The illuminated apartment house in the background is Audubon Hall; the one in front is the Grinnell. Here's a circa 1910 photo of the Grinnell showing some decorative roof adornments that have since been removed.
These buildings stand in a section of Washington Heights once known as Audubon Park, a residential area that grew out of the wooded estate (map) of the famed ornithologist and illustrator John James Audubon. (You can view online the full collection of Audubon's stunning illustrations from his landmark work Birds of America.) In the years after Audubon's death in 1851, his family gradually sold off their property; by 1873, most of Audubon Park was owned by the Grinnell family.
The fittingly middle-named George Bird Grinnell was taught as a young boy by Audubon's widow, Lucy, and would go on to become a noted naturalist in his own right. Known to many as "the father of American conservation", he founded the original Audubon Society and was the driving force behind the creation of Glacier National Park.