From Condopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

188 East 78th Street, New York City


Empire's warm limestone facade and gabled roof tower over the Upper East Side
Building Information
Developer Davis Development Holdings
Architect Hartman - Cox
Number of Units 72
Number of Floors 32
Year Built 1999
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof Gabled
Loading map...
188 East 78th Street, New York City
Distance to Public Transit Less than one block
Region New York City
Municipality New York City
Zoning C1-9
Title of Land Condominium



Reaching high above its trendy Upper East Side location, Empire's orange brick facade offers residents a warm welcome. Centered in one of the safest, most affluent and historic communities in New York City. 188 East 78th Street offers impressive views of Manhattan and easy access to a neighborhood dense with architectural history and cultural amenities.


188 East 78th Street is built on the former location of The Cottages. That the building replaced a historic brown-stone apartment block was not what caused consternation during Empire's construction, though. Rather, it was tennis and badminton courts that were lost as a result of the building's construction that riled up the community; though, not surprisingly, this issue has settled down as the building has become popular with the city's affluent class.[1]

The Upper East Side offers is a cultural panacea. Less than a mile from Empire lays both the Whitney Museum and the Guggenheim. Add another half-mile to the radius and the American Folk Art Museum and MoMA both fall within it. Should a resident be looking to expand their horizons further afield, transit, both bus and subway are less than 500 ft from Empire's impressive lobby. Plenty of schools are located in the area. High-end shopping, restaurants and markets permeate the area. There is little doubt as to why this is such a popular area. Simply put, Empire's Upper East Side location offers its residents the best in neighborhood amenities[2]


Empire's post-modern aesthetic was designed by Hartman-Cox Architects and developed by Davis Development Holdings. The orange/rose brick facade of the building's lower levels, along with arched windows recall a pre-war architectural sentiment. The limestone facade that covers the tower offers an inviting visage for its residents.[3]

Early in the building's life issues arose with the concrete balconies, flooding and poorly fitted windows. While fixing these issues, and the litigation surrounding them, took some time, they seem to have been solved.

Layout and Features

There are numerous layouts and features available in Empire. Units with a Southern exposure have striking views of midtown. High-end finishes are found throughout the units. Most of the units in this building are considered quite large. Smaller units make up the lower floors. As one might expect, the units become larger and more opulent as the number of stories increase. In the mid-levels of the building, there are three units to a floor, towards the top there are two to a floor. Juliette balconies adorn the mid-levels, with full balconies and fireplaces in the larger units near the top of the building. Some units offer maid quarters.[4]

Floor Plans

A sampling of The Empire condominiums floor plans:


The Empire Condominiums are well appointed. Amenities include:

  • Fitness club
  • Business center
  • Children's playroom
  • Doorman
  • Concierge
  • Parking garage
  • Storage space
  • Wine cellar
  • Private garden terrace
  • Screening room
  • Some units also have fireplaces[5]


Empire Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No

  • Residents of Empire are allowed pets
  • Rentals are permitted
  • There are no age restrictions in this building


  • Empire's easy access to public transit and eminently walkable neighborhood make this an excellent location for green-minded individuals.
  • The building also offers a private garden and offering dedicated parking in a busy area helps limit needless greenhouse gas emissions.


  • Empire's original claim to fame was that its construction required the destruction of badminton and tennis courts. Prior to the building's constructions, the area was home to a relatively well-known apartment block, The Cottages. Locals tried to get the area named an historical site prior to the building of Empire, but residents failed and dropped opposition to the project after a number of residents were offered generous packages to do so.
  • The building has been home to several New York icons including, at different times, former New York Yankee First Baseman/Designated Hitter Jason Giambi, Leo Hindrey of the YES television network and Steve Witkoff.[6]


  1. City Realty
  2. Walk Score
  3. Emporis
  4. Street Easy
  5. City Realty
  6. New York Observer

Discussion Forum

blog comments powered by Disqus

Building Ratings

Ratings are submitted by users like you - Condopedia makes no guarantees or endorsements.

Personal tools

Cities and Regions
Condo Facts
Contact Condopedia