The George F. Baker complex of houses is an exception to CAHPT’s focus on early 19th Century architecture. The Baker Houses are unmistakably early 20th Century, mostly built or started during the affluent 1920s. While the time period may be a hundred years later than the early 19th Century neo-classical period, the architecture looks almost the same, illustrating the recurring popularity of the classical style of architecture.
The architect for most of these buildings, including the two acquired by Richard Jenrette (No. 67 and 69 East 93rd Street), was Delano & Aldrich, the most fashionable residential architects in New York City during the early decades of the 20th Century. Their style was classical, but with far more restraint and simplicity than the more exuberant Greek Revival forms of the mid-19th Century. The Delano & Aldrich aesthetic, at least for the Bakers, seemed early 19th Century – almost English Regency. The house has relatively high ceilings, tall windows extending to the floor, classical marble mantels, arched doorways, and an elegant spiral staircase through the center of the house that brings in light from a domed skylight above.
Especially notable on the exterior of the Baker complex of houses is the Ionic colonnade on the east façade of 69 East 93rd Street. The colonnade, consisting of four matched pairs of fluted Ionic columns two stories high, frames a second floor loggia. These tall columns provide an elegant backdrop to what was once the Bakers’ “French Courtyard.”
The cornerstone building of the Baker complex, 75 East 93rd Street, was the residence of George F. Baker, Jr. It included a ballroom wing as well as the French courtyard. It is now owned by the Russian Orthodox Church, who received it as a gift from Mrs. George F. Baker, Jr. in 1958.
The residence at 67 East 93rd Street was built for the senior George F. Baker before he died in 1932. It was acquired by Mr. Jenrette in 1987. The final Baker to live in the family complex was George F. Baker IV, who sold 69 East 93rd Street to Richard H. Jenrette in 1988. This building now serves as the administrative headquarters for Classical American Homes Preservation Trust.