875 Fifth Avenue

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875 Fifth Avenue, New York City, NY

875 Fifth Avenue
875Fifth-NYC-Exterior.png

875 Fifth Avenue - Exterior
Building Information
Developer 875 Tenants Corporation
Architect Emery Roth
Management Company 875 Tenants Corporation
Number of Units 121
Number of Floors 19
Year Built 1940
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof PMR
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875 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY
Distance to Public Transit Less than one block
Region New York City
Municipality New York City
Zoning R-10
Title of Land Cooperative


Contents

Background

Emery Roth
Richard M. Hunt


Iconic New York architect Emery Roth designed 875 Fifth Avenue in 1940. But before it could be built, something else had to be destroyed.


875 Fifth Avenue had been the site of not one, but three individual mansions designed by Richard M. Hunt. Some would argue that Hunt “shaped the face of New York” even more than Roth, himself – that more of Hunt’s work has been knocked down than most architects ever see go up.


For all that, Hunt must have been quite a good sport. After the rubble was cleared away, he stuck around to mentor a still-young Emery Roth through the design of 875 Fifth – a strange passing of the torch.[1]


Location

In terms of price range, even the least expensive units in this building will run the prospective buyer a cool seven figures. The top spots, with their open terraces and near-panoramic views come in at nearly three times that. A pre-war Emery Roth building in Lenox Hill, overlooking the whole of Central Park? Absolutely.

Overlooking Central Park.

Residents are a short drive from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Or, if they don’t feel like getting in the car, they’re a brisk walk away from the Old Masters of the Frick Collection, or the legacy of the Vanderbilt’s Silk Stocking Regiment: The Park Avenue Armory.


Despite the kind of cash it takes just to get in the door at 875 Fifth Avenue, the building is within minutes of nearly 60 different public transit options. Buses to take the average New Yorker for a little window shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf-Goodman, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Emanuel Ungaro, Gucci, Ferragamo, and Versace.[2]

Construction

A classic example of post-war Moderne design, 875 Fifth Avenue is a concrete structure housing 19 floors, and 121 individual units.

The same polished granite fluting that highlights Emery Roth’s famous towers along Central Park West appears at the entrance to this building, echoing that grandeur.

In terms of structural accents, the building is also known for the rounded glass-brick highlights at the corners of its water tank enclosure.[3]

Layout and Features

Select apartments have floors in either hardwood or marble, and a number of the higher-level suites have open terraces. Several of the units are either full duplex, or partially split with “staff quarters” above the main living areas.


The original building layout contained 134 units. Over time, to make room for some of its more expansive suites, that number was reduced to the current 121. It’s interesting to note the change from the typical pre-war sprawl of apartment spaces, to the relative economy of post-war design -- and a gradual loss of that economy as time went on.


Floor Plans

A selection of floor plans from 875 Fifth Avenue:

Amenities

One of 875 Fifth's stunning gallery/dining areas.

For such a high-end building, it’s somewhat surprising that the amenities at 875 Fifth Avenue are relatively limited. The residence features:

  • A full-time doorman
  • Basement storage
  • Laundry facilities

There’s no mention of a concierge, or any type of common area. It may be that 875 Fifth Avenue is of a time when shared spaces were not common in private residences. Also, there are those among the building’s clientele whose individual units would rival any shared space.

Bylaws

875 Fifth Avenue Bylaws
Rentals No
Pets No
Age No


  • Pets are not allowed.
  • Pieds a terres – the use of a unit as a “second home” for long term or frequent visitors to the city – are permitted.
  • Owners can finance up to 50% of their units.
  • There are no tenancy restrictions, but applicants must obtain approval from the tenants’ corporation before taking up residence.


Sustainability

Despite its status as a landmark of post-war modernity, 875 Fifth Avenue went up quite some time before the people of New York were taking things like sustainability and environmental impact into account.

However, the building’s current managerial board (and some of its more environmentally conscious residents) have doubtlessly gone to some length in equipping a number of the building's apartments with more up-to-date appliances -- refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, and light fixtures. More individually, residents are also encouraged to make use of city-wide recycling programs.

Although residents of 875 Fifth Avenue are undoubtedly driving some of the most expensive cars on the market, there are close to 60 public transportation options within a few blocks, in the event of a flat tire.[4]

Trivia

Saks' Fifth Avenue flagship store, at Christmas.
  • Just a block away from Fifth Avenue, New York’s Madison Avenue serves as the backdrop for ABC’s hit drama Mad Men, a series that revolves around the city’s booming advertising industry in the 1960s.
  • The famous Saks’ Fifth Avenue flagship store opened in September of 1924. Over 80 years later, having spanned the United States, Saks’ opened its first international branch in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
  • Apple’s Fifth Avenue store is one of only a handful of physical retail locations (Apple or otherwise) that’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.[5]

References

  1. Street Easy
  2. A View on Cities
  3. City Realty
  4. Walk Score
  5. Saks' Fifth Avenue


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