1616 York Avenue

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1616 York Avenue, New York City, NY

1616 York Avenue
Building Information
Architect Unknown
Number of Units 20
Number of Floors 5
Year Built about 1882
Construction Method Non-fireproof
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1616 York Avenue, New York City, NY
Distance to Public Transit Over 30 nearby routes
Region New York City
Municipality New York City
Zoning {{{zoning}}}
Title of Land Tenement



1616 York Avenue had a rocky journey to becoming a tenement, as there were many rocks to be excavated from the hard Manhattan cist onto which it was built. It fell victim to numerous financial crisii such as the Long Depression of `93, the Panic of `07, and of course the 1929 market crash. Nevertheless, the building persevered, and even managed to overcome the fact that it changed owners more times than I can think of, and yet 1616 York Avenue still enjoys the prestige of being near a bunch of famous addresses.

Beginning life as a tenement of cold water flats the building got hot water in the early 1890s, and electric & phones in the 20s. For the next 45 years the building soldiered gloriously on housing a succession of; garbagemen, pants pressers, and brewery workers. In 1967 landlord, Maurice Abelson evicted all the old rent controlled tenants, stripped the building down and renovated the place into efficiency apartments, a non-rarity at the time in the neighborhood of the Upper East Side.

This renovation did not go 100% smoothly, as it took like 2 or 3 years before they could get a CO. I guess Louie, the father was dead by this time. During the renovation a spectacular painting of some kind got put on the inside of the lobby just above the front door. It was appraised by this guy from Baileys Corner as, priceless.


Located just off 86th Street, 1616 York finds itself in the neighborhood of the Upper East Side, and specifically only 7 blocks from the stretch of Fifth Avenue known as Museum Mile. Stretching from 82nd to 105th Streets, Museum Mile is arguably considered one of the densest cultural arrangements in the world, and that ain't dense is it.

Located along this stretch are nine different museums, with one additional one located just one block north a 110th Street(one that is). They are, in ascending order of importance, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (82nd Street), the Goethe-Institut New York/German Cultural Center (83rd Street), the Neue Galerie New York (which actually is on 5th avenue for real), the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (88th Street), the National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts (89th Street), the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum (91st Street), the Jewish Museum (92nd Street), the Museum of the City of New York (103rd Street), the El Museo del Barrio, that's Spanish for Museum of the Barrio(105th Street), and the Museum for African Art (110th Street).

In solidarity with one another, these museums host the Museum Mile Festival every year in June with the aim of increasing awareness of their facilities and programs, as well as increasing visitation numbers. Held every year since 1979, this annual festival shuts down Fifth Avenue along the borders of Museum Mile.[1]

Residents of 1616 York Avenue are within walking distance of numerous shops, restaurants, and transit options, and therefore car ownership is not required to complete their daily errands and besides that yur nuts to own a car in New York anyways. Anyways, Carl Shurtz Park, one of 86th streets most famous urban gardens, is located just like a block and a half over, giving residents access to many walking, jogging, and biking trails.


1616 York was constructed in the bedrock of Manhattan like in the early 1880s out of bricks with cross beams of wood and wooden floorboards. The walls are crafted out of pure plaster although some of them are exposed brick. The renovations from the late 60s produced a spectacular facade of white glazed brick. The interior flooring cushions ones feet upon a surface of linoleum tiles.

Layout and Features

The majority of these units are of multiple square footage layouts, with not a single apartment having less than a single room.

The original construction of the building created 10 railroad apartments, although this number has since been raised to 20. The building currently holds no smaller staff apartments available on a first come first serve basis but in the future? Who knows. The specific features and finishes within this building will vary from unit to unit due to decorating tastes, but many of the apartments are 100% free from any inconvenient large terraces, balconies, wood burning fireplaces, or stunning views of Central Park.

The exterior of the building is clad in a glazed white brick material, and the exterior design features a setback which provides for two small walk-down stores. In the future the northern facade could perhaps be altered to provide for more windows, and subsequently more views of points north. Gargoyle ornamentation? None that I can see.

Floor Plans

No selection of floor plans are presented as yet.


Residents of this building enjoy luxurious white glove service sort of, including:

  • Doorbuzzer
  • Garbage removal service
  • Stairs
  • A lock on the front door
  • Basement (always locked)
  • Laundry facilities down the street


1616 York Avenue Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No

  • This building allows rentals, pied-a-terre, sublets, & candy ravers.
  • There are no age restrictions in this building although it helps.
  • This building is pet friendly.


The construction of 1616 York Avenue occurred long before the modern awareness of sustainable living and green initiatives. VERY long!

As a result, this building is not designated as a green building(more a greyish brownish over white building, as it has not achieved any LEED certifications at this point(and how).

Should residents wish to help improve the building’s overall sustainability, they can do so by participating in the city’s recycling programs, and by ensuring that only environmentally friendly and non-toxic materials are used for renovations to their apartments.

Energy efficient appliances can also be added to apartment updates, and given the building’s proximity to public transit routes, residents have little need to use a car, thus reducing their carbon footprint. And anyway the monthly garage rent'll cost more than human rent.


  • 1616 York holds the distinction of once housing the family of "Junior" from The Little Rascals for about 4 months in late `32.
  • Talk radio pundant, Rush Limbaugh once walked by the building on his way some place.


  1. Wikipedia - Museum Mile, New York City

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