520 East 81st Street

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520 East 81st Street, New York City, NY

520 East 81st Street

Exterior of The Salem House
Building Information
Architect Hyman Isaac Feldman
Management Company Self-Managed
Number of Units 163
Number of Floors 14
Year Built 1964
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof IRMA
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520 East 81st Street, New York City, NY
Distance to Public Transit Within one block
Region New York City
Municipality New York City
Zoning R8B
Title of Land Condominium



The canopied entrance of The Salem House

The Salem House, originally erected in 1964, exhibits classic architectural designs and was converted to a condominium building of 163 residences in 1980. This architecturally rich, character building in Yorkville offers modern amenities such as a doorman and a common roof deck for residents to enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding city, park, and river.

Yorkville is a small and culturally diverse residential neighborhood in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, near the shore of the East River. Its boundaries extend on the north and south from 79th Street up to 96th Street, and from the east to west from the East River to Third Avenue.

Landmarks in Yorkville include Carl Schurz Park, which overlooks the East River and the channel known as Hell Gate, as well as the Gracie Mansion, which is a mansion located in Carl Schurz Park that was built in 1799 as the official mayoral residence, and still exists today. The current mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has not resided in the Gracie Mansion, but has used the historic monument for meetings and events.

During the early years of the 19th and 20th centuries, Yorkville was inhabited with culturally diverse people of backgrounds ranging from Czech, Slovak, Irish, Polish, German, Hungarian and Lebanese. As a result of the diverse background of Yorkville, there are many historic churches that still exist and are in use today, including St. Ignatius Loyola, Our Lady of Good Counsel, and the Church of St. Joseph.

The 14 story red-brick condominium building located at 520 East 81st Street in the neighborhood of Yorkville in the Upper East Side of Manhattan is also know as The Salem House.

Each of the residences, the majority of which are suitable to singles and couples, exhibit plenty of natural light and open floor plans. The Salem House is a pet-friendly building that makes for a great investment with high rental income, and also makes for a great pied-a-terre residence.[1]


The Salem House is located on East 81st Street between York Avenue and East End Avenue, just one block from the shore of the East River. East 81st Street is a relatively quiet, tree-lined street which is commonly lined on both sides with parked cars, and offers a narrow path of traffic to pass through.

York Avenue is a busier street providing two-way traffic, and features many cafes and restaurants, such as Gracie's Café at the corner of York Avenue and East 81st Street. East End Avenue is less populated with restaurants and cafes and also offers two-way traffic just one block from the East River, offering glimpses of the river at the intersections. The FDR Drive offers expansive views of the river and Roosevelt Island, and there is the East River Esplanade which provides a great walking and jogging bath along the river.

Other nearby outdoor attractions include John Jay Park, Henderson Place Historic District, Dekovats Park, Rainey Park and Ruppert Park. Saint Catherine's Park is also located within walking distance from The Salem House, and there are many nearby schools that include York Avenue Preschool & Kindergarten, East Side Middle School, Baylard Taylor School, and Eleanor Roosevelt High School. There is a total of 20 different public transit stations within walking distance from the building, including the nearest subway station at 77th Street and Lexington Avenue.[2]


Front View of The Salem House

This 14 story building was constructed of durable concrete materials in 1964 and converted to condominiums in 1980; The Salem House exudes historic and classic charm with its red-brick exterior façade and minimalist design. Standing mid-block on the quiet, tree-lined East 81st Street between York Avenue and East End Avenue, the Salem House welcomes its residents home each day with a canopied entrance and friendly doorman and concierge service.

The sidewalk landscaping provides an attractive forefront to the red-brick backdrop of the building itself. The building features no balconies but does offer a roof top deck available to all residents, where they can enjoy panoramic views. The building recently had boiler and pavement work completed in 2011.

The building was designed by Hyman Isaac Feldman, often shortened to H.I. Feldman, who was a Yale-educated architect who, although he was responsible for the designs of hundreds, possibly even thousands of buildings over the course of his lifetime, always remained humble about the success of his career.

Many of his buildings still exist today, and are often considered to be retro. Feldman is most known for the design of the building at 1025 Fifth Ave, although his design did not include the building's entrance as it stands today. Feldman's original design on this project included a meandering entrance hallway in order to achieve a Fifth Avenue address for the building and all the residences inside.[3]

Layout and Features

The majority of the layouts offered at The Salem House are studios and one bedroom condominiums, although you can find up to two bedroom layouts in the building. The original layouts were basic in style with white walls and parquet-style hardwood floors.

Galley-style kitchens are often small but functional, with sufficient storage space; many of the units include windowed galley-kitchens which provide a nice touch of light to the small spaces.

Triple-paneled windows span from wall-to-wall in the living area, providing maximum natural light and exposure of the surrounding views. Some of the layouts offer small foyer entrances or entrance halls, while others open up directly into the office or living spaces.

Some of the residences have been upgraded with modern finishes such as stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, new lighting throughout, and modern hardwood floors.

Other layouts have been altered to create an open kitchen and living room plan, which is ideal for entertaining and maximizing the feeling of openness.

Double and triple windows are also commonly found in the bedrooms, which are a sufficient size with ample closet space. Some of the floor plans also feature separate dining areas, dressing rooms, walk-in closets, and office or den spaces.[4]

Floor Plans

31 floor plans are available. Here is a brief overview of the different layouts.


Amenities offered at the Salem House include:

  • Doorman
  • Concierge
  • Common Court Yard
  • Central Laundry Room
  • Common Roof Deck
  • Air Conditioning
  • Garage
  • Package Room
  • Elevator
  • Live-in Super


520 East 81st Street Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No
Barbecues Yes

  • The Salem House is a pet-friendly building
  • Rentals and pied-a-terre are allowed
  • There are no age restrictions


The interiors throughout The Salem House all have large windows, which are double-pane, and therefor energy-efficient. The large size and amount of windows also provide for ample natural light, cutting back on the necessity for daytime electrical lighting.

Some of the residences have been upgrades with the following:

  • Energy star rated appliances with gas cook tops
  • Energy-efficient lighting throughout
  • Sustainable and durable hardwood and stone materials
  • Flow conscious bathroom fixtures

The building does not provide any high energy consumption amenities like an indoor pool, but does feature a common roof top deck where residents can lounge and entertain. The building is quite convenient to public transportation, with a good crosstown bus service. There are also many cafes and restaurants within walking distance.


St. Ignatius Loyola Church

One of the churches located in Yorkville which has been long-standing since its cultural diverse habitation during the early 19th and 20th Centuries is the Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola. This Roman Catholic parish is located on East 83rd Street in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The church was established in 1851, and was first under the name of St. Lawrence O'Toole's Church.

In 1898, Rome granted permission to the church to change the patron saint of the parish to St. Ignatius of Loyola. Originally the church was a simple wooden structure that was erected in 1852, but was soon replaced with brick in 1853. The present foundation that the church rests on was built from 1884 to 1886, and was the foundation for a planned Gothic design.

The structure and design of the church, which was completed in 1900, was by architect J. William Schickel. The interior of the church features grand American, European and African marbles, as well as pink Tennessee, red-veined Numidian, yellow Sienna, pink Algerian marble, white Carrarra marble, and Pavonazzo marble. The church was added to the National Register on July 24, 1980.

St. Ignatius Loyola Church is well-known for having been the site of Jacqueline Kennedy's funeral in May of 1994, as well as the place for the sudden funeral of the famous singer, Aaliyah, after her unexpected death in 2001.[5]


  1. City Realty
  2. Walk Score
  3. Skyscraper Page
  4. Trulia
  5. Wikipedia

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