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River Tower, 420 East 54th Street

between First Avenue & Sutton Place   |    Beekman/Sutton Place

River Tower - 420 East 54th Street
  • Rental
  • Built in 1982
  • 324 Apartments
  • 38 Floors
  • Size Starting From # avail
  • 1 Bed $4,950 4
  • 2 Beds $4,000 2
  • 3 Beds $7,500 1
  • Last updated Oct 23, 2016

furnished apartment providers

New York, NY 10022
(212) 803-7399

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River Tower Overview

This giant, trapezoidal, through-block, apartment tower radically departs from the city's regimented building alignment with its rectilinear midtown grid.

Its long façades are at 45 percent angles with the sidestreets and the tower is set back from 54th Street with landscaped plazas on either side of it.

More interestingly, it is bigger at the top than at the bottom, an exceedingly rare high-rise phenomenon. Its bulges provide dramatic bay windows for the highest, and most expensive, apartments, and give the building a less than svelte, but very powerful profile.

Developed by Harry B. Macklowe, this 38-story building was erected in 1981 and was designed by Schuman Lichtenstein Claman & Efron with Rudolph de Harak. It has 324 apartments.

Despite its architectural bravura, this building's pale beige masonry and glass façades are a bit of a letdown, a cheapening of an otherwise very important project. The banded window pattern works well, maximizing residents' views and somewhat minimizing the building's very large bulk. If only the base of the building at least had some more impressive facing such as a dark red or green polished granite, this would be a more impressively monumental development. As it is, nonetheless, it was a precursor of Macklowe's more famous Metropolitan Tower on West 57th Street, a black reflective glass building whose main tower is also slanted rakishly. It is interesting to note that this building preceded Edward Larrabee Barnes's IBM Building, with its famous angled façade facing southwest on Madison Avenue at 57th Street by two years.

This was one of several huge "luxury" apartment towers of its period that placed hundreds of apartments into massive structures with a full complement of building services, but relatively little in the way of true luxury detailing or spacious layouts. Still, such blockbusters provided stupendous views for their residents and a burgeoning new East Side skyline. The building has a health c...

River Tower, 420 East 54th Street Photo Gallery

Nearby Subway Stations

  1. M
    • Lexington Av - 53rd Street (at Lexington Ave and 53rd) (0.32 miles)
  2. 6
    • Lexington Av - 53rd Street (at Lexington Ave and 53rd) (0.32 miles)
  3. E
    • Lexington Av - 53rd Street (at Lexington Ave and 53rd) (0.32 miles)
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Apartments For rent AT 420 East 54th Street (7)

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River Tower, 420 East 54th Street Aerial Imagery


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River Tower, 420 East 54th Street Alternate Address

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In the Neighborhood: What’s Available & Sales Stats

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  • 42 Available for Rent
  • $90 Avg. Price / Ft2
  • $4,461 Avg. Price
  • $4,048 Median Price
  1. Most Expensive River Court Apt 29AB | $12,000
    Price / ft2 $82
  2. Least Expensive The Sutton Collection Apt 5H | $2,150
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