Harlem theater and Staten Island house designated

Photoplays theater built in 1914. The Claremont Theater building, located at 3320-3328 Broadway in Harlem, Manhattan, is one of the oldest structures in New York City constructed specifically for showing motion pictures, originally called “photoplays.” The 1914 theater was designed in the neo-Renaissance style and faced in white terra cotta and white glazed brick by architect Gaetano Ajello, best-known for his apartment buildings on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The building has an unusual arrangement with three distinct fronts, including an elaborately decorated clipped corner facade that served as the auditorium’s original entrance. In 1915, the theater’s entrance was prominently featured in a short film produced by Thomas Edison. Noting its well-preserved exterior and importance to the city’s cultural history, Landmarks unanimously voted to designate the Claremont on June 6, 2006.

Landmarks also unanimously approved the designation of the Mark W. Allen house in New West Brighton, Staten Island on June 13, 2006. The house, one of only a few remaining craftsman-style homes, was built in 1920-21 for Mark W. Allen, a prominent Staten Island politician. Landmarks noted that the house retains a high degree of original fabric. 3 CityLand 4 (May 15, 2006).

LPC: Claremont Theater Building, 3320-3328 Broadway (LP-2198) (June 6, 2006); LPC: Mark W. Allen House, 665 Clove Road (LP-2190) (June 13, 2006).

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