Regina Apartments

The Regina Apartments at 260 Island Avenue is a collection of units encased in a lovely brick building designed by Joseph Tognoni. The building's owner, Jean Sigg, was a successful Swiss-born chef who ran the kitchen at a number of downtown restaurants and casinos including the Palm Room at the Club Fortune, the Tavern, The Willows on South Virginia St., and the Riverside Dining Room. The apartment building was named for the Siggs' daughter, Regina.

The charming building, completed in 1941, predated the Park Tower high-rise next door by two decades. At the time of its construction, it stood next to a private home and just downhill from George Wingfield's elegant house, which faced Court Street.

The exterior design was exquisite from the start, with a beautiful front entry tower featuring glossy tile trim and large windows. Contractor George Panicari was widely known for his fine brickwork, which is on full display here. The front units face Wingfield Park and the river and remain within convenient walking distance to downtown shopping and services.

The building houses only eight three-room units, but upon opening, each was fully and tastefully furnished and decorated, two in Satinwood Regency period, two in Mahogany Regency, two in Swedish Modern and two in French Provincial. One front upstairs unit had the added bonus of a small den with windows on three sides, occupying the upper portion of the tower. A basement contains garage space, additional storage, and heating and air conditioning equipment.

The context changed drastically when the 17-story Park Tower was completed next door in 1961. For a time the Regina Apartments building housed a plastic surgery center, but it has been vacant for many years.

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