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Duke Ellington House facts for kids

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Duke Ellington House
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Location 935 St. Nicholas Avenue,
Manhattan, New York City, New York
Built 1915
Architectural style Late Gothic Revival
NRHP reference No. 76001239
Quick facts for kids
Significant dates
Added to NRHP May 11, 1976
Designated NHL May 11, 1976

The Duke Ellington House is a historic residence at 935 St. Nicholas Avenue, in Manhattan, New York City. Apartment 4A in this apartment house was the home of Duke Ellington (1899-1974), the noted African American composer and jazz pianist, from 1939 through 1961. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a National Historic Landmark in 1976.

Description and history

The apartment house containing the Duke Ellington House is located in northern Manhattan's Washington Heights neighborhood, at the southwest corner of St. Nicholas Avenue and 157th Street. It is a six-story masonry structure, built in 1915 in the Late Gothic Revival style. The ground floor appears as a raised basement, with horizontal bands of stonework between its windows. The middle four floors are essentially identical, with some columns of window bays featuring decorative carved panels between the floors. Top-floor windows are set in peaked-arch openings and have more elaborate surrounds. The building is crowned by a parapet with stone turrets and projections. A pair of entrance bays are located at the center of the St. Nicholas facade, the entrances deeply recessed in peaked-arch openings.

When Duke Ellington moved into Apartment A4 in this building in 1939, he was already a well-known musician with a national reputation. It was during his period of his residency here that he wrote a number of his most important compositions, including Black, Brown and Beige, his first major extended-length jazz composition for chorus and orchestra. During this period, Ellington's music and personal style had a major impact on African-American culture specifically, as well as broader cultural trends in music.

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