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The Gainsborough, 222 Central Park South: Review and Ratings

between Seventh Avenue & Broadway View Full Building Profile

Carter Horsley
Review of 222 Central Park South by Carter Horsley

The city's best "studio" apartment building, this slender, 16-story building between 7th Avenue and Broadway was completed in 1908, a couple of years after several "studio" buildings were erected on West 67th Street.

The Gainsborough has only 34 apartments, all with spectacular, double-height living rooms facing north towards Central Park.

Designed by Charles W. Buckham, the building was developed by a group of artists led by August Franzen and is named after Thomas Gainsborough, the English artist, whose bust appears on the façade above the entrance as does an allegorical frieze by Isidore Konti.

The building's façade is dominated by the huge, double-story windows, each of which has a small, attractive, pediment-topped doorway with decorative lattice-like masonry at their base that originally overlooked decorative, semi-circular, iron balconies that are now missing, giving the façade an almost Venetian look, which is further enhanced by the use of colored Moravian tiles on the building's top two floors. The building has a scalloped crown molding at its roofline.

In the 1950's, the building commissioned Donald Deskey to redesign its lobby and entrance, but in the late 1980's spent about $1 million to restore them to their original appearance. In 1988, the building was designated an official city landmark.

Although it is not the city's grandest "studio" building in terms of apartment sizes and materials, it is the best looking and has the best views.


Out of 44

Architecture Rating: 29 / 44

Out of 36

Location Rating: 31 / 36

Out of 39

Features Rating: 18 / 39


CityRealty Rating Reference

  • 30+ remarkable
  • 20-29 distinguished
  • 11-19 average
  • < 11 below average
  • 27+ remarkable
  • 18-26 distinguished
  • 9-17 average
  • < 9 below average
  • 22+ remarkable
  • 16-21 distinguished
  • 9-15 average
  • < 9 below average
  • #10 Rated co-op - Midtown
  • #3 Rated co-op - Midtown West
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Key Details
1289 Lexington Avenue
at The Northeast corner of East 86th Street
Carnegie Hill
Refined Residences that Redefine life on Lexington Avenue.
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