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The River Arts, 871 Riverside Drive: Review and Ratings

between West 88th Street & West 89th Street View Full Building Profile

Carter Horsley
Review of 871 Riverside Drive by Carter Horsley

The very attractive, River Arts apartment complex at 158-18 Riverside Drive West in Washington Heights is a many-sided, 6-story, red-brick building with 244 co-operative units.

It was built in 1941 and converted to a co-operative in the 1980s by Bernard Levine.

While the building itself has few decorative façade features compared with many of its close, pre-war neighbors, its fencing and very unusual massing with a few distinctive entrances make it one of the most imposing buildings in Washington Heights, especially because it is closer to the river and its fabulous views than many of the superb pre-war apartment buildings in the vicinity.

Bottom Line

A huge, mid-rise building with many large apartments with wonderful river vistas near the Audubon District and Audubon Park historic districts that are among the most impressive in the city and are among the city’s great secrets.


The building has 83 sides, probably more than any other building in the city, and five light courts facing the Hudson River.

The building has lush sidewalk landscaping, a lawn called by residents the Glen, and fencing.

In 2007, some members of the building’s co-op board wanted to install solar panels on the roof to reduce energy costs.  It was then estimated, according to a March 22, 2009 article by Mireya Navarro in The New York Times that “it would take 10 years to recover the investment through energy savings.”  Since then, however, the article continued, “new federal, state and city tax credits have become available, reducing River Arts’ net cost of a $400,000 system to $10,000 – meaning it would take about one year for the co-op to recover the investment.”

A May 22, 2012 article by Ronda Keysen in Habitat Magazine said that the solar energy project “cost $418,000 at the outset” and “the credits and grants reduced their final bill to $34,560.”


The building has a doorman, a live-in superintendent, a gym, a garage, private storage, bicycle storage, a community room, a laundry and allows pets.


Apartment 2B is a three-bedroom unit with a 23-foot-long entry foyer that leads to an angled, 16-foot-wide open, windowed kitchen/dining area with an island and a 21-foot-long living room.

Apartment 4J is a three-bedroom unit with a 15-foot-long dining foyer off a 9-foot-long, windowed, enclosed kitchen near the 21-foot-long living room.

Apartment 7E is a two-bedroom unit with a 12-foot-wide entry foyer that leads to a 22-foot-long living room with a 13-foot-wide corner dining alcove and a an enclosed, windowed 16-fooot-long kitchen.

Apartment 7B is a two-bedroom unit with a 23-foot-long entry foyer that leads past a 12-foot-wide, windowed, open kitchen with a pass-through next to a 21-foot-wide, slightly angled living/dining room.

Apartment 6F is a one-bedroom unit with a 7-foot-long entry foyer that leads to a 16-foot-long living room, a 15-foot-wide dining room and a 14-foot-long, windowed kitchen.

Apartment 6L is a two-bedroom unit with an entry foyer that leads into an 11-foot-long dining room next to a 23-foot-long living room with a large bay window and a 13-foot-open kitchen with an angled pass-through.


Out of 44

Architecture Rating: 25 / 44

Out of 36

Location Rating: 34 / 36

Out of 39

Features Rating: 13 / 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
  • #1 Rated co-op - Upper Manhattan
  • #1 Rated co-op - Washington Heights
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Key Details
One Manhattan Square
between Pike Slip & Rutgers Slip
Lower East Side
Enjoy breathtaking views and unparalleled amenities, including spa with 75-foot saltwater pool, hot tub, sauna and a tranquility garden.
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