In 1892 Henry Aplington sold the four-story brick house at 314 West 51st Street to builder Alexander Moore, the principal in Alexander Moore & Son. Within a year he replaced the vintage structure with a modern flat building. Sitting on a brownstone base, the upper floors of 314 West 51st Street were clad in yellow Roman brick and trimmed in warm terra cotta. Half of a mirror image pair with 316 West 51st Street, its exuberant Renaissance Revival design featured elaborate carvings, paneled Corinthian pilasters, and an ambitious pressed metal cornice with scrolled brackets and a foliate-decorated frieze.
Among the tenants in 1938 was 28-year-old Patrick Pico. He was the mastermind of a two-man burglary scheme tagged by police as a "dollar-deposit" racket. He and 27-year-old Ruben Tormey would go to rooming houses, pay $1 deposit on a room saying they expected to get money that day, and obtain a set of keys. When the landlord left, "they would fill their suitcases with jewelry, furs, cameras, binoculars, clothing and anything else they could lay their hands on, and flee," as reported by the New York Post on May 17, 1938. By the time Ruben Tormey was caught, they had victimized at least 25 rooming houses. The newspaper said Tormey took police to 314 West 51st Street "where they found Pico--as well as six leather bags full of alleged loot and thirty-five gown tickets."