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(View north of Park Avenue with Candela's pinnacling 770 and 778 Park Avenue in the center (via Compass) (View north of Park Avenue with Candela's pinnacling 770 and 778 Park Avenue in the center (via Compass)
If you are one of the many admirers of New York City's pre-war residential buildings, chances are you count those designed by Rosario Candela among your favorites. As architecture critic Carter Horsley puts it, “These buildings reek with good taste, better proportions, lavish expanses of limestone on the exterior, and considerable square footage inside the apartments.”
Born in Sicily, Candela came to the United States in 1909 and graduated from the Columbia School of Architecture in 1915. He is widely considered to have been the country's greatest designer of luxury apartment buildings and he collaborated with many of the city's most famous architectural firms such as Warren and Wetmore, the designer of Grand Central Terminal. With a career of built work spanning five decades and more than 50 luxury apartment buildings in Manhattan alone, he was best known for his mastery of interior layouts, which often featured grand foyers, dramatic curving staircases in duplex units, and impressive public rooms. Other thoughtful details included perfectly spaced windows, and thick inner walls to conceal bumps from plumbing, beams, and columns.
At the height of the Jazz Age in the 1920s, his elegant buildings of set-back terraces elegantly adapted to the city's 1916 zoning resolution, and were judiciously decorated in Neo-Georgian and Art Deco ornamentation that gave most of his buildings a quiet and understated appearance. However, it was his gracious formal interiors that helped transform Fifth Avenue, Park Avenue, and Sutton Place into the sought-after apartment addresses that they are today. Coaxing wealthy New Yorkers to surrender their mansions for apartment living wasn't easy, and he used tantalizing marketing tactics to persuade them to give up their private houses and move into these palatial residences.
One Sutton Place Entry arcade at One Sutton Place South (Brown Harris Stevens)

"You know you've arrived when you get into a Candela building" - Donald Albrecht, curator, Museum of the City of New York

Lobby of 960 Fifth Avenue
Zoning laws required Candela to create the romantic rooftop setbacks that came to define classic New York City architecture. Notable interior architecture features include thoughtfully designed floor plates, spacious and carefully placed rooms,
Nearly a century later, the words "Rosario Candela-designed" add instant cachet to any real estate listing. In 2018, the Museum of the City of New York honored his work with the "Elegance in the Sky" exhibition, and many buildings have been designated New York City landmarks.

Below, see some of Candela's most elegant New York City buildings and their relatively few availabilities. The vast majority of his buildings are co-ops with selective boards, meaning not only money guarantees you access into the most prestigious addresses.

Upper East Side | Completed in 1931
Cooperative | 16 stories | 24 units

834-Fifth-Avenue-1 834 Fifth Avenue via Wurts Bros. Museum of the City of New York, Wurts Bros. Collection, gift of Richard Wurts
834-Fifth-Avenue-2 Living room
834-Fifth-Avenue-3 Sitting room
834-Fifth-Avenue-4 Gallery
834 Fifth Avenue is considered Fifth Avenue's premier and most pedigreed buildings. It is located directly across from the Central Park Zoo, and residents seeking a less crowded outdoor escape have access to a private courtyard garden. The 16-story, 24-unit layout allows for extremely spacious residences, many of which are duplexes and triplexes. They feature high ceilings, long galleries, dramatic staircases, oversized windows, and wood-burning fireplaces. Residents have included Rupert Murdoch, Elizabeth Arden, Charles Schwab, and descendants of John D. Rockefeller.

Upper East Side | Completed in 1927
Cooperative | 15 stories | 19 units

960-Fifth-Avenue-01 960 Fifth Avenue via The Museum of the City of New York
In 1926, the Clark mansion came down for what is now one of the most prestigious addresses and selective co-ops in New York. Its glassed-in rooftop and cast-iron marquee convey luxury from the outside. Inside, prominent decorator Dorothy Draper was a consultant on the project. In the apartments, signature Candela touches like diverse layouts, towering ceilings, and fireplaces in common rooms can be seen. Its premier amenity is the Georgian Suite, a lavish restaurant open to only to residents, the likes of whom have included Edgar Bronfman Sr., Sister Parish, and Nassef Sawiris.
(via Warburg Realty)

960-Fifth-Avenue-02 Interiors via Compass
From the Listing: 960 Fifth Avenue, located in the mid-70s, the prime location of the Upper East Side, is among the most coveted buildings on the Avenue, facing onto Central Park. Rosario Candela designed it at the height of his career in the 1920s. His buildings are known for the expansive proportions of the rooms; lovely architectural details; large windows; high ceilings, and floor plans that allow for great entertaining flow. Apartment 5A is on the market for only the second time since the building was built in 1927. While the residence needs a full renovation, it maintains the great bones and details of Candela's original design. See full details here.

Upper East Side | Completed in 1928
Cooperative | 17 stories | 29 units

720-Park-Avenue-1 720 Park Avenue via CityRealty
Designed by Rosario Candela in collaboration with Cross & Cross, this full-block, Neo-Georgian building is one of the city's most exclusive co-ops. The interiors have been renovated to accommodate modern needs, but details like high ceilings, fireplaces, beautiful moldings, spacious rooms, and winding staircases remain intact. Previous residents have included Macy's heir Jesse Isidor Strauss, prominent banker William E. Iselin, and Barnes & Noble founder Leonard Riggio.

Apartment gallery at 720 Park Avenue, #12A
From the Listing: Magnificent 11-room home at 720 Park, designed by the famous architect, Rosario Candela, one of his most celebrated buildings in New York City. This home has grand room proportions, high ceiling heights, original Candela molding, and four wood-burning fireplaces. The private entry vestibule opens to a large gallery with a large ante-room for coats and a guest powder room. The gorgeous corner living room, with its original molding, wood-burning fireplace, and windows, faces the Park Avenue trees and sunny 70th Street. The connecting library with windows facing the trees on 70th Street has its own wood-burning fireplace and offers serenity and calm. The stately dining room, also with original molding, features a landscaped decor created by Gracie specifically for this spacious room that also features a wood-burning fireplace. See floor plan and full details here.

Upper East Side | Completed in 1930
Cooperative | 19 stories | 31 units

740 Park Avenue's elegant limestone facade and polished granite entrance set the tone for one of the city's most prestigious addresses. Past residents have included Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, John D. Rockefeller Jr., William Lie Zeckendorf, David Koch, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Today, its reputation as a "Tower of Power" continues to draw leaders in all industries.

740-Park-Avenue-02 Interiors via Sotheby's
From the Listing: This spectacular penthouse is an elegant eyrie at the apex of 740 Park Avenue, and is arguably one of New York's finest residences. A private elevator landing opens onto a magnificent sun-flooded windowed gallery with 12' ceilings and a sweeping staircase. On the east end of this grand and gracious entryway is a handsome library with a wood-burning fireplace, wet bar, and a pair of French doors leading to a south-facing terrace. At the western end of the gallery, and with stunning views of the Manhattan skyline is a large terrace, which is accessed from both the gallery and the enormous living room immediately adjacent. Seefull details here.

Upper East Side | Completed in 1930
Cooperative | 19 stories | 41 units

770 Park Avenue 770 Park Avenue via Douglas Elliman
No detail is overlooked at the Georgian-style 770 Park Avenue. The original duplex units feature grand proportions, herringbone floors, exquisite molding, soaring ceilings, Palladian arches, sweeping staircases, long entry halls, spacious rooms, and wood-burning fireplaces. Central Park, Museum Mile, and high-end Madison Avenue shopping are a short walk away.
770-Park-Avenue-04 Plan of previously available unit #14D at The Sonora that sold for $9M last year

Upper East Side | Completed in 1931
Cooperative | 18 stories | 18 units

770-Park-Avenue-1 View of 778 Park Avenue from 770 Park via Sotheby's
778 Park Avenue is one of the few prewar Park Avenue buildings to rise over 15 stories and one of Candela's most celebrated buildings. Full-floor residences feature gracious entries, impressively proportioned rooms, high ceilings, hardwood floors, multiple exposures, and wood-burning fireplaces. Notable past residents have included Brooke Astor, Roone Artledge, and Vera Wang.
778-Park-Avenue-1 778 Park Avenue via Sotheby's

778-Park-Avenue-02 Interiors via Sotheby's International Realty
From the Listing: The majestic sweep of this unique eight-room corner apartment epitomizes grace and elegance, and incorporates nine oversized windows fronting onto verdant, leafy, and peaceful Park Avenue. This stately residence is the ultimate abode for an owner who enjoys grand entertaining and appreciates the infinite charms of wood-burning fireplaces, high ceilings and correct proportions, mixed with the extraordinary, timeless and impeccable work of the talented and celebrated firm of Denning and Fourcade. A magnificent Gallery is accessed by a private elevator landing and opens to a big Living Room with its marvelous terrace, a superb Library and a lovely square Dining Room. See full details here.

Beekman/Sutton Place | Completed in 1926
Cooperative | 14 stories | 46 units

1-Sutton-Place-South-1 1 Sutton Place South via Brown Harris Stevens
One of Candela's most celebrated co-ops, 1 Sutton Place South has Renaissance details, a private garden facing the East River, and an elegant triple-arched entrance driveway that opens to the lobby. The expansive apartments convey a sense of refined living and grand-scale entertaining. The building was originally designed for the Phipps family, and other notable residents have included Bill Blass and Janet Annenberg Hooker.

1-Sutton-Place-South-02 Interiors via Brown Harris Stevens
From the Listing: In the midst of a cosmopolitan city, walking home to One Sutton Place South is like walking home to the country. Each block is quieter than the last, until you arrive at a serene, elegant limestone cooperative built in 1927 by Henry Phipps, Jr. Upon entering, you are greeted by elegant green gardens followed by views of the incomparable East River.

Engaging the most talented artisans and designers, this 2 bedrooms two-and-a-half bath residence has been skillfully restored and renovated by the owner to include features such as: new windows, electricity, and plumbing; steam shower and jacuzzi in the master suite; working wood-burning fireplace in the living room; central air-conditioning with two air compressors and humidification system; audio and alarm system; restored original wood paneling and an unusually large private storage room in the basement measuring 7'8" x 12'2".
See full details here.

Carnegie Hill | Completed in 1930
Cooperative | 14 stories | 26 units

133-East-80th-Street-1 133 East 80th Street via Wiki Commons
133-East-80th-Street-2 Living room
133-East-80th-Street-3 Dining room
The brown brick facade, gargoyles, battlements, and rooftop water tank enclosure set 133 East 80th Street apart as one of the most eye-catching on the Upper East Side. Large windows fill the spacious, classic apartments with light. It's no surprise that the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Upper East Side | Completed in 1937
Cooperative | 17 stories | 40 units

19 East 72nd Street was erected on the former site of the townhouse of Charles Tiffany and Louis Comfort Tiffany. The new building is clad entirely in limestone, which would make it luxurious enough on its own. However, the magnificent, sinuous, very graceful and subtle arcs of the base’s curves are superbly proportioned and soften what would otherwise be the traditionally hard edges of the building. While some of the apartments inside have undergone renovations, they have kept the grandeur and details that made and keep it highly coveted.
19-East-72nd-Street-1 All images of 19 East 72nd Street via Brown Harris Stevens

From the Listing: 19 East 72nd St is ideally situated in one of Manhattan's most highly regarded buildings. The limestone-clad prewar cooperative was designed in 1937 by Rosario Candela, one of the pre-eminent architects of his time.

This wonderful south-facing 10 room residence has many significant original details such as soaring high ceilings and lovely hardwood floors.

A most impressive 24-foot-long Gallery opens to an exceedingly grand and light-filled Living Room and a handsome paneled Library; both with wood-burning fireplaces. The Entertaining Rooms also include an elegantly proportioned Dining Room which can easily accommodate ten guests and a conveniently placed Powder Room.
Seefull details here.

Upper East Side | Completed in 1928
Cooperative | 15 stories | 14 units

2-East-67th-Street-1 All images of 2 East 67th Street via Sotheby's
2-East-67th-Street-2 Living room
2-East-67th-Street-3 Gallery
2-East-67th-Street-4 Dining room
While this Italian Renaissance palazzo-inspired co-op is located near some of the city's premier designer shopping, an apartment in this building is as coveted as anything in a Madison Avenue boutique, and even more exclusive. There are only 15 apartments, which feature 11-foot ceilings, fireplaces, impeccable details, and beautiful views of Central Park. Previous residents have included Leonard Lauder, Jonathan Tisch, Arthur Carter, and Charles Allen, Jr.

Notable Listings in Rosario Candela Buildings

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