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A selection of NYC listings with step-down living rooms A selection of NYC listings with step-down living rooms
Sunken living rooms would appear to be a forever fixture of New York apartments, but the phenomenon dates back to 1927 when Kansas-born architect Bruce Goff designed an Art Deco-styled house with a "conversation pit." As Apartment Therapy notes, the feature had never been seen before and grew in popularity as other architects such as Eero Saarinen were inspired by the feature in following years. Residents of homes with step-down living rooms enjoy the room's inviting and intimate atmosphere, ideal for entertaining guests or enjoying quiet evenings at home.

By the 30s, sunken living rooms found their way into Manhattan apartments as these spaces became fixtures on television such as in The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. They remained coveted for offering a sense of grandeur while setting the programmed spaces apart without threatening the open floor plans many hold dear.

After a surge in popularity, modern developers and some occupants came to see the step-down living room as a tripping hazard and/or an expensive construction cost and stopped putting them in their buildings. That is why most sunken living rooms can be found in mid-century and 1930s co-op buildings, but also in some residential conversions refreshed to appeal to a modern audience. Because of the time they were built, these apartments typically have rooms of more gracious proportions, details such as crown moldings, and plenty of closet space.


Lindley House, #9F (Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales LLC)

360 Cabrini Boulevard, #5E (BREU CHURCHILL)

720 Fort Washington Avenue, #3R (Bizzarro Agency LLC)

57 Park Terrace East, #B72 (New Heights Realty)

225 East 74th Street, #5M (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

The Tristan, #1F (Corcoran Group)

120 Bennett Avenue, #2G (Compass)

225 East 74th Street, #3N (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

730 Fort Washington Avenue, #4C (Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales LLC)

Goodhue House, #3C (Akam Sales & Brokerage Inc)

184 Thompson Street, #2B (The Agency Brokerage)

311 West 82nd Street, #3B (Compass)

Goodhue House, #5E (Compass)

300 West 72nd Street, #5F (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

205 West 95th Street, #5J (Compass)

Park Ten, #15J (Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales LLC)

71 East 77th Street, #9A (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

321 West 82nd Street, #8 (The Agency Brokerage)

The Chelsea Warren, #3B (Corcoran Group)

Marlo Towers, #8G (Compass)

Diamond House, #6F (Compass)

The Level Club, #4F (Corcoran Group)

736 West 186th Street, #7CD (Compass)

19 East 88th Street, #7C (R New York)

The Century, #4G (Corcoran Group)

2 East End Avenue, #PHF (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

302 West 12th Street, #4F (Corcoran Group)

116 West 29th Street, #3 (Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales LLC)

Morgan Studios, #23AB (Compass)

The Century, #25K (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

152 Spring Street, #3 (EXP Realty NYC)

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