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The Chatham, 181 East 65th Street: Review and Ratings

at The Northwest corner of Third Avenue View Full Building Profile

Carter Horsley
Review of 181 East 65th Street by Carter Horsley

The Chatham at 181 East 65th Street on the northwest corner at Third Avenue is a very handsome, red-brick, condominium apartment building on the former site of the Sign of the Dove Restaurant that for several decades was one of the most elegant and expensive on the Upper East Side.

The 34-story tower, which was completed in 2000, was designed by Robert A. M. Stern, a leading Post-Modem architect who is dean of the Yale School of Architecture and the author of several very major volumes on the history of New York's architecture over the last century or so.

Ismael Leyva Architects was also involved in the building's design.

The building has 94 apartments.

The developer is The Related Companies L.P., which became one of the city's leading residential builders in the 1980's, and the sponsor of the project is Evod Acquisition, L.L.C.


Bottom Line

The most elegant Post-Modern apartment tower along the redeveloped stretch of Third Avenue on the Upper East Side. 


The red-brick-and-stone-trim tower sports one of the most attractive rooftop watertank enclosures to be created in many decades with an extremely nice quoin treatment and nicely concave corners.

The main shaft of the tower, which is atop an 85-foot-high base, has very attractive and tall bay windows and the building's proportions are excellent.

Architect Stern also designed the lobby, elevator cabs and hallways.

The lobby is oval with a 17-foot-oculus that is painted blue.


The building has a restaurant with butler service and a residents-only Equinox spa and fitness center. Parking with valet service and separate storage space are also available for each apartment. The building also has a bicycle room and a concierge.  The building is also pet friendly.

Many of the apartments have striking views to the west including Central Park.

A local subway station is at 68th Street and Lexington Avenue and the neighborhood has excellent shopping.


Apartments on floors 4 through 17 have 9-foot ceilings and those above have 10-foot ceilings.

Apartments have wine coolers, individually controlled heating and air-conditioning units, washers and dryers and Sub-Zero appliances.

Apartment 17D is a two-bedroom unit that has a 13-foot-long foyer that leads to a 24-foot-long living/dining room adjacent to an enclosed kitchen.

Apartment 19B is a three-bedroom unit that has a 11-foot-long foyer that leads to a 27-foot-long gallery that leads to a 23-foot-long living room that opens onto a 15-foot-long dining room next to an enclosed kitchen.

Apartment 28B is a three-bedroom unit that has a foyer that leads to a 23-foot-long hall that leads to a 22-foot-long living room adjacent to a 15-foot-long dining room next to a 15-foot-long enclosed kitchen.

Apartment 30A has a very long gallery flanked by a 26-foot-wide living room and a 18-foot-wide dining room next to a very large kitchen. The apartment also has a very large  master bedroom suite with two bay windows and two other bedrooms, each with a bay window, and a maid’s room.

The penthouse duplex has a large double-height dining room with two slightly curved walls flanked by terraces on the lower level.  A breakfast area adjacent to a kitchen is on one side and a living room with a media room is on the other.  The upper level has two bedrooms, each with a terrace.


In their great book, "New York 2000, Architecture and Urbanism Between The Bicentennial And The Millennium" (The Monacelli Press, 2006), Robert A. M. Stern, David Fishman and Jacob Tilove noted that the Chatham "replaced a row of four-story apartment houses, 1110-1118 Third Avenue (John Snook, 1868) and 166 East Sixty-Sixth Street, also designed by Snook as part of two series of townhouses, 156-166 East Sixty-Sixth Street and 157-167 East 65th Street, which were renovated in 1919 by Edward Shepard Hewitt, who created a common garden between them that came to be known as the Jones Wood Gardens, named after Jones's Wood, an early-nineteenth-century summertime pleasure ground that had been located near the East River and was considered for a great public park before the site of Central Park was settled on." 


The Chatham is across the avenue from the mid-rise Manhattan House, the full-block, white-brick apartment house designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill whose popularity resulted in the burgeoning flowering of white-brick towers all over the Upper East Side.

This section of Third Avenue has changed dramatically over the last two decades with several major apartment towers of considerable gleam and gloss. As a result, this neighborhood has considerable "light and air" because of the tower's plazas and the pre-war "tone" of this one makes it stand out quite well.



Out of 44

Architecture Rating: 30 / 44

Out of 36

Location Rating: 28 / 36

Out of 39

Features Rating: 22 / 39


CityRealty Rating Reference

  • 30+ remarkable
  • 20-29 distinguished
  • 11-19 average
  • < 11 below average
  • 27+ remarkable
  • 18-26 distinguished
  • 9-17 average
  • < 9 below average
  • 22+ remarkable
  • 16-21 distinguished
  • 9-15 average
  • < 9 below average
  • #9 Rated condo - Upper East Side
  • #4 Rated condo - Lenox Hill
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