John Adams

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101 West 12th Street, New York City, NY

John Adams

John Adams Building
Building Information
Architect Hyman Isaac Feldman
Number of Units 416
Number of Floors 20
Year Built 1963
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof IRMA
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101 West 12th Street, New York City, NY
Distance to Public Transit Less than one block
Region New York City
Municipality New York City
Zoning R-6
Title of Land Cooperative



Construction on the John Adams Apartments began in 1961 and was completed in 1963. The post-war era of building in New York was a busy one, with some of the New York City's most elegant and artistically inspiring works being built around this time. Yet many buildings were being constructed to accommodate the cities increasing population density and lacked the extravagance of their contemporaries. Such is the case with the John Adams building. What the building lacks in architectural flair and artistic expression, it makes up for in utility and functionality.

Hyman Isaac Feldman designed the John Adams building and like most of his works, he did so on a tight budget. The 1950s and 1960s saw ever increasing property costs in Manhattan and to cope, builders sought cheaper construction costs. Such rationale made Feldman very popular and sought after by contractors in his day. Many of his works feature cheaper materials such as brick, rather then concrete. That being said, the John Adams building has weathered the decades well and stands much today as it did in the 1960s.


Occupying the entire west block of the Avenue of the Americas, between 12th and 13th street, in the heart of Greenwich Village, the John Adams building finds itself in one of the most desirable places to live in all of Manhattan. Since the early 1900's, Greenwich Village has been a cultural and artistic hub in New York, attracting some of the most eclectic and well-known people the city and country have ever seen. Former residents of this area include Bob Dylan, Ella Fitzgerald, Jimi Hendrix, Liza Minnelli, Andy Warhol, Miles Davis, Mark Twain, Bette Midler, Billie Holiday, and James Taylor.[1]

There are a host of renowned restaurants, cafes and watering holes just steps from John Adams, as well as a Food Emporium for all your grocery needs just over 100 feet away. As with many buildings in Greenwich Village, John Adams rates a perfect 100 on walk score for its easy access to virtually any amenity without a need for a car. It also scores a perfect 100 for its transit score, with 57 nearby routes available, including 37 bus routes and 20 rail options.[2]

Washington Square park, Union Square Park and Jefferson Market Courthouse Library being mere blocks away also add to the neighborhood's charm. Public school 41 is the nearest school and is known as one of the finest in Manhattan. Whatever your needs, Greenwich Village tends to have the answer.


The Johns Adams building is constructed of white brick and was completed in 1963 and converted into a cooperative in 1980. The building features 20 floors and 416 units and was designed by architect, Hyman Isaac Feldman. The building features little in the way of artistic flourish and is indicative of the building frenzy that gripped New York in the 1950's and 60's, where quantity over quality was often the norm. There are limited terraces available and they are found namely on west side of the building as well as the uppermost floors. There is, however, a large rooftop terrace open to all residents of John Adams.

The architect of the building, Hyman Isaac Feldman, was a Polish immigrant born in 1896, who studied architecture at Yale university. While not an overly recognizable name in New York architecture, Feldman is credited with designing at least 88 buildings between 1926-1972.[3]

Although in a 2002 letter, Naomi Fatouros, daughter of Feldman, claimed that her father had designed up to 4000 structures in his lifetime.[4]

Feldman indeed cared little about the artistry of his designs, focusing instead on the cost-effectiveness for the builder. Indeed some of Feldman's work has been called down-right drab and uninspired, and yet he was very much respected in his day for his work and approach at creating affordable housing. Hyman's focus was to create livable structures allowing for high levels of natural light and rounding the corners within the building for easier movement of furniture.

While the exterior and fundamentals of the structure are as they were when built, many of the units within the building have undergone dramatic renovations. Including beautiful new hardwood flooring, as well as crisp updates to kitchens and bathrooms. The John Adams building may not be winning any architectural awards, but it offers a high number of suites and has withstood the test of time in a much desired location in Manhattan.

Layout and Features

The John Adams building features studios, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments for owners and renters alike. The post-war era design of the building features decently-sized living spaces with moderately-sized bedrooms. While all suites feature classical parquet hardwood floors, some have been renovated to boast modern hardwood.

The kitchen spaces are long, narrow and somewhat utilitarian, though many units feature up-graded appliances and cabinetry. The bathrooms are small yet functional, with bathtub and shower combo. A select few units feature terraces, while the majority of the building lacks balconies. Although there is a roof-top terrace available to all residents and the higher-up apartments have fantastic views of the city.

Floor Plans

There are nearly 100 floor plans available, here is a small example.


The John Adams building offers full-service doorman and concierge.

There is a car garage as well as storage facilities in the building.

There are four up-to-date elevators as well as laundry facilities and bike storage in the building.

The building features central air conditioning and heating.

There is also an amazing rooftop garden with striking views of the city.

Unfortunately the building does not offer a gym or workout facility and units are not available with washers or dryers.


John Adams Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No
Barbecues No

  • The John Adams cooperative allows pets
  • Rentals are permitted
  • There are no age restrictions for those who wish to purchase into the building


Designed and built in the early 1960's by Hyman Isaac Feldman, the John Adams building boasts little in the way of outright sustainability. Feldman was admittedly more concerned with developing buildings that suited the sites owners bottom-line, with some of his work being quoted as "Hack Work".[5]

As with many older post-war structures in the city, many suites in the John Adams building have been renovated and upgraded. Such suites feature new appliances with greater energy efficiency.


  • Sidney J. Frigand, a former communications executive with the New York Port Authority, resided in the John Adams building up until early 2011. Frigand has also been a reporter for the Brooklyn Eagle Newspaper and he served as Press Secretary for former New York Mayor Abraham Beame and is a graduate of Brooklyn University.
  • On January 12th 2011, Frigand sold his apartment to Todd Liker, a managing director at Oaktree Capital Management, for $1.695 million. Liker has also worked for JP Morgan as Vice President responsible for all of Scandinavia, the Netherlands and the UK, as well as the European hotel sector. Liker received his M.B.A. from Dartmouth College and his B.S.B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis.[6]


  1. Greenwich Village - Wikipedia
  2. Walk Score
  3. Emporis
  4. The City Review
  5. The New York Sun
  6. Manhattan Blockstopper

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