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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)

30 East 85th Street

At The Southwest corner of Madison Avenue

88
Carter Horsley
Review by Carter Horsley
Carter Horsley Carter B. Horsley, a former journalist for The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Post. Mr. Horsley is also the editorial director of CityRealty.com.
 

One of the few, new, tall, post-World War II buildings on the Upper East Side west of Lexington Avenue, this 30-story tower at 30 East 85th Street on the southwest corner at Madison Avenue is one of the most luxurious.

It was erected in 1987 by Donald Zucker and Joseph Slifka. 

It was designed by Schuman, Lichtenstein, Claman & Efron. 

The original scheme called for 104 condominium apartments, but by the time the building was completed several were combined and the building now has 90 apartments. 

Bottom Line

This full-service condominium tower has many great views. It is very close to Central Park, Dean & DeLuca and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Description

The building has a very attractive, two-story granite base and a very impressive entrance on the side-street, with a large marquee, flanked by flowerboxes. 

Above its low-rise base, the tower, which rises in several setbacks to a slanted crown, is freestanding. Most units have corner balconies and there are some terraces.

The large, slanted crown of the building is illuminated at night. 

The design of the tower is fine in its proportions, but the choice of a pale, salmon-colored brick was unusual. Some older apartment houses nearby are clad in light-beige brick and the architects here deserve credit for attempting to find a compatible, contextual color as well as a distinctive one. 

The color is a bit odd, but not offensive. The brickwork seems less than perfect and the mansard-like watertank enclosure is a little clumsy. Still, the overall impression here is of considerable quality and modern apartments at such an extremely desirable location and with such views are very rare.

Amenities

In addition to a concierge and doorman, the building has elevator operators, basement storage, an entrance marquee and a garage. 

Although it does not have a pool and sundeck, its second floor is leased to the David Barton Gym, which has extensive facilities. 

Apartments

Some of the apartments have bidets and all have solid wood doors, cherry wood floors and, most rare for a post-war building, plaster walls. 

The windows were imported from the Netherlands, the glass and ash-blond kitchen cabinets were from France and the kitchen sinks from Germany and all the bathrooms have marble walls and floors and whirlpool baths. 

When it was erected, the building offered four, 4-bedroom duplexes on the top two floors. 

Apartment 4K is a studio unit with a 21-foot-long living space and an enclosed kitchen. 

Apartment 6P has a 33-foot-long living/dining room with two corners fronting on a 2,769-square-foot terrace.  The unit has four bedrooms, one of which has a 127-square-foot terrace. 

Apartment 3C has a 10-foot-wide entry foyer that leads pas a 12-foot-long enclosed kitchen to a 26-foot-long living room with a fireplace and a 22-foot-square terrace with a gazebo.  The apartment has two bedrooms, one with a 11-foot-square south terrace. 

Apartment 8B his a two-bedroom unit that as an 11-foot-long entry foyer that leads past a 12-foot-long enclosed kitchen to a 29-foot-long living room with a small balcony. 

Apartment 11 D has a large entry foyer that leads to a 21-foot-long living room with a small balcony and an 18-foot-long library.  The apartment has an 18-foot-long formal dining room next to a 16-foot-long east-in kitchen and five bedrooms, one with a small balcony. 

History

The condominium tower was completed in 1987. The developer bought the air rights to the three buildings to the south on Madison Avenue for $1.5 million and the estimated construction cost of the project was over $60 million. An article by Lisa W. Foderaro in the February 27, 1987 edition of The New York Times said that "the overall sellout price on the condominiums is $96,967,000." 

Clearly, the developers wanted to create a first-class property befitting its prime location close to Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue and the staggering Central Park vistas from many of its units. 

As if in deference to its aspirations, two, old low-rise buildings immediately to the west on 85th Street, were rebuilt into luxurious, modern townhouses designed by Gwathmey Siegel Associates, a nice complement, and, more importantly, a major improvement to the streetscape. 

The only real drawback is that 85th Street is a major access street to a transverse road in Central Park to the Upper West Side. 

There is excellent bus service nearby and the building’s entrance is across 85th Street from a Dean & DeLuca gourmet food store.

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