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J.E.R. Carpenter and buildings compiled by CityRealty J.E.R. Carpenter and buildings compiled by CityRealty
While Rosario Candela is often considered synonymous with prewar buildings in New York City, J.E.R. Carpenter created some of the apartment buildings that attracted wealthy tenants to avenues on the rise and set new standards for architecture all over the city. At the beginning of the 20th century, before Candela was even practicing, Mr. Carpenter worked as both an architect and a vice president of Fullerton-Weaver, a real estate development company. His position as an investor and partial owner of some buildings brought a unique perspective to the buildings he designed.

In the words of Geoffrey Lynch, partner at H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, “J.E.R. Carpenter was the master of restraint, but very elegant.” Refined Georgian elegance was his signature style, one that continues to distinguish his Park Avenue buildings. Inside, floor plans recall the ambiance of a town house with grandly proportioned layouts and distinctive areas for living and entertaining. For these reasons, architecture critic Carter Horsley describes him as “the city’s foremost architect of luxury apartment buildings of his generation.”

Today, many of Mr. Carpenter’s buildings appear in Apartments for the Affluent, Andrew Alpern’s influential compilation of Manhattan’s most famous apartments. They also undoubtedly appear on several informal wish lists of those dreaming of a prewar Park Avenue pad. Life in these buildings today is similar to when they first rose - right up to the part where a prospective buyer needs both the right social standing along with the right amount of money to get into some of New York's most distinguished and selective co-ops.

In this article:

812 Park Avenue
812 Park Avenue Park/Fifth Ave. to 79th St.
625 Park Avenue
625 Park Avenue Park/Fifth Ave. to 79th St.
The Palacio, 620 Park Avenue
The Palacio, 620 Park Avenue Park/Fifth Ave. to 79th St.
The Norma, 960 Park Avenue
The Norma, 960 Park Avenue Carnegie Hill
The Mayfair, 610 Park Avenue
The Mayfair, 610 Park Avenue Park/Fifth Ave. to 79th St.

550 Park Avenue 550 Park Avenue (CityRealty)
550 Park Avenue makes a dramatic statement on the corner of Park Avenue and East 62nd Street. Cornices, decorative panels, iron balconies, and diaperwork brick panels break up the brown brick facade, and residents enter through a canopied entrance on a side street. A full-time doorman, concierge, and part-time elevator operator are on staff. Apartments feature expansive proportions and gracious living space. Past residents have included journalist Diana Vreeland and former American Express CEO James Robinson. See full details and all availabilities here.

"A distinguished building with a very distinguished roster of celebrated residents across the avenue from the Colony Club" - Carter Horsley

The Yosemite, #10 (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

580 Park Avenue 580 Park Avenue (Douglas Elliman)
580 Park Avenue is an elegant, Italian Renaissance pallazzo-style, full-service cooperative occupying an entire Upper East Side blockfront. It has a four-story limestone base and an entrance surrounded by fluted pilasters. As residents pass through it, they arrive to an attended lobby with doorman and concierge on staff. See full details here.

"There are surprisingly few apartment buildings on Park Avenue that occupy an entire blockfront and this elegant Italian-Renaissance-palazzo-style building at 580 Park Avenue between 63rd and 64th Streets is one of only three" - Carter Horsley

610 Park Avenue
610 Park Avenue was constructed as the Mayfair Regent Hotel in the 1920s and was converted to a rare condominium on its Upper East Side block. The hotel’s name recalls British gentility, a mindset that appears to extend to the apartments inside: They feature expansive proportions, high ceilings, and expansive Park Avenue frontage. Le Cirque was located in the base of the building in the 1970s, and it is now home to the Michelin-starred Daniel. See full details and all availabilities here.

"The exterior of this building is a stereotyped Park Avenue apartment house but the elegant sidestreet marquee and the grandness of Restaurant Daniel make it a very choice building in a very choice neighborhood" - Carter Horsley

The Mayfair, #2BC (Keller Williams NYC)

620 Park Avenue
620 Park Avenue is a handsome cooperative with a red brick facade, a two-story limestone base, and attractive banding. The building is also known as The Palacio, and the full-floor apartments live up to the palatial name with their incredible privacy, impressive rooms, and rich architectural details. See full details here.

"A distinctive apartment building with very few apartments in a very prime Upper East Side location" - Carter Horsley

625 Park Avenue
Nearly 100 years since its completion, apartments at 625 Park Avenue continue to rank among Manhattan’s highest-priced sales. It is hard to cite any one factor between its prime Upper East Side address, elegant limestone facade, gracious entrance, white-glove staff, and grandly proportioned homes that allow for a variety of layouts. Cosmetics executive Helene Rubenstein, oil magnate Leon Hess, and banker Robert Owen Lehman are among past residents.

"One of J. E. R. Carpenter’s masterpieces, this is one of the most elegant apartment buildings on Park Avenue" - Carter Horsley

635 Park Avenue
635 Park Avenue is one of Carpenter’s more understated buildings, which architecture critic Carter Horsley notes belies the impressive apartments with spectacular layouts inside. Many of these feature high ceilings, grandly proportioned rooms, gracious foyers, and multiple windows looking out on Park Avenue. See full details and all availabilities here.

"Its rather sober but elegant appearance belies the spectacular layouts of this pre-war building in prime Park Avenue territory" - Carter Horsley

The Adelaide, #9thFloor (Sothebys International Realty)

640 Park Avenue
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Located on the corner of Park Avenue and East 66th Street, the limestone-clad 640 Park Avenue is distinguished at street level by its striking cornice and arched windows on the seventh and eleventh floors. There is only one unit per floor, all of which feature beautifully proportioned rooms, high ceilings, large windows, and direct elevator entry. It is little wonder that former New York Times architecture Christopher Grey once said, “On Park Avenue, one of the most remarkable of these structures is No. 640.” See full details and all availabilities here.

"One of reasons why Park Avenue is a very prestigious address" - Carter Horsley

640 Park Avenue, #3rdFloor (Sothebys International Realty)

655 Park Avenue
Availabilities at 655 Park Avenue are few and far between, and a look at the building may explain why: While far from the tallest building on its Upper East Side block, it features an elegant design, a beautifully landscaped street court, and gracious attended lobby. Inside, residents that have included the likes of journalist Deborah Norville and Ferragamo scion Massimo Ferragamo enjoy the services of a white-glove staff that includes a doorman and elevator operator. See full details here.

"A very handsome, mid-rise, pre-war building with an elevator operator and large apartments and a substantial garden on Park Avenue" - Carter Horsley

812 Park Avenue
Around the time Carpenter’s buildings were taking shape, Manhattan’s wealthiest were just starting to come around to the idea of trading their mansions for multi-family apartments. It might not have been such a big adjustment at 812 Park Avenue – the apartments inside are duplex units or larger, all of which feature dramatic staircases, soaring ceilings, expansive proportions, and custom basement storage combined with already generous storage space. They are housed in a beige brick building that won a gold medal from the New York City chapter of the American Institute of Architects. See full details and all availabilities here.

"A very attractive pre-war apartment building in a fine location with many fireplaces and some very handsome duplex units" - Carter Horsley

812 Park Avenue, #7/8C (Corcoran Group)

950 Park Avenue
Two blocks east of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 950 Park Avenue is an Italian Renaissance palazzo-style building with a two-story limestone entrance surround, a red brick facade, and a cornice on top of the building. The apartment inside feature gracious proportion, dramatic entry foyers, generous storage space, and excellent separation of living and sleeping quarters. Instead of topping the building with penthouses, the upper levels are dedicated to amenities that include a rooftop fitness center and rooftop garden with Central Park and skyline views. See full details and all availabilities here.

"A relatively plain but solid pre-war building with wood-burning fireplaces very close to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and P. S. 6" - Carter Horsley

950 Park Avenue, #3B (Sothebys International Realty)

960 Park Avenue
960 Park Avenue was one of Carpenter’s earliest designs and set the stage for his esteemed career with its finely detailed brick facade, striking bandcourse and cornice, and landscaped side street entrance. It is located directly east of Madison Avenue designer flagship shopping and the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s main entrance. See full details and all availabilities here.

"A handsome pre-war building designed by J. E. R. Carpenter that is two blocks east of the main entrance to the Metropolitan Museum of Art" - Carter Horsley

The Norma, #1B (Compass)

1050 Park Avenue
Built in 1923 by the legendary architect J.E.R. Carpenter, 1050 Park Avenue offers beautiful architecture inside and out along with top service and amenities. This elegant home features a layout of grand proportions, central AC, new herringbone flooring, wonderfully high 10-foot beamed ceilings, custom molding and millwork cabinetry and built-ins throughout. See full details and all availabilities here.

"A pleasant pre-war in Carnegie Hill" - Carter Horsley

1050 Park Avenue, #13B (Corcoran Group)

1060 Park Avenue
Carpenter is well known for his “sister buildings,” and 1050 and 1060 Park Avenue have been described as “bookends on the western corners of 87th Street” by the Carnegie Hill Architecture Guide for their brick facades and beautiful cornices. It is a somewhat later cooperative conversion, but the apartments inside are no less well proportioned or thoughtfully laid out for it. Truman Capote lived in the building with his mother in the 1950s. See full details and all availabilities here.

"1060 Park Avenue is one of the more modest designs by J. E. R. Carpenter, the leading architect of Park Avenue buildings of his era" - Carter Horsley

The Niagara, #10B (Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales LLC)

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