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151 East 78th Street via 151 East 78th Street via
To look at the newest buildings rising in the Manhattan skyline, one would think New York City will be overrun with characterless glass towers that rise at the expense of beloved local architecture. However, that would be an incorrect assumption.

At the same time supertalls were on the rise, a new class of construction has begun to incorporate traditional design elements to great success. CityRealty data shows that 220 Central Park South and 15 Central Park West, both Robert A.M. Stern buildings with limestone facades and handsome design, have dominated the most expensive apartment sales of the past decade. Penthouses at The Benson, a prewar-inspired condominium on Madison Avenue, have held the top contract over the past two weeks, and a sales launch at 150 East 78th Street, another classically-inspired Stern design, is anticipated for next year.

Additionally, the apartments within also harken back to historic architectural details. One cannot help appreciating classic layouts with clearly defined rooms amidst the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown to contain it, and features like high ceilings, expansive proportions, and oversized windows are much admired at any time. These traditional details combine with contemporary finishes, appliances, and infrastructure to create highly coveted homes.

In this article:

15 Central Park West
15 Central Park West Central Park West
The Benson, 1045 Madison Avenue
The Benson, 1045 Madison Avenue Carnegie Hill
520 Park Avenue
520 Park Avenue Park/Fifth Ave. to 79th St.
220 Central Park South
220 Central Park South Midtown West
151 East 78th Street
151 East 78th Street Lenox Hill

301 East 81st Street
Design by SLCE Architects

21 stories | 32 units
12 two- to five-beds from $2.8M - $17M

301-East-81st-Street-01 All renderings of Beckford House via Noe & Associates: The Boundary
Beckford House is a meticulously designed condominium featuring a hand-carved and handlaid limestone and brick facade, gracious setback terraces, and Juliet balconies. This elegant full-floor unit's private elevator entry opens to a gracious foyer with herringbone flooring and access to an expansive corner living and dining room with prime south and west city views, a spectacular fireplace, meticulous detailing by Studio Sofield, gracious ceiling heights, and a private terrace. See floor plan and full details here.

30 Park Place
Design by Robert A.M. Stern Architects

82 stories | 157 units
13 two- to five-beds from $4M - $25M

30-Park-Place-02 Interiors via Evan Joseph
This opulent, limestone-clad downtown building houses private residences on top of a Four Seasons Hotel, and residents have access to all the hotel's amenities and services. This 78th-story duplex penthouse offers breathtaking views from the 400-square-foot terrace, with sweeping river views, the downtown skyline, New York Harbor and beyond. Interior features include a gas-burning fireplace, private elevator, library with wet bar, formal dining room, separate chef's kitchen, and media room. See floor plan and full details here.

Design by Robert A.M. Stern Architects
54 stories | 34 units
4 four-beds from $4M - $25M

520-Park-Avenue-01 All images of 520 Park Avenue via Serhant
520 Park Avenue has taken the Upper East Side to new heights, but its limestone facade and attractive roofline pay tribute to the surrounding prewar architecture. This full-floor home features gorgeous select-cut white oak floors, soaring 11' ceilings with crown molding, key-locked elevator access, charming bay windows, quadruple exposure, an in-unit washer/dryer, and a thoughtful layout. See floor plan and full details here.

Design by Robert A.M. Stern Architects
20 stories | 15 units
3 four-beds from $8M - $11.4M

1228-Madison-Avenue-01 All images of 1228 Madison Avenue via Grain
Half a block from New York City icons like Central Park and the Guggenheim, 1228 Madison Avenue pays tribute to classic architecture details with a stone curtain wall, traditional windows, tiered setbacks, and a dignified crown. This massive full-floor unit boasts quadruple exposures, a nearly 40' corner Great Room, separate eat-in kitchen with high-end appliances and fixtures, and luxurious bedroom suites with walk-in closets. See floor plan and full details here.

220-Central-Park-South-01 All images of 220 Central Park South via Vornado Realty Trust
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The sheer height of 220 Central Park South puts it among the supertalls that have recently risen along Billionaires' Row, yet its limestone facade, setback terraces, and ornamental metalwork nod to the architecture of yesteryear. This oversized unit boasts grand living space, soaring ceilings, state-of-the-art kitchen, luxurious bedroom suites, and unobstructed views of Central Park. See floor plan and full details here.

135-East-79th-Street-01 All images of 135 East 79th Street via Red Star New York
135 East 79th Street is distinguished by its hand-laid limestone facade, arched entrance, and ornate double-height lobby. It is just steps from Central Park, yet this duplex maisonette unit opens up to a 1,022-square-foot private garden. Interiors feature 10' ceilings, living room and dining room with pocket door and walls of windows, Christopher Peacock kitchen, peaceful bedrooms, and a sweeping staircase to connect both levels. See floor plan and full details here.

Design by Robert A.M. Stern Architects
43 stories | 202 units
3 four-beds from $4.5M - $65M

15-Central-Park-West-01 All images of 15 Central Park West via The Corcoran Group
Between its two buildings and limestone facade, the new condominium at 15 Central Park West has much in common with its landmarked forebears further north. Interiors also nod to the halcyon days of architecture with high ceilings, grand proportions, and intricately detailed walls and ceilings. However, this unit is well up to contemporary standards with LED lighting, a gold leaf-detailed bar, a chef's kitchen, and bedroom suites with impressive closet space and spa-like baths. See floor plan and full details here.

Design by Morris Adjmi Architects
9 stories | 4 units
2 four-beds from $7.5M - $8M

408-Greenwich-Street-01 All images of 408 Greenwich Street via Sotheby's International Realty
408 Greenwich Street is located in the Tribeca North Historic District, and the Landmarks Preservation Commission described this design by Morris Adjmi Architects as "a terrific modern application to the scale and character of the neighborhood." Features like arched windows, loft-like living space, tray ceilings, and elegant hardwood floors further add to its prewar-inspired appeal; however, its state-of-the-art security, elaborate sound system, top-of-the-line kitchen, and grand bedrooms were designer to appeal to contemporary buyers' needs and wishes. See floor plan and full details here.

Design by Peter Pennoyer Architects
16 stories | 14 units

151-East-78th-Street-01 151 East 78th Street via Peter Pennoyer
Located between Lexington and Third Avenues, the new condominium at 151 East 78th Street is outside a historic district, yet brings a touch of prewar-inspired elegance inspired by its prewar counterparts on Park and Fifth Avenues. The red brick and limestone tower houses 14 units featuring grand entrance galleries, soaring ceilings, Smallbone of Devizes kitchens, and spa-like baths with radiant heated floors. Amenities include a gym, yoga studio, library, and garden.

Design by Peter Pennoyer Architects
19 stories | 15 units

1045-Madison-Avenue-01 Rendering of The Benson via Hayes Davidson
The Benson is the first new condominium to take shape on the Upper East Side's Madison Avenue in over 20 years, and its design and limestone facade were inspired by the prewar cooperatives surrounding it. All units feature oversized windows, soaring ceilings, custom crown moldings, fireplaces with custom mantles, custom kitchens by Christopher Peacock, and master suites that occupy their own wing. The building will offer 24-hour doorman and concierge service as well as a state-of-the-art fitness center; half basketball court; spa with sauna and steam room; library with adjoining garden; art studio; pet spa with washing station; private cinema room; and landscaped roof lounge with fire pit and Central Park views.

Would you like to tour any of these properties?
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Or call us at (212) 755-5544
Would you like to tour any of these properties?