(695-709 Sixth Ave., Manhattan)


Title of Installation:                                                                                              

Ehrich Brothers Emporium/J. L. Kesner Building

Materials Used:

Ceramic tiles on the pilasters

General Description:

Arts and crafts-style panels of plastic tiles in gold, blue and white glazes. Each panel has a central "K" for Kesner.

Technical Information (Size,mfg., etc.):

The tiles were manufactured by the Hartford Faience Co. of Hartford, CT. This company was founded in 1894 as the Atwood Faience Company by Eugene Atwood, who was recently a partner of William H. Grueby in Boston.*  This building was designed in 1889 by the architect William Schickel as the Erich Brothers Emporium. The Ehrich Brothers store closed in 1911 and the building passed to Chicago merchants J.L. Kesner Company. Architects Taylor & Levi added new storefronts with Arts and Crafts style pilasters with terra cotta panels with the initial "K" by Hartford Faience. Kesner left in 1913,*** and the building is currently occupied by Staples and the Burlington Coat Factory. The building is within the Ladies Mile Historic District and has an elegant cast iron facade and is in the Renaissance Revival tradition.

Year Created:

c. 1911

Year Installed, if different:

Does Installation Still Exist?

Yes, but some panels are in disrepair due to neglect. (see photos #2 and #4 below)

If Not, What Happened?


New York



Location of Installation:

695-709 Sixth Avenue, NY, NY on the West side of Sixth Avenue (aka Avenue of the Americas) between West 22nd and West 23rd Streets

GPS Coordinates:

Directions to Installation:

Additional Information, Websites, Citations:

*Susan J. Montgomery, The Ceramics of William H. Grueby,Arts and Crafts Quarterly Press, Lambertville, NJ, 1993, pp. 13-16.

Norman Karlson, The Encyclopedia of American Art Tiles, Volume I, Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., Atglen, PA, 2005, pp. 92-96.

White, Willensky and Leadon, AIA Guide to New York City, Random House, New York, 2010, p. 210.





Submitted by and Year:

Michael Padwee (tileback101"at"collector.org), September 2010

 (Photo credit: ****)

Photo taken in 2000 by Michael Padwee

(one of the damaged panels, photo credit: "Walking home [Midtown to Park Slope] – May 5th, 2010"**)