This is a wonderfully curious building. It's at 36 W. 56th Street, between Fifth and Sixth. It looks like a bit of H.H. Richardson Romanesque Gothic (though not built by him, of course), particularly given the red-hued stone. Which I love. Looks rather fortress-like as well. Not sure what to make of those twin, metal, upsidedown pineapples, or if they're original. There's some fancy, carved lettering at the cornice, but I can only make out an "A" with any certainty.
A little internet searching finds that the Historic Districts Council is on the case and is trying to get the building landmarked. They wrote this to the Landmarks Commission:
Built 1881-1882, was designed by Bruce Price, architect of the landmark skyscraper American Surety Building. An architectural figure of international importance, Price is best known for his Shingle style designs in Tuxedo Park, NY, the National Historic Landmark Georgian Court in Lakewood, NJ, several stations and hotels for the Canadian Pacific railway system and several halls at Yale University. The building at 36 West 56th Street was called by Montgomery Schuyler in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine as one of the few successful applications of the Queen Anne style in New York domestic architecture. Although this building is the most altered of the three, with a front ground floor addition, the upper façade is still very much intact and retains most of Price’s façade details.
No mentioned of it's original purpose. Perhaps just a home. A very nice home.