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12 East 87th Street

Between Fifth Avenue & Madison Avenue   |    Carnegie Hill

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Key Details

  • Co-op
  • Built in 1910
  • 31 Apartments
  • 9 Floors



12 East 87th Street has received a CityRealty Rating of 66, based on:


Anything above 30 is remarkable, from 20-29 is distinguished and from 11-19 is average, while below 11 is below average.


Anything above 27 is remarkable, from 18-26 is distinguished and from 9-17 is average, while below 9 is below average.


Anything above 22 is remarkable, from 16-21 is distinguished and from 9-15 is average, while below 9 is below average.

Rating Summary

Out of 44
Out of 36
Out of 39
Out of 119

Architecture Rating: Points Breakdown

Architectural Masterpiece 8 out of 8 points
Retail Quality:
None 2 out of 5 points
Canopy Entrance:
Attractive 2 out of 3 points
Well Done 1 out of 2 points
Plaza Or Atrium:
None 0 out of 3 points
Contextual Design:
Yes and Good 2 out of 3 points
Not Visible 0 out of 2 points
Local Visibility:
Partially Visible 1 out of 2 points
Enclosed 1 out of 2 points
Allowed and Present 0 out of 2 points
Free Standing:
No 0 out of 2 points
None 0 out of 2 points
None 0 out of 2 points
Consistent 1 out of 1 points
No 0 out of 2 points
Unified Design 1 out of 1 points
None 0 out of 1 points
Water Element:
None 0 out of 1 points

Location Rating: Points Breakdown

Street Ambience:
Very Attractive with Trees 4 out of 5 points
Distance To Neighborhood Center:
More than 50 blocks 0 out of 5 points
Open 2 out of 4 points
Neighborhood Ambience:
Very Attractive 3 out of 3 points
Traffic Noise:
Very Little 3 out of 3 points
Protected Views:
None 0 out of 2 points
Distance To Subway:
3-5 Short Blocks 1 out of 2 points
Firedepartment Noise:
No Noise 2 out of 2 points
Distance To Supermarket:
Less than 3 Short Blocks 2 out of 2 points
Distance To Park:
Less Than 3 Short Blocks 2 out of 2 points
Distance To Water:
3-6 Short Blocks 1 out of 2 points
5 or less Short Blocks 2 out of 2 points
No Noise 1 out of 1 points
Noise From Nightlife:
None 1 out of 1 points

Features Rating: Points Breakdown

Quite Stylish 3 out of 5 points
Units Per Floor:
3-4 3 out of 5 points
9-11 Feet 2 out of 4 points
Some 1 out of 3 points
Health Club:
None 0 out of 2 points
Private Gardens:
None 0 out of 2 points
Storage Rooms:
Minimal 1 out of 2 points
Bay Windows:
None 0 out of 1 points
None 0 out of 1 points
Door Person:
Yes 1 out of 1 points
None 0 out of 1 points
Elevator Person:
None 0 out of 1 points
Recreational Roof:
None 0 out of 1 points
None 0 out of 1 points
Maids Room:
None 0 out of 1 points
None 0 out of 1 points
None 0 out of 1 points
Mixed Use:
No 0 out of 1 points
Non Rectilinear Form:
No 0 out of 1 points
Unusual Layouts:
No 0 out of 1 points
Yes 1 out of 1 points
Other Amenities:
Some 1 out of 2 points
    How was this building rated?

    This very distinguished, 8-story, mid-block apartment building is one of the most attractive glazed terracotta structures in the city.

    Its entire façade is covered in bright white glazed terracotta, which gives it a gleam never matched by the multitude of "white-brick" apartment towers that began to spread across the city in the 1950s and 1960s.

    The building is almost symmetrical. The central section of the building has a very wide window flanked by two smaller windows and the east end of the street frontage has a medium-wide window and the west end a small window. The windows at the west and east ends are framed in continuous pilasters with decorative borders. All the windows are deeply inset giving the façade a very strong sense of depth and drama. Furthermore, all the windows are multipaned with quite large panes comprising the lower four-fifths and many small panes across the top one-fifth that reinforce the building's horizontal accents, which include four bandcourses and a large cornice. The end windows have short wrought-iron balcony railings on the third through the seventh floors. Those on the top floor have angled balconies that continue the decorative relief of the large bandcourse at that level.

    The first story of the building has a rusticated treatment and a low fence for its dry moat and lanterns flank its entrance.

    The overall effect of the façade, then, is extremely lively. It is surprising that such an elegant treatment was not more widely copied as it is a superb composition that combines the classicism of many Italian Renaissance-palazzo-style approaches with a "clean" modernism.

    It was designed by George and Edward Blum, who were the architects of several very interesting buildings on the Upper West Side that combine Beaux-Arts traditions and Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts touches.

    The building was originally called The Capitol and was designed with only one, five-bedroom apartment a floor. During construction, the building collapsed, killing four workers.

    During the Depression, some of the units were subdivided and when rent-control laws were introduced in 1943, more were subdivided "for which market rents could be charged," observed Andrew Alpern in his excellent book, "Historic Manhattan Apartment Houses" (Dover Publications, Inc., 1996), that devotes an entire chapter to this building. One of the illustrations shows the building with its original large cornice, which is now missing, although its many bracket supports remain and give the building a rather interesting top when viewed from the street.

    The original Venetian Renaissance-style lobby was replaced in the 1940's with mirrors, light-colored wood and zebra-stripped upholstery, according to Mr. Alpern. In the late 1990s, however, the lobby was redone in a bright, light-colored, modern lobby much more in keeping with the building's architecture.

    The building's west side is adjacent to a very pleasant garden that belongs to Liederkranz Hall, a club that was formerly a Phipps family mansion designed by Grosvenor Atterbury. The northeast corner of 87th Street and Fifth Avenue had been the site of a very large and impressive mansion with gardens behind a balustraded limestone fence that had also belonged to the Phipps family and was eventually replaced by the handsome apartment building at 1060 Fifth Avenue.

    This is a very quiet block in the heart of the Carnegie Hill neighborhood, which is named after Andrew Carnegie, the steel magnate, who was also a partner with Henry Phipps. Carnegie's mansion still stands, with its large fenced garden, on Fifth Avenue between 90th and 91st Streets.

    A supermarket is nearby on Madison Avenue, which also has numerous nice boutiques and restaurants. There is excellent cross-town bus service on 86th Street and many important cultural institutions and many leading private schools in the vicinity.

    The building has no garage, no health club and no sidewalk landscaping. It has a part-time doorman and permits protruding air-conditioners. It was converted to a cooperative in 1985 and has 28 apartments.

    Carter B. Horsley

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    Nearby Subway Stations

    1. 4
    2. 5
    3. 6
    at Lexington Ave 0.23 miles

    Carter Horsley's Review

    12 East 87th Street Carter Horsley's Building Review
    "This very distinguished, 8-story, mid-block apartment building is one of the most attractive glazed terracotta structures in the city." Read Carter's Full Review

    The pros & cons

    • Very distinguished architecture
    • Excellent cross-town bus service one block to the south
    • Close to many major cultural institutions
    • Nice- quiet street
    • Few apartments
    • Many very broad windows
    • Close to Subway
    • No garage
    • No sidewalk landscaping
    • No health club
    • Missing most of its cornice
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    Pricing Comparison of Similar Buildings

    View Detailed Comparison

    12 East 87th Street - 10 year Sales History

    View Full Sales History

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    In the Neighborhood: What’s Available & Sales Stats

    Not enough data available to generate chart.
    • 317 Available for Sale
    • $2,001 Avg. Price / Ft2
    • $3,931,047 Avg. Price
    • $2,450,000 Median Price
    1. Most Expensive 1030 Fifth Avenue Apt 12thFloor | $35,000,000
      Price / ft2 $34,146
    2. Least Expensive 152 East 83rd Street Apt 2B | $395,000
      Price / ft2 $878

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    for more information Are you ready to tour 12 East 87th Street? Contact
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