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117 East 57th Street, New York City


The Galleria in East Midtown Manhattan, NYC
Building Information
Developer Madison Equities
Architect David Kenneth Specter and Philip Birnbaum
Number of Units 253
Number of Floors 57, 55 above ground
Year Built 1976
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof IRMA
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117 East 57th Street, New York City
Distance to Public Transit Over 60 nearby routes
Region New York City
Municipality New York City
Zoning C5 - 3
Title of Land Condominium



When The Galleria was first in development, the building was originally intended as an entirely commercial building to be used as office space. However, when the office space market took a dramatic downturn in the mid 1970s, this change in the industry caused The Galleria developers to re-think their strategy. It was decided that the building would become a mixed use space, comprised mostly of residential apartments, but still housing eight floors of commercial space in order to comply with the city’s zoning for the location.[1]


Located along the northern border of Midtown Manhattan, The Galleria is close to everything that New York City has to offer. A short walk northwest will deliver residents to Central Park, the urban garden at the heart of the city. Containing 843 acres of park space, Central Park is home to pathways both paved and not, restaurants, a skating rink, the Central Park Zoo, the Delacorte Theater, a swimming pool, and the historic Central Park Carousel.[2]

A short walk southwest brings residents to New York City’s famed Fifth Avenue, a retail paradise that houses many of the world’s most high end companies, including Tiffany & Co., Louis Vitton, Gucci, Versace, Chanel, Prada, Apple, and Fendi. Additionally, Fifth Avenue is home to the luxury department stores of Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Barneys. Midtown Manhattan is also home to the famed retail locations of Bloomingdale’s, FAO Schwartz, and Dylan’s Candy Shop, as well as countless other retail opportunities that range in scale from smaller chains to single location businesses, all offering products of every imaginable variety. Eating in Midtown offers just as much choice, as nearly every type of restaurant can be found in this area, from fast food to some of the most expensive eateries in the city.[3]

The Galleria offers residents easy access to some of the most famous cultural institutions in the world, including Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, Lincoln Center and the theater district of Broadway. While Midtown Manhattan is New York City’s largest business district, it is also home to some of the most well known buildings in the city and the area is a tourist magnet. Buildings such as the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, the Chrysler Building, and the New York Public Library are some of Midtown’s most visited locations.[4]

The Galleria is located at 117 East 57th Street, on the block between Park Avenue and Lexington Avenue. With a walk score of 98 out of 100, and a transit score of 100 out of 100, residents of this building do not require a car to complete their daily errands. Schools in the zoning area of The Galleria include Beekman Hill International, comprised of kindergarten to grade 5, and Simon Baruch Middle School, comprised of grades 6-8.[5]


Construction on The Galleria began in 1975 by developer Madison Equities, and was completed in 1976. Located on 57th Street, the tower portion of the building is set back quite a bit from the street and therefore despite its height, The Galleria is not overly visible from the street. Described as finding its roots in modernism architecture, The Galleria was designed by two architects. Philip Birnbaum designed the residential areas of the building, while David Kenneth Specter designed the commercial space and was responsible for the overall design of the building. Specter also designed the penthouse apartment together with Gerald Jonas.[6]

There are many opinions as to the success of the building’s design, but most critics agree that The Galleria’s dramatic entrance, combined with the stunning atrium and the outside facade of the first eight floors stand in stark contrast to the awkwardness of the pre-Deconstructivist upper portion of the building. Many point to the sprawling penthouse, designed specifically for Stewart Mott at the top of the building, as the root cause of this awkwardness, as the specifications for that apartment created an outward appearance that is counter intuitive to the rest of the building’s design.[7]

Layout and Features

One of The Galleria’s most defining features is the eight story atrium in the center of the lower floors that services the building’s commercial spaces. Residents of the building have a beautifully decorated lobby that is separate from the commercial space and from which they can access their apartments. This lobby is located on the eighth floor, and has a balcony that overlooks the building’s atrium, offering residents stunning views of their building’s centerpiece. The Galleria is set in a granite base, and the distinction between the commercial and residential floors is marked by the solid brick walls that cover the facade of the first eight floors.

Apartments within The Galleria have wooden floors and dramatic walls comprised mostly of windows which offer residents spectacular views of New York City. Bathrooms in The Galleria are made with marble while the kitchens feature stainless steel appliances, granite, limestone, and marble counter tops, and wooden cabinetry. One particularly unique feature of apartments in The Galleria is the roofed balconies that protrude outwards from the building’s facade. This ensures that residents can enjoy their balconies year round, regardless of the weather.[8]

Floor Plans

With over 80 floor plans available, a selection is presented.


The Galleria offers residents many luxurious amenities, including a fully staffed lobby that includes a concierge, doormen, and valet service. Amenities inside the building include a fitness center, health spa, and pool, and residents can take advantage of such services as dry cleaning, maid service, elevator men, porters, and a live in superintendent. The amenities in The Galleria are managed by Brown Harris Stevens Management.[9]

One distinguishing feature of The Galleria is the rooftop terrace that is located just below the penthouse apartment. Located on the 54th floor, this Sky Lounge can be accessed by all residents, regardless of what apartment they occupy and features a working fireplace that residents can fire up while taking in the views of New York City.


Galleria Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Age No

  • Rentals are permitted
  • There are no age restrictions for this building


Built before the awareness of sustainability, The Galleria does not have many of the sustainable features that are commonplace in buildings being built today.

The Galleria offers the advantage of location in that residents are able to walk or take transit to nearly every area of New York City, meaning that a car is not required for daily needs. Residents can take advantage of this to lower their carbon footprint.

The penthouse apartment has a roof garden and a solar powered swimming pool, although these items do not directly impact the sustainability of the rest of the building.


When The Galleria opened in 1976, it was the tallest concrete framed building in New York City, usurping The Excelsior, which previously held this distinction. The 16,000 square foot penthouse apartment was original built for Stewart Mott, one of the heirs to General Motors, but Mott did not initially inhabit this sprawling unit. After languishing on the market for several years, the penthouse was bought by the magician David Copperfield in 1997.[10]

  • The eight story commercial space at the base of the building is accessible from both 57th and 58th Streets.


  1. Emporis
  2. Central Park
  3. Wikipedia - Fifth Avenue
  4. Wikipedia - Mid Town Manhattan
  5. Walk Score
  6. Emporis
  7. City REalty - Review
  8. Street Easy
  9. New Construction Manhattan
  10. City Realty

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