.

Built in 1903 as a private residence, this beautiful Beaux-Arts mansion was purchased by the government of India in 1950. Another time-tested gem that has stood out for more than 100 years, the building now known as New India House is similar to the Joseph De Lamar House as it, too, was designed and constructed in the French Renaissance style. Massive, narrow windows with a series of elegant balconies lead up to an ornate, mansard roof of bright blue slate. While a series of five, small circular windows adorn the roof, adding to the meticulous symmetry of the structure, striking Indiana limestone on the facade helps the New India House stand out and express a refined, dignified appearance. As with the otherson this list, this is a building that’s worth taking the time to see if you happen to visit – or live in – Midtown Manhattan.

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