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1214 Fifth Avenue: Review and Ratings

between East 102nd Street & East 103rd Street View Full Building Profile

Carter Horsley
Review of 1214 Fifth Avenue by Carter Horsley

The top 30 floors of the 42-​story, luxury residential rental, mid-block tower at 1214 Fifth Avenue on 102nd Street has 185 apartments and the lower floors of medical offices are leased to the adjacent Mt. Sinai Medical Center. 

The 513-foot-high, mixed-use tower has been designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli and developed by Durst Fetner Residential.

Bottom Line

A very refined, luxury, mixed-use tower that gracefully diminishes the hulking presence of Mt. Sinai’s 1976 tower and adds a handsome, modern touch to the allure of Fifth Avenue’s “Museum Mile.”


The tower, which is also known as 4 East 102nd Street, is reflective glass delicately divided by thin yellow vertical strips and thin blue horizontal bands.

The glass façades continue into the base, which also has some large cast-stone elements with punched vertical windows delineating the medical office base.

The ground-​level, double-height residential lobby has a revolving door entrance and

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified walnut-​veneered walls and very impressive silver travertine stone flooring.

The site includes a landscaped automobile ​courtyard at the western side of the tower that provides direct access to the residential tower lobby. The courtyard also opens the building base to greater daylight and a garden entrance.

Designed to attain LEED Silver certification, the building uses 30 percent less water and is 15 percent more energy efficient than code.

In an October 10, 2011 article in The Wall Street Journal, Robbie Whelan observed that architect Rafael Pelli “has designed the building so that it tapers as it rises,” adding that “the bottom, nearly windowless floors of medical office suites are heavy with pre-cast stone masonry.”

“As the building rises,” the article continued, “this bulk dissipates into a series of vertical stone ‘piers,’ or vertical panels that hang like wind chimes amid the building’s watery glass façade and sides.  On the upper floors, these panels actually become physically narrower, and for the top six floors, the geometry of the building’s footprint has been shifted from rectangle to parallelogram, giving the impression of a crown on the tower that has a further sense of slimming.”

The piers are slightly angled vertically.

More importantly, the narrow stone panels create a very attractive, lacy façade that is a welcome relief to the huge Annenberg Building in the center of the Mt. Sinai campus.  Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in 1976, it was described by Elliot Willensky, Norval White and Fran Leadon in the fifth edition of “The A. I. A. Guide to New York City Architecture” as “a great, rusty, cadaverous blockbuster of a building, an incursive hulk that dominates the skyline of East Harlem to its east.” 


The building has a 24-hour concierge, a 200-car garage with six recharging stations for electric vehicles, two bicycle rooms, and a children’s playroom. 

There are also two residents’ lounges 175 feet above street level with commanding views of Central Park with a 20-by-60 foot sitting room, billiards, a bar area with walnut-​veneered paneling and a Venato Travertine hearth. 

Adjacent to the sitting room, a media room and a kitchenette-​and-​dining area both have direct access to a 460-​square-​foot planted terrace with stone deck. The fitness lounge features a 60-​foot-​long two-​lane lap pool with a professional lifeguard during business hours, a 2,500-square-foot gym, shower room and towel service area.  A windowed screening room has theater-style seating. 

Related Rentals manages the building and offers complimentary fax and copy service to its residents


A May 17, 2012 article by Alexei Barrionuevo in The New York Times said that “the apartments themselves are generously sized and boast impressive views of the northeast end of Central Park,” adding that the residences have spacious entranceways, roomy closets and luxury finishes, including hidden dishwashers, stainless-steel appliances and marble bathrooms.” 

A three-bedroom, three-bath duplex penthouse has a 20-foot ceiling in its living room. 

“Double-corner” two-bedroom units with two full baths have an 11-foot-wide entry foyer with a 20-foot-long living/dining room with an open kitchen. 

Corner convertible two-bedroom units with one bath have a 5-five-foot-long foyer that leads to a 10-foot-long home office and a 17-foot-long living/dining room with an open kitchen. 

Junior 1-bedroom units have an entry foyer that leads to an 18-foot-long living/dining room with an open kitchen and a 9-foot-long sleeping alcove.


Harold A. Fetner is president and chief executive officer of Sidney Fetner Associates since 1988 and president and chief executive officer of Durst Fetner Residential since its founded in 2007.  He is a former clerk for the Honorable Joe Hynes, Special Prosecutor of the State of New York.

Douglas Durst is chairman of Durst Fetner and head of The Durst Organization.

The architecture firm was founded by Cesar Pelli, whose major projects included the World Financial Center at Battery Park City, the Beacon Tower at 750 Lexington Avenue at 59th Street, the Museum Tower of the Museum of Modern Art the very colorful Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles and the twin Petronas Towers of 1997 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that were the tallest in the world until 2004.

His son now runs the firm and his major projects include the 1,017-foot-high Transbay Tower that is scheduled for completion in 2017 along with its very impressive, five-block-long Transbay Transit Center with roof gardens, the 2013, 1063-foot-high Landmark mixed-use tower in Abu Dhabi.


The building is very close to the entrance to the lovely Central Park Conservancy Garden and not far from the park’s Harlem Meer. 

It is also near the Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue which includes the nearby Museum of The City of New York, El Museo del Barrio, the New York Academy of Science, the Jewish Museum, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

It is just to the east of 1212 Fifth Avenue, a handsome, pre-war apartment building that Durst Fetner Residential converted into a condominium in 2012.

Key Details
  • No Fee Rental built in 2012
  • Located in East Harlem
  • 229 total apartments 229 total apartments
  • Doorman
  • Pets Allowed