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Lobbies in many of New York City's apartment buildings pack in a lot of surprises; no Plain-Jane-Brown-Paper-Wrapper spaces are these! We're talking gilded mosaic barrel vaults conjuring St. Mark’s in Venice, and angled, multi-level spaces with soaring atriums and babbling brooks. Also expect to find huge coat rooms overlooking gardens and the East River, and cavernous halls fit for pharaohs!
Before the ornately designed lobby at the Warren & Wetmore-designed 200 Madison Avenue was officially declared a New York City Landmark, the New York Landmarks Conservancy called it “a reminder of the distinct attraction office buildings can provide.” However, a number of residential buildings’ lobbies could also double as New York City attractions. A number of commercial conversions have gone to great lengths to restore historic details in their lobbies, while newer construction seeks to demonstrate luxurious materials from the moment residents walk in.
100 barclay Lobby The extraordinary lobby of Ralph Walker's Barclay-Vessey Building (100 Barclay) which has been partially converted into an amenity space for residents.
In either instance, the lobby creates a powerful first impression and sets the tone for the rest of the building. It also presents the chance to convey a sense of security in the form of attended desks and package rooms, not to mention create a special experience for residents and guests alike. High-end finishes and furnishings have become the norm, and some new residential buildings have incorporated fireplaces, coffee bars, libraries, and/or courtyard access into their lobbies to further promote the lobby as a gathering space.
While the historic lobbies at The Woolworth Tower Residences and 100 Barclay Tribeca were restored to their former glory during the residential conversions, they do not appear below because they are not the main residential lobbies in their respective buildings. These lobbies, however, are the first thing certain lucky residents see upon arriving home.

28 East 10th Street
1 availability from $2.195M

Emery Roth is best known for his landmarked cooperatives lining Central Park West, but the downtown Devonshire House is every bit as rich in the architectural details of its uptown counterparts. Just as the look of the building was inspired by London's official Devonshire house, the Elizabethan-style lobby nods to Old World elegance with high, detailed ceilings, sleek floors, and arched windows overlooking a courtyard garden.

Devonshire House, #1K (Corcoran Group)

The through-block Astor Court is the epitome of Upper West Side elegance, and its Renaissance Revival lobby lives up to that reputation. Vaulted ceilings convey a sense of grandeur, and magnificent arched windows look out on the massive private garden.

Astor Court, #6A (Corcoran Group)

The Zaha Hadid-designed 520 West 28th Street makes a dramatic statement both inside and out. The double-height lobby presents the same curves and angles that characterize the building, and the furnishings are designed to enhance the interior design. The windows look out on the building's private garden.

520 West 28th Street, #33 (Corcoran Group)

Downtown by Starck is Philippe Starck’s residential conversion of the Equitable Trust Building and the original headquarters of J.P. Morgan. A 1,900-piece Louis XV chandelier that once hung in the banking hall has been installed as a work of art in the lobby, which also features beamed ceilings and ornately patterned floors.

Downtown by Starck, #1920 (Compass)

303-East-57th-Street-01 Excelsior lobby via Corcoran
The Excelsior is a high-rise with sumptuous amenities, starting with the residential lobby accessed via the building’s port-cochere. Rich materials, well-thought plantings, and seating nooks offer a welcoming atmosphere and a promising preview of the apartments and amenities upstairs.

The Excelsior, #41A (Next Stop NY)

In an interview, Nancy Ruddy said of Rose Hill, “When you walk in and see the lobby, it is meant to be a space that welcomes.” Indeed, this space masterfully encapsulates the building’s goal of presenting a contemporary building with tributes to classic New York design. The mural tips its hat to the murals at Rockefeller Center, and the lobby was designed with hand-rubbed walnut walls and earth-toned stone floors in a pattern inspired by the 1930s and 1940s. The fireplace, seating areas, and library take it beyond a walk-through space to a social space for residents.

Rose Hill, #40A (CORE Group Marketing LLC)

205 West 76th Street
1 availability for $1.5M

For all its resemblance to classic Upper West Side architecture, The Harrison is a fairly new, LEED certified condominium designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects and offering the array of amenities the modern buyer has come to expect. Among them is an attended lobby with a fireplace, dramatic arches, and prewar-inspired details.

The Harrison, #PH3D (Corcoran Group)

70-Pine-Street-01 All images of 70 Pine Street via Rose Associates
When 70 Pine Street was built as the headquarters for the Cities Services Company, it was the third-tallest building in the world. Today it is one of the most amenity-rich rentals in the Financial District, starting with the Art Deco lobby. This interior space has been declared a New York City Landmark, and artful aluminum details may be found throughout.

70 Pine Street, #5201 (Rose Associates)

141 East 3rd Street
1 availability at $2,250,000

The stone floors and ornate details of Ageloff Towers’ lobby would not be out of place in uptown buildings. However, its address in the East Village sets it apart and makes it one of the most luxurious residential buildings in its downtown neighborhood.

Ageloff Towers, #10EF (Corcoran Group)

41 Eastern Parkway
No Availabilities

Copley Plaza dates back to the prewar era, and retains much of its grandeur in the modern age. A full-time doorman is on staff in the meticulously restored Art Deco lobby, which features luxurious materials, arched entryways, a stately chandelier, and beautifully detailed ceiling.

888-Main-Street-01 The Octagon via Evan Joseph
When The Octagon was converted from a mental institution to a contemporary rental, the lobby was carefully restored to show its original design. The sleek decor and clean lines are in line with modern sensibilities, but the staircases going up the historic rotunda make a dramatic statement.

Ocean is the residential conversion of the Whitehall Building, as designed by Henry J. Hardenbergh. While the apartments and amenities are consistent with those in new developments throughout the city, the Venetian-style lobby is of a caliber not frequently found in rentals. The arched ceilings and Italian frescoes have been beautifully restored.

Not only is the Waldorf Astoria hotel a New York City Landmark, but its Park Avenue lobby also enjoys protected status. As a result, its murals and floor mosaic were meticulously restored during the conversion to a hotel and condominium. The private residential lobby’s opulent materials, towering columns, and dedicated staff are easily on a part with the historic hotel.

The Towers of the Waldorf Astoria, #2301 (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

Stella Tower was originally constructed in 1927 for the New York Telephone Company, and many of the prewar details and Art Deco ornamentation were restored to their former glory during its conversion to residential. This can be seen in its attended lobby with terrazzo floors, ornate metalwork, and a dramatic circular chandelier.

Stella Tower, #12G (EXP Realty NYC)

Indoor/outdoor living has enjoyed newfound appreciation as of late, but 1088 Park Avenue was an early adopter: The lobby’s large, double-height windows look out on a large private garden.

1088 Park Avenue, #5A (Sothebys International Realty)

While the exteriors of 108 Leonard are a New York City Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places, the interiors have been transformed to meet the standards of today’s buyers. This includes a grand, double-height lobby with ornate materials, a mezzanine overlooking the main floor, and luxurious seating areas.

108 Leonard, #14D (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

The condo development at 111 West 57th Street is a combination of the landmarked Steinway Hall and a soaring, skinny new tower. This is perhaps best exemplified by the building’s lobby - the wood flooring was preserved from Steinway Hall, and the opulent limestone, marble, blackened steel, and velvet accents offer the luxurious atmosphere today’s buyer likes to see.

111 West 57th Street, #27 (Corcoran Group)

Even with flashy new construction taking shape throughout the area, The Paterno remains a premier Upper West Side building. Its lobby may have something to do with it: The marble floors and walls, stained glass ceiling, and graceful curves are a reminder of a bygone era.

The Paterno, #105 (Compass)

1016 Fifth Avenue
1016 Fifth Avenue is situated on a block of impressive prewar cooperatives, but none with such an impressive marble lobby. The detailed ceilings, grand entryways, and seating areas are indicative of the level of luxury and service residents can expect.

1016 Fifth Avenue, #5C (Sothebys International Realty)

In the heart of Hudson Square, 565 Broome Soho sets new architectural and lifestyle standards for this formerly industrial neighborhood. The attended lobby opens up to a landscaped outdoor terrace, and interiors present dramatic columns and a library.

565 Broome SoHo, #S23B (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

253 West 73rd Street
1 availability for $1.4M

Before The Level Club was converted to a condominium, it was constructed as the Level Club of the Masonic Order and said to have secret symbols throughout its architecture. While we can neither confirm nor deny that, we can say for sure that the double-height lobby, with its stylish adornments and balcony, is one of the city’s most impressive. It was the only interior space not to be demolished during the residential conversion.

The Level Club, #4F (Corcoran Group)

Up the street from The Sherry Netherland (see below), The Pierre is another New York City icon with upper-level apartments above the historic hotel rooms. From the painted ceiling to the ornate carvings to the parquet floors, no detail has been overlooked.

The Pierre, #2704 (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

Residents of the condo component of The Plaza enter the building via a separate entrance from hotel guests, but all have access to the lobby. Its soaring ceilings, marble finishes, mosaic floors, dramatic chandeliers, and gold-colored trimmings have figured into many movie scenes, not to mention many Instagram posts.

The Plaza, #510 (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

Whether checking into the Sherry Netherland hotel or going up to an apartment, one enters the New York City Landmark through a barrel-vaulted lobby topped with a ceiling mural based on Raphael’s frescoes at the Vatican Palace. The mural dates back to the 1920s, but was beautifully restored in 2014.

The Sherry Netherland, #505 (Sothebys International Realty)

205 West 57th Street
4 availabilities from $450K

The Osborne was named a New York City Landmark and added to the National Register of Historic Places for its status as one of New York’s oldest cooperatives and dramatic architecture that extends to the building’s lobby. The Osborne was the first New York building to use foil-backed mosaics in a non-religious setting, and additional features include coffered ceilings, mosaic-tiled floors, marble niches with benches, and Tiffany mosaics and stained glass on niche walls.

The Osborne, #4AA (A & I Broadway Realty Inc)

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