Villa Charlotte Brontë

Published on October 21, 2009, 1:49 pm
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The Villa Charlotte Bronte is Riverdale’s iconic early co-op. Built in 1926 in the style of an Italian villa with 17 units, this extraordinary apartment house sits on a bluff overlooking the Hudson River.

The Villa Charlotte Bronte is a five minute walk to the Metro North commuter station and a 22 minute ride to Grand Central Station.

John J. McKelvey, a lawyer, writer and developer, built it in 1926 and advertised it in The New York Times for anyone whose “soul is hungry for the majesty of the river” — a fair description even today.

His architect, Robert W. Gardner, designed the Brontë’s 17 co-op apartments in two sections separated by a central courtyard, the individual apartments connected by walkways, freestanding stairs, stone arches and other details that make it seem all akimbo.

The two buildings are like a fantasy sand castle for the Amalfi coast designed by M. C. Escher. The exterior is artfully roughened stucco, with irregular brick, odd stones and bulbous roof tile in a tangle of orange, green, blue and red, as if by Antonio Gaudí. Each apartment has at least three exposures through steel casement windows, with a private entrance and a wood-burning fireplace. The Hudson River views range from sliver to sumptuous. The complex is surrounded by a network of walkways threaded through lush planted areas.


Jonas Bronck is the pseudonym under which we publish and manage the content and operations of The Bronx Daily.™ | - the largest daily news publication in the borough of "the" Bronx with over 1.5 million annual readers. Publishing under the alias Jonas Bronck is our humble way of paying tribute to the person, whose name lives on in the name of our beloved borough.