740 Park Avenue

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740 Park Avenue, New York City

740 Park Avenue
740ParkAvenueNYC.jpg

740 Park Avenue in the Upper East Side of Manhattan
Building Information
Developer James T. Lee
Architect Rosario Candela and Arthur Loomis Harmon
Number of Units 31
Number of Floors 17
Year Built 1930
Construction Method Limestone
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740 Park Avenue, New York City
Distance to Public Transit 44 nearby routes
Region New York City
Municipality New York City
Zoning R10
Title of Land Cooperative


Contents

Background

Known as one of New York City’s so called “Towers of Power”, 740 Park Avenue has long been considered one of New York’s premiere residential buildings. The list of current and former residents includes many powerful figures in business, finance, and politics, as well as many celebrities and socialites.

Perhaps one of the building’s most famous former tenants is that of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the former First Lady of the United States, who counted 740 Park Avenue as her childhood home.

The building has maintained its prestige over the years, and continues to be the site of record real estate transactions. Despite its age, apartments in this building regularly sell for some of the highest prices in New York City, as buyers value the building’s luxury, privacy, and exclusivity.

Location

Located between East 71st Street and East 72nd Street on Park Avenue, 740 Park Avenue finds itself in the heart of one of Manhattan’s most prestigious and affluent neighborhoods: the Upper East Side.

Known as having one of the highest living costs in all of the United States, the Upper East Side is home to numerous high end and luxury residential buildings and retail locations. Additionally, the Upper East Side is home to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Frick Collection, and Mount Sinai School of Medicine, as well as being home to many missions to the United Nations, including Bulgaria, Iraq, Poland, and Mongolia.

Due to its perceived glamour and prestige, the Upper East Side has been the location for many famous films, television shows, and books, including Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Eyes Wide Shut, The Great Gatsby, Kramer vs. Kramer, Sex and the City, Gossip Girl, Ugly Betty, Will and Grace, The Catcher in the Rye, American Psycho, The Bonfire of the Vanities, and The Devil Wears Prada.[1]

With a walk score and transit score of 100 out of 100, residents of 740 Park Avenue do not require a car to complete their daily errands, as they are close to an abundance of shops, restaurants, home services, and transit options. This building also holds a bike score of 59 out of 100, indicating that bikers will find the area mercifully flat, with a couple of bike lanes available nearby.[2]

Construction

740 Park Avenue occupies the space where developer James T. Lee’s former private home once stood. Additionally, Lee acquired the neighboring limestone mansion belonging to George Brewster for use as the eventual location of 740 Park Avenue. Lee commissioned famed architect Rosario Candela to design the building, and Candela in turn worked with Arthur Loomis Harmon, one of the architects of the Empire State Building, to collaborate on a design that would house the City’s rich and powerful.

Construction on the building began in 1929, and was completed in 1930, with an official opening occurring in 1931. Although the architectural style of the building hints at Art Deco, the design specifically refrained from embracing this style wholeheartedly, as it was worried that prospective buyers may be deterred from purchasing within the building if its style too much resembled the residences of Central Park West.

In 1990, the entire exterior of the building was given a full restoration at a reported cost of $258,000 to each shareholder.[3]

Layout and Features

Standing at 17 stories and featuring only 31 units, 740 Park Avenue is known for its lavish apartment layouts. Almost every unit within the building is a duplex, with many triplexes, and units occupy spaces of up to 20,000 square feet with over 30 different rooms. These enormous layouts have led some to claim that the building does not contain luxury apartments, but rather urban mansions.

Listed features of the apartments include wood burning fireplaces, walnut paneled rooms, curved staircases, stunning entrance galleries, multiple terraces, maid’s quarters, high ceilings, hardwood flooring, gourmet kitchens, marble bathrooms, and many of the building’s original prewar details.[4]

The exterior of the building is composed of limestone and features a fluted base and several setbacks on its upper floors. There are two entrances into the building, the most prominent of which being the entrance at 740 Park Avenue. This entrance is made from a cut out of polished granite, with the building’s name engraved in the arched entry. There is a second, smaller, and more discreet entrance off of the side street, and notably, certain apartment units can only be accessed from this entrance.[5]

Floor Plans

A selection of floor plans are presented.

Amenities

  • 740 Park Avenue is fully staffed with a 24 hour doorman and concierge, as well as a live in superintendent.
  • Additional amenities include a storage facility, a fitness center, a library, a laundry room, and a separate discreet entrance off of the side street of East 71st Street.
  • It was reported that when the building first opened in 1931, it housed a private chauffeurs’ waiting room.[6]


Bylaws

740 Park Avenue Bylaws
Pets Yes
Age No



This building allows pets. [7]

Sustainability

Constructed in 1930, 740 Park Avenue was built long before the awareness of sustainable living. Therefore, this building is a product of its time and is not designated as a green building. Residents wishing to help improve the building’s sustainability can do so by participating in New York City’s recycling programs, and by installing more energy efficient materials when updating and/or renovating their apartments.[8]

Trivia

  • The co-op board of 740 Park Avenue has famously rejected such applicants as Barbra Streisand, Joan Crawford, and Barbara Walters.[9]
  • Famous residents include Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Saul Steinberg, Steven Ross, John Thain, Vera Wang, Thelma Chrysler Foy, David H. Koch, Howard Marks, J. Ezra Merkin, and Jerzy Kosinski.[10]
  • 740 Park Avenue is the subject of both a book and a documentary film. 740 Park: The Story of the World’s Richest Apartment Building by Michael Gross was published in 2005. In 2012, an adaptation of the book was released on PBS and BBC called Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream.[11]
  • According to author Michael Gross, when the building first opened, it was hit with claims of antisemitism, as it was alleged that the second entrance, located at 71 East 71st Street was used by residents who did not wish be associated with the Jewish connotations of Park Avenue.

References

  1. Wikipedia - Upper East Side
  2. Walk Score
  3. City Realty
  4. Manhattan Scout
  5. City Realty - Review
  6. Street Easy
  7. Streeteasy
  8. Manhattan Scout
  9. Curbed NY
  10. Wikipedia - 740 Park Avenue
  11. Hollywood Reporter

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