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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)


Gramercy Park and some of the residential buildings encircling it with key access Gramercy Park and some of the residential buildings encircling it with key access
Throughout New York, luxury residential buildings flaunt the use of high-quality materials: statuary marble floors, bronze door handles and frames, onyx details. But the rarest and perhaps most highly coveted amenity of all is made from a commonplace nickel alloy: a key to Gramercy Park, the only private park in Manhattan.


In 1831, developer and urban planner Samuel Ruggles deeded two acres of his extensive property holdings to be used as a park surrounded by mansions, a practice inspired by London. While the first few years were spent draining the wetlands, the park was fenced in the mid-1830s and locked in 1844. It was the antithesis of Union Square, another of Mr. Ruggles' creations regarded as a park for the people.
Over the first 50 years of Gramercy Park’s existence, the gates were only opened once during the Civil War draft riots. The violence spread north from Lower Manhattan, and the Eighth Regiment artillery camped out in the park while defending the people.
In 1890, the New York State Legislature passed a bill that would have allowed a cable car to pass through Gramercy Park. Local activists shut down that proposal, as well as one to run a street through it connecting Irving Place and Lexington Avenue. The second proposal in 1912 was the last serious attempt at breaching the park, and the gates have been locked ever since.

Present Day

Gramercy Park is considered the unofficial front yard of the 39 buildings surrounding it. According to The New York Times, each building pays a yearly assessment fee of $7,500, which grants them two keys (buildings with more lots get more keys). Fear of having key privileges rescinded keeps the payments coming in.
The first keys to Gramercy Park were made from solid gold, and today’s park keys are treated as reverently as if this is still the practice. Zeckendorf Development intentionally chose 18 Gramercy Park South, a one-time Salvation Army residence, for a condo conversion based on park proximity and paid for the first year of park keys for buyers. The conversion of 36 Gramercy Park East went even further - the sponsor presented buyers with park keys and personalized brass keychains.
And while 57 Irving Place is two and a half blocks south of Gramercy Park, developer Madison Equities devised an ingenious strategy to get keys for buyers: If buyers were able to join the Players Club (founded by Shakesperean actor Edwin Booth, whose statue is a centerpiece of the park), which confers keys to members in good standing, Madison Equities owner Robert Gladstone would pay their annual dues for five years.
Of the 383 keys manufactured in 2012, 126 were managed by doormen and concierges in buildings on the park, who allowed residents to sign them out. Residents who do not wish to go through the building pay $350 a year for personal keys. All keys are numbered and coded, and the keys and locks are changed every year. Those who are foolish enough to lose their park keys are charged $1,000 for replacements. If the keys are lost again, the replacement costs $2,000.
36 Gramercy Park East Entrance to 36 Gramercy Park East (Nest Seekers)

Rules and Exclusivity

Nearly 200 years since Mr. Ruggles deeded the land, Gramercy Park remains accessible only to property owners of buildings directly on the park. In addition to the Players Club, members of the National Arts Club (the first private club to admit women on an equal basis as men), the Brotherhood Synagogue, and Cavalry-St. George’s Church are also eligible for keys to the park.

Guests of the five-star Gramercy Park Hotel are also allowed inside the park, but they must be escorted in and out by hotel staffers. Keyholders may be accompanied by no more than five guests at a time. Whoever holds the keys, the precious hardware is required for entering and exiting the park alike.
inside Gramercy Park (Corcoran)
Gramercy Park Peek inside the park from the west gate (Wikipedia)
Gramercy Park-03 From the northwest corner (Wikipedia)
Mr. Ruggles described the park as ornamental as opposed to recreational, a mindset that remains in place well into the 21st century. The park closes at dusk every night. During the day, visitors are not permitted to ride bicycles, bring lawn furniture, play Frisbee or “hardball” sports, drink alcohol, smoke, walk dogs, or feed the birds.
The surrounding clubs, churches, and hotels make gorgeous wedding venues, but photography in the park is not allowed. Nor is commercial photography - witness the ado when an Airbnb guest with a key posted pictures of Gramercy Park to Google Maps in 2014. And for those unfamiliar with the park’s rules, “Mayor Arlene” Harrison, park trustee and founder of the Gramercy Park Block Association, is one of its fiercest protectors.
For one hour on Christmas Eve, the gates of Gramercy Park traditionally open for caroling hosted by Cavalry-St. George’s Church. For the rest of the year, most of us can only admire it from the fenced perimeter. Availabilities are naturally few and far between, but we take a look at listings that provide keys to the park as well as the apartments.
50 Gramercy Park North, 12B View of Gramercy Park from 50 Gramercy Park North, 12B (Christie's Real Estate

Residential buildings with keys to the park:

1 Gramercy Park West 1 Gramercy Park West

19 Gramercy Park South 19 Gramercy Park South

34-Gramercy-Park-East-1 All images of The Gramercy via Evan Joseph for Sotheby's International Realty
From the listing: A remarkable, no-stone-unturned renovation has combined four different apartments over three floors to create a home like no other in New York City. Celebrating the bones and architecture of the famed 34 Gramercy Park East, while transforming the space into a singularly enhancing home, this jewel box is perched atop the southwest corner of the historic landmark. Features of the approximately 4,950 square-foot home include original, restored window frames and casings throughout, original, restored hardwood floors throughout, and the highest quality fixtures and finishes combined with a curated collection of treasured vintage and antique finds from around the world. Enter this imaginative space via the seventh floor and into a gracious entry foyer. See floor plan and full details here.

50-Gramercy-Park-North-01 All images of Gramercy Park Hotel via Compass
From the listing: The spectacular floor-through residence, 14A, boasts full Gramercy Park and city views via 75 feet of floor to ceiling windows. Spanning the entire length of the apartment, streaming sunlight and sunset skies are an everyday occurrence through the south-facing walls of glass. Complete with private landing, this well-appointed, 2899-square-foot, 3-bedroom, 4-bath has a wood-burning fireplace and two sets of pocket doors, perfect for entertaining. This unique residence provides the discerning buyer with a key to Manhattan's only private park and an opportunity to live in a hotel service building. See floor plan and full details here.

48-Gramercy-Park-North-01 All images of 48 Gramercy Park North via Compass
From the listing: This one-of-a-kind home blends elements of an open loft with a classic Manhattan apartment in a circa-1900 townhouse with elevator and tastefully appointed public space. Enter into a warm and welcoming book-lined foyer that leads directly into a great room centered around an oversized wall of windows. Light fills the apartment from dawn to dusk and two sets of triple-paned French doors open to a lovely balcony from which you can practically touch the flora of Gramercy Park. An ornate marble wood burning fireplace anchors the bedroom and is surrounded by custom designed built-in bookcases that accentuate the soaring 14-foot-high ceilings. See floor plan and full details here.

36-Gramercy-Park-East-01 All images of 36 Gramercy Park East via Sotheby's International Realty
From the listing: A gracious two-bedroom home with two full bathrooms features a sun-filled living room with a decorative fireplace and bay windows, windowed kitchen with granite countertops, washer and dryer, handcrafted ceiling moldings, classic herringbone floors, and high ceilings throughout. This pre-war beauty is enhanced by the breathtaking views of Park from every room. The building offers 24-hour doorman and concierge, bicycle storage, and a key to access Gramercy Park . See floor plan and full details here.

10-Gramercy-Park-South-01 All images of 10 Gramercy Park South via Douglas Elliman
From the listing: This stunning 2-bedroom, 2-bath apartment on the first floor of a stately 1850s, 27-foot-wide prewar home - now an upscale boutique co-op - is a site to behold with its modern refinements and original detailing. No expense has been spared in the meticulous renovation of this spectacular residence with northern and southern exposures, 2 gas fireplaces, LV hardwood flooring, central air and heat, plus a built-in Sonos surround-sound speaker system throughout the living space and outdoor garden. The apartment comes with a coveted key to Gramercy Park. See floor plan and full details here.

1-Lexington-Avenue-01 All images of 1 Lexington Avenue via Corcoran
From the listing: Apartment 9D presents a unique opportunity to own a rarely available unit, which has a living-dining room flooded with sunlight, 10' high ceilings, a wood-burning fireplace, and original oak hardwood floors. Windowed kitchen has custom made cabinetry and expansive counter space, which can be accessed through French doors. Primary bedroom sits on a cornered north-east facing window with exquisite light. This twelve-story intimate cooperative offers a key to Gramercy Park features extraordinary design details including a stately limestone and brick façade, timeless-elegant marble lobby and wood-paneled elevator still attended full-time by the elevator operator. See floor plan and full details here.

26-Gramercy-Park-South-01 The Irving via Compass
From the listing: Smartly renovated two-bedroom with access to the lush private gardens of Gramercy Park! Features include ceiling heights of 9.5 feet throughout, beautiful hardwood floors, and open chefs kitchen with custom cabinetry handcrafted in Brooklyn, high-end Miele and Bosch appliances, natural stone countertops, and custom lighting. The building's main entrance is on the Park, with close proximity to some of the city's best transportation, restaurants, and shopping, including the famous Union Square green market and Eataly. See floor plan and full details here.

60-Gramercy-Park-North-1 All images of 60 Gramercy Park North via Compass
From the listing: A classic doorman co-op, a fully renovated apartment, and a key to Gramercy Park! 15F is a high-floor junior 4 that was updated by the current owner with a new kitchen, new bathroom, floors, and lighting. The south facing bedroom gets great light, includes a walk-in closet, ceiling fan, and has space for a home office. The stone tiled, windowed bathroom has a marble-top sink cabinet and mirror cabinet. The unit also includes a walk-in closet off of the foyer, and a hallway closet, plus additional storage in the basement. See floor plan and full details here.

26-Gramercy-Park-South-01 All images of The Irving via Brown Harris Stevens
From the listing: Live directly across from Gramercy Park with your very own key to this coveted oasis, in a gorgeous one-bedroom gem at handsome 26 Gramercy Park South! Apartment 4C not only boasts an unbeatable location with private access to the prized park, but a fabulous address as well in a premier prewar cooperative in the heart of the historic district. Charm oozes from every inch of this elegant residence that's also been modernized with a gorgeous renovated kitchen. See floor plan and full details here.

38-Gramercy-Park-East-01 All images of 38 Gramercy Park via Douglas Elliman
From the listing: A rare opportunity to get your own key to Gramercy Park! Residence #1C at 38 Gramercy Park is a charming studio in a prewar co-op with lovely views of the beautiful tree-lined street. Boasting 11-foot ceilings, mirrored walls and a renovated kitchen and bathroom, the apartment has a bright, lofty vibe to it. Smartly configured with a built-in Murphy bed, it can easily be transformed from living room/work space to sleeping quarters. See floor plan and full details here.

26-Gramercy-Park-South-01 All images of The Irving via Compass
From the listing: Ideally located in a charming pre-war building, this light and airy studio has been beautifully renovated. The generously sized kitchen is fully renovated and includes stainless steel appliances, plenty of storage and an oversized island with marble countertops. With entrances on both Gramercy Park South and East 19th Street, also known as Block Beautiful, 26 Gramercy Park South offers a full-time super, part-time doorman (evenings and weekends), bike room, and central laundry room. Key to Gramercy Park! See floor plan and full details here.

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