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

The Leonori at 26 East 63rd Street: Review and Ratings

Carter Horsley
Review of 26 East 63rd Street by Carter Horsley
Carter Horsley Carter B. Horsley, a former journalist for The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Post. Mr. Horsley is also the editorial director of CityRealty.com.
 

One of the most elegant apartment buildings on Madison Avenue, the Leonori originally had its entrance on the avenue but when retail space on the avenue became very valuable it replaced the entrance with store space and created a new entrance on the side-street. (The apartment building at 45 East 66th Street also moved its entrance off the avenue for the same reasons.)

The building's original entrance on the avenue had a very handsome portico that was somewhat similar to that of the apartment building at 667 Madison Avenue that was unfortunately demolished for an office building. The 10-story apartment building at 667 was built in 1900 and the next year plans were filed by Maximilian Morgenthau for this 12-story building, which would be the avenue's tallest on the Upper East Side at that time.

This limestone-clad building was completed in 1902 when its address was 701 Madison Avenue. It was designed by Buchman & Fox. It was designed as an apartment hotel with a rooftop dining room. Morgenthau leased it in 1902 to Charles L. Leonori, after whom the building was named.

In a February 14, 1988 article in The New York Times that is reprinted in his fine book, "Changing New York, The Architectural Scene" (Dover Publications, Inc., 1992), Christopher Gray noted that the 1922 replacement of the avenue lobby with storefronts with iron Ionic pilasters was designed by Jardine, Hill & Murdoch, "the best work of its type on the avenue."

"In 1925," Mr. Gray continued, "the dining room was moved to the ground floor and opened to the public as a restaurant, freeing space for penthouse apartments, then coming into vogue. by this time the major elements of the building had been changed except for the rooms and the late Victorian finishes - sliding doors, dark wood trim, heavy ornamentation - now out of fashion in an era of light colors and neo-Georgian detailing....In 1981, a real-estate investment group headed by David Berley bought the Leonori and converted it to condominium ownership in 1983."

The building was included in the Upper East Side Historic District, given it landmark status, but incredibly the building at 667 Madison Avenue was not and it was demolished by Leonard Stern to make way for a new office building that is attractive but in no way as elegant as the apartment building with its great caryatid statues above its portico that it replaced.

The building has 67 apartments, a three-story rusticated limestone base, a marquee side-street entrance with a walk-up lobby, some arched windows, and sidewalk landscaping, but no garage and no health club.

Rating

26
Out of 44

Architecture Rating: 26 / 44

+
25
Out of 36

Location Rating: 25 / 36

+
18
Out of 39

Features Rating: 18 / 39

+
9
=
78

CityRealty Rating Reference

 
Architecture
  • 30+ remarkable
  • 20-29 distinguished
  • 11-19 average
  • < 11 below average
 
Location
  • 27+ remarkable
  • 18-26 distinguished
  • 9-17 average
  • < 9 below average
 
Features
  • 22+ remarkable
  • 16-21 distinguished
  • 9-15 average
  • < 9 below average
  • #15 Rated condo - Park/Fifth Ave. to 79th St.
 
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Key Details
Dahlia
between Amsterdam Avenue & Broadway
Broadway Corridor
Forward-thinking and elegant homes on the Upper West Side. 2-4 bedroom residences | Occupancy Q3 2020.
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