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109 East 79th Street renderings credit of Noe & Associates with The Boundary 109 East 79th Street renderings credit of Noe & Associates with The Boundary
Given that much of the western half of the Upper East Side is protected by a historic district, walking the blocks and sidestreets of Madison, Park, and Museum Mile can feel like stepping back in time. But that is not to say that it is frozen in time. Quite the contrary - several new condos are on the rise throughout the neighborhood, many of which are historically informed incorporating classical elements of pre-war architecture. A prime example may be found just off Park Avenue at 109 East 79th Street, where Steven Harris Architects has crafted an opulent new condominium with residences inspired by Rosario Candela and J.E.R. Carpenter. As of December 2020, the concrete frame is more than one-third up towards its 20-story, 210-foot height.
109-East-71s-Street-04 Left: Original facade of a pre-existing mansion at the site; Right: Axonometric zoning diagram showing the new building's classical stepped massing
While locals and preservationists were sad to see the pre-existing rowhouses demolished (their architectural ornamentation was auctioned off at least), the design of the new structure promised to pay tribute to Art Deco, Mid-Century, and Bauhaus design. The first released exterior rendering shows the lower portion will have a fluted limestone and masonry brick facade, punctuated by casement-style windows that promise to fill the apartments with natural light (East 79th Street is a wide, two-way thoroughfare). The building's entrance is framed by sidewalk plantings and Pietra de Torre stone and features a slender bronze canopy with custom artwork above.
The building's exterior is not the only aspect influenced by prewar architecture; the layouts of the 32 two- to five-bedroom units were inspired by the great pre-war designers of J.E.R. Carpenter and Rosario Candela designs in the neighborhood. There will be no more than two homes per floor, and apartments will feature incredible light from oversized casement-style windows and ceilings up to 20 feet high. Select residences will feature step-down living rooms, a design feature that has all but disappeared in new construction. Sales are expected to launch in 2021, and developer Legion Investment Group estimates a 2022 completion.
109-East-79th-Street-01 All renderings of 109 East 79th Street via The Boundary
109 East 79th Street is poised to be an exceptionally amenity-rich boutique building. The double-height lobby leads to a library and lounge, both of which will look out onto a private garden with a fountain. The double-height fitness center also enjoys garden views, not to mention the adjacent separate yoga studio and full squash court. Additional offerings include a game room, screening room, and spa area with treatment rooms, sauna, and a hair salon. Another highly coveted perk is its Upper East Side location, just a short walk from Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, high-end Madison Avenue shopping, and top public and private schools.
109-East-79th-Street-005 The project is located a short walk from Madison Avenue shopping, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Central Park
109-East-79th-Street-04 Construction progress as of December 2020 (Credit: Legion Investment Group)
(Credit: Legion Investment Group).
The site is located a few doors down from 135 East 79th Street, one of the most successful and priciest condo buildings in Carnegie Hill. The handsome pre-war-inspired building designed by William Sofield regularly netted sales above $3,000 per square foot and currently has 3 three- to five-bedroom homes available from $5.995M.

Carnegie Hill has been one of the few bright spots in Manhattan's 2020 condo market. Despite sales volume being substantially down across the Upper East Side, the park-side area, north of 79th Street has seen sales prices slightly increase, likely due to the area being dominated by co-ops with condos being few and far between. Incoming condo sales from new buildings from The Benson, 180 East 88th Street, and 1228 Madison appear poised to propel prices and the quality of apartments even higher.

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