51 Fifth Avenue

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51 Fifth Avenue, New York City, NY

51 Fifth Avenue

51 Fifth Avenue
Building Information
Architect Thomas W. Lamb
Management Company John Grogann
Number of Units 89
Number of Floors 16
Year Built 1928
Construction Method Concrete
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51 Fifth Avenue, New York City, NY
Distance to Public Transit over 50 options
Region New York City
Municipality New York City
Zoning R-10
Title of Land Cooperative



Fifth Avenue is almost synonymous with fashionable New York City. This street is the backbone of New York's finest residential and commercial operations. This street first appeared on the Commissioners' Map of 1811. Then, in the early nineteenth century, it was just a small country road to Yorkville. In the proposed grid plan, however, it would be a grand boulevard and, of course, this aim was achieved. As New York City grew, Fifth Avenue became the street on which to live, shop, and be seen by society's elite.[1]

Throughout the early and mid-twentieth century, many residences were built on Fifth Avenue. By the 1920s, apartment buildings had become increasingly popular. While many of the famous residential and commercial buildings are located north of 49th Street, lower Fifth Avenue has its full share of high end prewar buildings as well. One such building is found at 51 Fifth Avenue, which sits on the corner of Twelfth Street and Fifth Avenue.

The building at 51 Fifth Street was built by architect Thomas W. Lamb in 1928. Lamb used simple Neo-Classical highlights set against a dark brick facade to create a simple, yet elegant looking, sixteen story building. The interiors were in keeping with the exterior style, showcasing high ceilings, wood-burning fireplaces, and large windows.

In 1988, the building was incorporated as a cooperative.


51 Fifth Avenue is located at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and East 12th Street on the edge of Greenwich Village, Manhattan, New York City. Often called just "The Village" by residents, this area is bordered by Broadway to the east, the Hudson River to the west, Houston Street to the south, and 14th Street to the north.

Fifth Avenue in Greenwich Village is considered one of the best residential areas in the city because of its excellent public transportation, good schools, fine churches, many restaurants and stores.

51 Fifth Avenue is ideally located within the Village neighborhood. It is directly across from the historic First Presbyterian Church and its extensive gardens. Washington Square Park and Union Square Park are both only a few blocks away from the building. Bike lanes are plentiful and there are over 50 bus and rail options, the closest being less than 100 feet from the building. There are also coffee shops, restaurants and grocery stores all within 500 feet of the building.[2]

51 Fifth Avenue has neo-Classical accents


51 Fifth Avenue was built in 1928 by architect Thomas W. Lamb. The 16 story concrete building has 89 apartments.

The base of the building is limestone with decorative features around the doors. The main shaft has a dark brown brick facade with limestone accents at the base and top of the building.

Decorative neo-Classical accents include limestone bands on the second, fourteenth, and fifteenth floors. There is a simple cornice at the top of the building and window frames around the corner windows on the second and sixteenth stories. The windows are mostly of a uniform shape and are placed evenly across the facade. Windows on the edge of the building on floors six and twelve have iron railings.

The building was converted to a cooperative in 1988.[3]

Layout and Features

Unit amenities in the 51 Fifth Avenue building vary depending on renovations completed by the previous owner. However, all units feature some original 1928 details such as high ceilings, hardwood flooring, and exposed beam ceilings. Modern amenities such as granite counter tops and custom cabinetry can also be found in most units.

Units feature a combination of the following:

  • Wood burning fireplace
  • Beamed ceiling
  • Cherry wood cabinets
  • Stainless steel appliances
  • Granite counter tops
  • Concealed washer and dryer
  • Hardwood floors
  • Custom closets
  • Deep-soaking tub
  • Custom bathroom tile work
  • Walk-in closets

Floor Plans

51 Fifth Avenue has numerous floor plans available from studios to three-bedroom apartments. Office space is also available for rent or purchase. Here are a few sample floor plans:


Building amenities include:

  • Doorman
  • Live-in Superintendent
  • Gym
  • Storage
  • Laundry in building
  • Bike room


51 Fifth Avenue Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No

  • Pets are allowed in 51 Fifth Avenue.
  • Rentals are allowed.
  • There are no age restrictions in this building.


  • 51 Fifth Avenue has many apartments with energy efficient appliances, lighting, and windows. Residents can maintain this standard by choosing sustainable materials when doing their own renovations.
  • Energy efficient LED light bulbs are installed in all the public areas of the building such as staircases, lobby, and backyard. Dimmer lights and motion detectors also help save electricity.[4]
  • The building has a bike room and the neighborhood has excellent bike lanes, making biking a viable option.
  • There is excellent public transportation in the area as well as a carpool center.[5]


Al Smith and his wife were once residents of 51 Fifth Street
  • The NBC show Mad About You supposedly filmed at 51 Fifth Avenue. The opening shot for the show did show the building, but the apartment where the film was actually shot was a set in Hollywood. Surprisingly, however, the portrayal of the size of the apartment is quite accurate.[6]
  • The movie 13 Going On 30 was partly filmed at 51 Fifth Avenue. Only the exterior of the building is shown in the movie.[7]
  • Former Governor Al Smith moved here in 1928 after losing the presidential election to Herbert Hoover, and lived here until the early 1940s. Al Smith was elected Governor of New York four times before he ran for president in 1928. After losing the 1928 election, Smith became the president of the corporation that built and operated the Empire State Building. He tried running for president again in 1932, but lost the nomination to his successor as New York Governor, Franklin D. Roosevelt.[8]
  • Thomas W. Lamb, the architect of 51 Fifth Avenue, was better known for building theaters. His designs for three of the New York Times Square theaters (the 1914 Mark Strand Theatre, the 1916 Rialto Theatre and the 1917 Rivoli Theatre), set the standard for American movie palaces. His achievements include theater buildings in the United States, Canada, and India. He is also known for building Madison Square Gardens.[9]


  1. Fifth Avenue
  2. Walk Score
  3. City Realty
  4. Habitat Magazine
  5. Walk Score
  6. On Set in the Village
  7. On the Set of New York
  8. Al Smith American: An Informal Biography
  9. NY Times: Thomas W. Lamb

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