Manhattan’s Upper East Side – Elegant Living in New York City
From 59th to 96th Street and from the East River to Central Park is Manhattan’s Upper East Side. This section of New York City has some of the most expensive real estate in the nation and was once referred to as the “Silk Stocking District.”
During the late 1800s, Fifth, Madison, Park, Lexington, First, Second and Third Avenues were paved and wealthy New Yorkers flocked to the area, building grand mansions on these picturesque streets and avenues.
Only the very well-to-do could afford this kind of luxury and the tradition still remains, with this area of Manhattan being home to people with more accumulated wealth than anywhere else in the world. There is some more affordable housing with studios, one-bedrooms and luxury apartment rentals, but high-end living dominates in this tony section of New York City.
Steel baron, Andrew Carnegie began construction of his mansion at 2 East 91st Street in 1898. It’s takes up nearly a half-block, bound by Fifth and Madison and 90th and 91st Streets. The Carnegie Corporation donated it to the Smithsonian and it’s now known as the National Design Museum. It contains over 250,000 design objects and serves as a world-class design library with year-long exhibitions.
Formerly referred to as Millionaire’s Row and now Museum Mile, it took its place among other stately mansions such as The Frick Mansion at Fifth Avenue and 70th Street, a “marble palace” (owned by Henry Clay Frick, industrialist and financier) which now serves as a museum, containing some of New York’s finest art collections. The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the famous Frank Lloyd Wrights’ Guggenheim are both within walking distance.
The area, known as Carnegie Hill, still attracts the über wealthy and in the early 1900s, many of these elegant mansions on Fifth Avenue were replaced by neo-Renaissance apartment buildings. Its grandeur and historical elegance remains a draw for those who wish to reside in prewar, architectural marvels; most of which are co-ops.
Celebrities and billionaires live in the Carnegie Hill section and this much-desired location still commands waiting lists. Its architecture and beautiful park views have long held the interest of those desiring a subdued, elegant and refined way of living, with multi-million dollar price tags.
New luxury condo and co-op buildings in the Upper East Side include The Brompton , a 22-story limestone building in the Upper East Side’s Yorkville neighborhood and featured on the popular television series, Selling New York, and The Lucida at Lexington Avenue, New York’s first LEED certified sleek, 18-story glassed condo building.
The Azure, a 34-story newly-developed luxury condo residence located at 333 East 91st Street, is a “cond-op,” a cooperative with condominium bylaws, giving residents all the advantages of condo-style living without co-op restrictions.
The Gracie Mansion, built in 1799 and located in Carl Schurz Park, is the only remaining “suburban villa” and it overlooks the East River serving as an official residence for New York mayors since 1942.
With an abundance of upscale residences, from prewar to post-modern and everything in between, the Upper East Side is rich in history and continues to flourish.
World-class conveniences such as easy access to top-notch schools; places of worship, famous restaurants and cafes/bars such as Elaine’s, a decades-old hangout for celebrities and authors; shopping (Barney’s and Bloomingdales’) and safe, quiet, tree-lined streets, make Manhattan’s Upper East Side luxury living beyond compare.
“This is where the New Yorkers who run the world live.”
Quote from New York Magazine, Real Estate Section, Upper East Side