CityRealty's Top 10 Lists
New York City apartment buildings offer the best of everything: views, style, amenities, services, space, location, prestige...
CityRealty's residential architecture expert, Carter B. Horsley, has reviewed and compiled definitive Top 10 lists for every aspect of New York City apartment living and architecture. If you're looking for the right New York City apartment building with the best of something special you want in a home, or you just need to know who has the most spectacular rooftop decks in the city or the most incredible gargoyles, the CityRealty Top 10 lists let you know where it's at.
Most Popular Top 10 Lists
Even in a post-Animal House-era, dormitories never get much respect. In New York City, however, they still conjure images of youths staggering, not silently, in the wee hours towards their miniscule apartments and numerous roommates off ever-expanding campuses. It's not that the student haunts are unattractive, or in off-the-beaten paths. Indeed, many have prime locations, close to the proverbial "action." It's just that the best of the Top 10 Back-To-College New York City apartment buildings might be too elegant/fragile for their temporary residents.View List
Several of the Top 10 New York City condo apartment buildings in Chelsea are among the finest in the city. The Porter House at 360 West 15th Street is a spectacular, cantilevered, rooftop addition to a small warehouse in Chelsea that has became a beacon, literally, for the neighborhood. The High Line Elevated Park has spawned numerous interesting buildings including the HL 23, a cantilevered, mid-rise building that tilts forward and backward with the greatest of ease. Near by is 245 Tenth Avenue that does the same trick in stainless steel while 100 Eleventh Avenue offers fractured views on its main, curved facade and 200 Eleventh Avenue offers rooms in its spacious apartments for the residents' cars.View List
We know that viewing sunsets is one of life's supreme joys, but there are joys and then are slightly better joys. Le Corbusier, the famous modernist architect, is said to have built a country house for his mother with a wall in the field with a hole in it for viewing sunsets - all the better for bringing them into focus and concentration. Let the residents of Battery Park City and Riverside Boulevard and Riverside Drive with unobstructed vistas of the setting sun over New Jersey go blind with their unfiltered exposure. Real Manhattanites know that the best views have something upfront, not necessarily personal, to add some drama. That said, however, several of the best buildings to view awesome sunsets are on the waterfront but they have windows that seem to go from the floor to the clouds.View List
Back in the 1960s, lofts were dusty and drafty places at the top of a very steep flight, or two, of wooden, dimly-lit stairs on some forsaken street off the grid in Lower Manhattan. It was where old ladies and young girls sweated, churning out haberdashery, or shirts, or the like. All that changed when some near starving artists decided to camp out and live and work in these dingy spaces that could accommodate large works of what some called art. They were illegal, squatters, some with style. Before long, of course, the city passed laws to make it legal if one was a certified artist to live and work in these spaces. Galleries soon came to discover and exploit new artists and then the cafes and restaurants and collectors and boutiques to extract from the collectors left-over change. Then, landlords realized that all this creativity was increasing property values, especially once someone noticed that the buildings looked pretty good when cleaned up and restored. Thus was born SoHo, NoHo, NoLiTa, and TriBeCa, all of which are now the city's hottest and most desirable neighborhoods for the young and affluent and hip and fashion-obsessed. It's pretty hard to find the artists anymore for all the programmers, bankers and 1 percenters who now roam these precincts.View List
Although rustication implies a rough, rocky surface façade treatment, over the years it has come to denote a very pronounced, but generally smooth, rectilinear outlining of building elements, particularly at a structure's base, such as was popular on "palaces" in the Italian Renaissance. A few of the city's pre-war buildings have rustication the full height of a building, but others usually confine it to first several floors with no particular clue to whether more such floors conveys more status or not.View List
If you've got it, flaunt it, as the saying goes. These buildings are not necessarily the most fashionable nor the most expensive, but they are unquestionably special and their residents walk tall and proud even if they are not all Egyptians. When they get bored, they simply go to The Frick Collection to gaze at Gainsborough's coiffed ladies in a park for an instant cure.View List
The Top 10 New York City condo apartment buildings in Midtown East are some of the most prestigious in the city because of their prime locations. Trump Tower, Olympic Tower and the Galleria at 117 East 57th Street all took advantage of new zoning provisions aimed at promoting mixed-use skyscrapers.View List
The Top 10 Lobbies in New York City apartment buildings pack a lot of surprises. No Plain-Jane-Brown-Paper-Wrapper spaces, these! We talking gilded mosaic barrel vaults conjuring St. Mark's in Venice and angled, multi-level spaces with soaring, skylit atriums, and babbling brooks, and huge coat-rooms overlooking gardens and the East River, and cavernous halls fit for pharaohs, and large gray marble mausoleum-like rooms fit for the stars of the silent screen.View List
There is something intangible about a driveway that adds glamour to a New York City apartment building. Perhaps it's the fact that residents and guests don't have to hurdle puddles in their party dresses. Perhaps it's because the hoi polloi, and the paparazzi, can be often kept at bay, at least psychologically, from penetrating too deeply onto the driveway's sidewalk. A mere driveway without a marquee or canopy, of course, would hardly do, in terms of protection from the elements. The most discrete take you inside the building's courtyard.View List
What good are spectacular penthouse views if you're on the second floor? Well, in New York City real estate they are cherished for generally increasing the building's fame as a place of envy. Democratic buildings with roof decks, of course, make communal fireworks observations a pleasant "ooh" ritual as unobstructed vistas are so rare in this ever-changing city that many New Yorkers are grateful just for a peek of sky. The perfect apartment, of course, could be the minaret-like parapet atop the Sherry Netherland with views of Fifth Avenue in midtown not obscured by its gigantic neighbor, the former General Motors Building across from the Plaza. Problem is, that parapet does not come with an apartment. But making do with the New York City apartment views that do indeed exist, we offer you this Top 10.View List