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(clockwise from top left) 960 Fifth Avenue, The Beresford, 834 Fifth Avenue, and The Dakota are among New York's most prestigious co-ops. (clockwise from top left) 960 Fifth Avenue, The Beresford, 834 Fifth Avenue, and The Dakota are among New York's most prestigious co-ops.
For all the excitement about architecturally adventurous, amenity-rich condos going up downtown, New York’s old guard has not been forgotten. The co-ops on Fifth Avenue, Park Avenue, and Central Park West were seen as daring gambles in their own time but serve as the standard of New York luxury today. Try as some might, the rich history, stately locations, elegant architecture, and impressive layouts of these co-ops cannot be replicated.

It has been said that to move into one of these buildings is to announce that one has made it in New York. Availabilities are few and far between, prices are in the stratosphere, and money is no guarantee of access: These co-op boards are equal parts proud and protective of their buildings, which has led to a draconian selection process that, far from scaring would-be residents off, adds to the mystique.
San-Remo-nyc-04 Where does the money live? The prestigous buildings ringing Central Park (Photo of the San Remo and Central Park West via Corcoran)

Architect: Irwin Chanin | Built in 1930
Neighborhood: Central Park West
234 Units | 30 Floors

"Across the street from the Dakota and from Strawberry Fields in Central Park, this very impressive, twin-towered, Art Deco-style apartment building is one of the major landmarks on the Upper West Side" - Carter Horsley

115-Central-Park-West-01 The Majestic via CityRealty
Constructed immediately following the Great Depression, The Majestic is less opulent than its Art Deco forebears. However, its clean lines and boldly ribbed pinnacles have served as an inspiration for other buildings in the years that followed. The apartments within feature open layouts that make the most of incredible light from oversized windows - a typical feature in today's construction, but one ahead of its time when it was constructed.

↓ Featured Listing: #15D | 4-bedroom, 4-bath | $6.8M

115-Central-Park-West-02 Interiors via Compass

Architect: Rosario Candela | Built in 1931
Neighborhood: Upper East Side Gold Coast
18 Units | 18 Floors

"One of the few pre-World War II residential towers to rise above the 15-story height of most of the avenue's apartment buildings" - Carter Horsley

Rosario Candela is one of New York's most celebrated architects, and 778 Park Avenue is among his most celebrated buildings. A ground-floor maisonette has its own private address, and only one apartment per floor on top allows for the atmosphere or a private home. Gary Cooper's wedding took place at his in-laws' home in the building, and notable past residents include Brooke Astor, William P. Lauder, Thomas J. Watson, William F. Buckley Jr., and Vera Wang.
778-Park-Avenue-02 Interiors via Douglas Elliman

Architects: Harvey Wiley Corbett and Sugarman & Berger | Built in 1927
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village
184 Units | 127 Floors

"One Fifth Avenue was one of the first Art Deco skyscrapers in the city, and it dominates Lower Fifth Avenue, Washington Square Park, and Greenwich Village" - Carter Horsley

1 Fifth Avenue is petite compared to some of the supertalls that have risen uptown, yet stands as the tallest building in the Greenwich Village Historic District. The building's light hue, chamfered corners, angled windows, and telescoping setbacks were instrumental in its designation as a New York City Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places. Inside, many apartments enjoy excellent views of the Manhattan skyline, the Hudson River, and Washington Square Park.
1-Fifth-Avenue-02 Interiors via Compass

Architect: Emery Roth | Built in 1930
Neighborhood: Central Park West
208 Units | 30 Floors

"The Eldorado’s twin peaks dominate the cityscape around the reservoir in Central Park and accentuate its streamlined, rocketship-like Art Deco-style looks" - Carter Horsley

300-Central-Park-West-01 All images of The Eldorado via Corcoan
The twin towers of The Eldorado make a striking statement along Central Park, and the design of the Art Deco building beautifully exemplifies the transition from classical opulence to an edgier modernism. Notable residents have included Sinclair Lewis, Alec Baldwin, Faye Dunaway, and Michael J. Fox.

Architect: Bien & Prince | Built in 1930
Neighborhood: Upper East Side Gold Coast
187 Units | 38 Floors

"The Carlyle is a major Art Deco landmark" - Carter Horsley

35-East-76th-Street-01 The Carlyle via CityRealty
Between its soaring height, peaked roof, and green and gold pyramid, The Carlyle has spent decades as one of the most prominent towers on the Upper East Side. The apartments enjoy Art Deco-inspired layouts, views unmatched by other prewar construction, and access to the hotel's services and amenities, which include the storied Bemelman's Bar.
35-East-76th-Street-02 Interiors via Brown Harris Stevens

Architect: Schultze & Weaver | Built in 1930
Neighborhood: Upper East Side Gold Coast
77 Units | 42 Floors

"The Pierre is one of the city’s greatest luxury hotels and apartment buildings with stupendous views and a heavenly location" - Carter Horsley

The mansard roof of The Pierre brings a touch of Parisian elegance to the Upper East Side, and gold-trimmed entry marquees complement the Renaissance elegance of the facade. The upper floors of the hotel were converted to cooperatives in 1959, and residents have access to the hotel's white-glove service and luxurious amenities.
795-Fifth-Avenue-02 Interiors via Elegran

Architect: George Mort Pollard | Built in 1916
Neighborhood: Central Park West
126 Units | 18 Floors

"One of the city's most famous and illustrious buildings" - Carter Horsley

1-West-67th-Street-01 All images of Hotel des Artistes via Corcoran
Hotel des Artistes was constructed as an artists' cooperative building, and it shows in the figures of artists decorating the base of the Neo-Gothic building. Its illustrious residents have included Norman Rockwell, Leroy Neiman, Noel Coward, Rudolph Valentino, Isadora Duncan, and New York City Mayor John Lindsay. Another artistic resident, Howard Chandler Christy, painted murals for the building's famous restaurant.

Architect: Rosario Candela | Built in 1930
Neighborhood: Carnegie Hill
27 Units | 17 Floors

"One of the tallest apartment houses on Fifth Avenue, this prominent structure has one of the most distinctive rooflines along the avenue" - Carter Horsley

1040-Fifth-Avenue-01 1040 Fifth Avenue via CityRealty
The arches, curves, and urns atop the limestone pinnacle of architect Rosario Candela’s 1040 Park Avenue leave an unmistakable mark on the Fifth Avenue skyline, and the sumptuous apartments within were instrumental in Manhattan's elite making the transition from townhouses to multifamily buildings. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis bought the entire 15th floor in 1964 and lived there until her death; additional residents have included David Koch, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Lucius D. Clay.

Architects: Rosario Candela and Cross & Cross | Built in 1926
Neighborhood: Beekman/Sutton Place
46 Units | 14 Floors

"One Sutton Place South is the finest and most prestigious apartment building on Sutton Place and its only rival along the East River in terms of grandeur is River House" - Carter Horsley

1 Sutton Place South is a celebrated Sutton Place cooperative featuring a red brick facade, Italian Renaissance detailing and an elegant triple-arched entrance driveway. The building was commissioned by the Phipps family, the patriarch of which was friends with Andrew Carnegie, and topped with a penthouse for Amy Phipps. Additional residents of notes have included Bill Blass, C.Z. Guest, and Janet Annenberg Hooker.

↓ Featured Listing: #PH | 5-bedroom, 6.5-bath | $45M

1-Sutton-Place-South-02 Interiors via Yoo Jean Han for Sotheby's International Realty

Architect: Schultze & Weaver | Built in 1927
Neighborhood: Upper East Side Gold Coast
168 Units | 36 Floors

"A strong argument can be made that the Sherry Netherland Hotel is the best building in New York" - Carter Horsley

781-Fifth-Avenue-01 The Sherry Netherland via CityRealty
Between its soaring minaret and copper spire, the Sherry Netherland has one of the most romantic rooflines in New York City. The Neo-Gothic tower is further distinguished by its slight setback, carved griffins and dragons, and barrel-vaulted lobby. The upper floors were converted to cooperatives in 1954, and residents have access to the hotel's services and amenities.

↓ Featured Listing: #1911 | 2-bedroom, 2-bath | $2.5M

781-Fifth-Avenue-02 Interiors via Douglas Elliman

Architect: Warren & Whetmore | Built in 1917
Neighborhood: Upper East Side Gold Coast
12 Units | 12 Floors

“One of the city’s greatest limestone-clad, pre-war apartment buildings in an impeccable location near the sailboat pond in Central Park.” — Carter Horsley

927-Fifth-Avenue 927 Fifth Avenue (Photo credits: Compass)
What this 12-story limestone-clad building across the street from Central Park’s sailboat pond lacks in soaring height, it more than makes up for in elegance. An arched, landscaped entrance welcomes residents to their magnificent, full-floor homes looking out on gorgeous Central Park or private garden views. Famous residents have included Mary Tyler Moore, Paula Zahn, and Pale Male, a red-tailed hawk that made his nest on the building.
927-Fifth-Avenue-02 Interiors via Sotheby's

Architect: Emery Roth | Built in 1929
Neighborhood: Central Park West
175 Units | 23 Floors

“A monumental and magnificent residential palazzo, the building has always been one of the city's grandest addresses with wonderful apartment layouts, rich details and great views.” — Carter Horsley

211-Central-Park-West (Sotheby's)
Considered one of the world’s greatest residential buildings, The Beresford certainly boasts one of the city’s most enviable locations near Central Park and the American Museum of Natural History. Inside, apartments feature grand-scale layouts, soaring ceilings, wood-burning fireplaces, unparalleled architectural details, and private terraces for select units. Diane Sawyer, Glenn Close, and Jerry Seinfeld are among the many celebrities who have called it home.
211-Central-Park-West-01 Interiors via Warburg Realty

Architect: Emery Roth | Built in 1930
Neighborhood: Central Park West
136 Units | 27 Floors

“One of the city’s, and the world’s, greatest residential skyscrapers, the San Remo is the city’s most beautiful apartment building and one of its most prestigious addresses.” — Carter Horsley

145-Central-Park-West (Corcoran)
A study of Emery Roth’s work once compared the San Remo’s two towers to a cathedral. Indeed, this co-op near Central Park is a shrine to gorgeous architecture and luxurious living. Its living rooms can measure larger than some New York apartments, and interiors masterfully combine original elegance with modern convenience. Former resident Demi Moore best sums up its allure: "The location, architecture, and history of the San Remo were on a completely different level."

↓ Featured Listing: #4C | 3-bedroom, 4.5-bath | $24M

145-Central-Park-West-01 Interiors via Warburg Realty

Architect: Henry J. Hardenbergh | Built in 1882
Neighborhood: Central Park West
93 Units | 10 Floors

“A forbidding haunt, the Dakota is perhaps the most impressive residential building in the city because of its intriguing history and alluring presence that sparks anyone’s imagination. Inside, the city’s princes and princesses do romp.” — Carter Horsley

1-West-72nd-Street (Douglas Elliman)
One would hardly know it to visit this prime Central Park location now, but The Dakota was considered to be going up in an isolated area at the time it was built. Over 100 years later, its impressive architecture and awe-inspiring apartments have attracted celebrities like John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Leonard Bernstein, Judy Garland, Gilda Radner, and Rudolf Nureyev, to name just a few.

↓ Featured Listing: #8 | 3-bedroom, 3-bath | $6.75M

1-West-72nd-Street-02 Interiors via Brown Harris Stevens

Architects: Rosario Candela and Cross & Cross | Built in 1928
Neighborhood: Upper East Side Gold Coast
29 Units | 18 Floors

“One of the city’s supremely luxurious apartment buildings, this has a superb location that is across Park Avenue from Asia House and close to The Frick Collection.” — Carter Horsley

720-Park-Avenue (Google street view)
This full-block, Neo-Georgian co-op is the epitome of prewar Park Avenue elegance. Interiors have been updated to meet modern needs, but never at the expense of the soaring ceilings, beautiful moldings, wood-burning fireplaces, winding staircases, and spacious rooms that make it one of Manhattan's most coveted addresses.
720-Park-Avenue-05 Interiors via Sotheby's

Architects: Rosario Candela and Arthur Loomis Harmon | Built in 1930
Neighborhood: Upper East Side Gold Coast
31 Units | 19 Floors

“One of the city’s most celebrated addresses, this building is refined and restrained and rather regal and about as close to an impregnable treasure chest as possible in the city. ” — Carter Horsley

740-Fifth-Avenue (Compass and Corcoran)
This “Tower of Power" has an elegant limestone façade, polished granite entrance, and architectural details that cannot be duplicated. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Stephen Schwarzman, and Vera Wang are among the impresarios that have embraced its palatial homes, spectacular prewar details and features, and location among the best of Manhattan's dining, shopping, and culture.
740-Park-Avenue-02 Interiors via Sotheby's

Architect: McKim, Mead & White | Built in 1912
Neighborhood: Carnegie Hill
18 Units | 12 Floors

“One of the world’s grandest apartment buildings. An inflated Italian Renaissance-style palazzo structure, the building would delight the Medicis and is widely credited with convincing New York’s very rich that apartments were acceptable habitats. ” — Carter Horsley

(Google street view)
998 Fifth Avenue is across the street from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but this Italian Renaissance palazzo-style building is a New York City landmark and a work of art inside as well as out. Architecture enthusiasts appreciate its high, detailed ceilings, intricate moldings, and expansive hallways. Built-in jewelry safes and refrigerated wine cellars in all units reflect the needs of its fabulously wealthy residents.

↓ Featured Listing: #11W | 4-bedroom, 5.5-bath | $24M

998-Fifth-Avenue-05 Interiors via Sotheby's

Architect: Rosario Candela | Built in 1931
Neighborhood: Upper East Side Gold Coast
24 Units | 16 Floors

“One of the three great limestone-clad apartment palaces on Fifth Avenue, this building roars across from the Central Park Zoo and blithely ignores the hordes of school buses and suburban buses that pass before it.” — Carter Horsley

834 Fifth Avenue exterior (Google street view)
Located across the street from the Central Park Zoo, the layout of this 16-story, 24-unit Candela masterpiece allows for uncommonly spacious residences, many of which are duplexes and triplexes. Moguls like Laurence Rockefeller, Elizabeth Arden, Rupert Murdoch, and Charles Schwab have paid cash for their impressive homes.
834-Fifth-Avenue-04 834 Fifth Avenue, 7/8A listed for $59M (Sotheby's)

Architects: Warren & Wetmore + Rosario Candela | Built in 1927
Neighborhood: Upper East Side Gold Coast
19 Units | 15 Floors

“One of New York's most prestigious addresses, 960 Fifth Avenue is noted for its grand apartments, most of which have different layouts and its quite lavish restaurant for the residents, the Georgian Suite.” — Carter Horsley

960 Fifth Avenue (Warburg Realty)
A glassed-in rooftop and cast-iron marquee convey a sense of luxury from the outside, and signature Candela touches like diverse layouts, towering ceilings, and fireplaces in common rooms can be found in the enormous apartments. Any building can and does count a gym and doorman among its amenities, but only 960 Fifth Avenue also offers its own lavish restaurant, the Georgian Suite, for residents’ private dining and entertaining.
960-Fifth-Avenue-02 Interiors via Compass

Architect: Bottomley, Wagner & White | Built in 1930
Neighborhood: Beekman/Sutton Place
79 Units | 26 Floors

“Arguably the city’s, if not the world’s, finest apartment building, River House at 435 East 52nd Street is the epitome of "swell" living.” — Carter Horsley

River House exterior (Sotheby's International Realty)
Residents may not be able to park their yachts at River House anymore, but the cobblestoned courtyard and renowned River Club remain at this tower of luxury in super-exclusive Sutton Place. The notoriously discerning co-op is as famous for the bold-faced names who live there (Henry Kissinger, Uma Thurman, and Wilbur Ross, Jr.) as for celebrities who don’t (Diane Keaton, Gloria Vanderbilt, and Joan Crawford have all been rejected).
435-East-52nd-Street-02 Interiors via Sotheby's

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