Plaza 400

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400 East 56th Street, New York City, NY

Plaza 400

Exterior of Plaza 400
Building Information
Developer Douglas L. Elliman and Co.
Architect Philip Birnbaum & Associates
Management Company Self Managed
Number of Units 591
Number of Floors 40
Year Built 1968
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof IRMA
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400 East 56th Street, New York City, NY
Distance to Public Transit Less than one block
Region New York City
Municipality New York City
Zoning R8
Title of Land Cooperative



Plaza 400 Entrance

Designed by the quietly esteemed architectural firm of Philip Birnbaum & Associates, Plaza 400 remains true to the reputation of the architect, offering nearly 600 cooperative residences over its 40 stories. This full-service building is one of Sutton Place's most elegant buildings, and was constructed in 1968 with modern design features.

Originally a rental apartment building, Plaza 400 was later converted to its current cooperative usage. With an initial 627 apartments, some of the residences have been combined to create larger units, now leaving the building with a total of 591 residences, many of which are simple studios, one, or two bedroom units. The lobby features a beautiful, sparkling and historic 1840’s chandelier, as well as classic imported marble and elegant decor.

With a reputation for being a well-run, self-managed building, Plaza 400 offers a 24 hour doorman and concierge, as well as a seasonal rooftop heated pool, a common sundeck with views of the Manhattan skyline, a skytop lounge for residents to enjoy, and a fully-equipped fitness center with weekly yoga and circuit training classes. There is also a children’s playroom, a bike room, a card and party room on the 40th floor, and a 24-hour attended parking garage. Situated on a tree-lined block, Plaza 400 is a sought-after residence in a convenient East Side neighborhood.[1]


Situated at the corner of East 56th Street and First Avenue, residents of Plaza 400 get to enjoy the convenience of being within walking distance to many stores, restaurants, markets, and public transportation. With many bus station virtually at the building's doorstep, there is also a metro subway station four blocks away at Lexington Avenue and East 53rd Street. Access to the Queensboro Bridge is very convenient from this location, and the Roosevelt Island Tram Station is also located within walking distance.

Nearby outdoor attractions include Sutton Place Park, Twentyfour Sycamores Park, the East River Esplanade, and Tramway Plaza. Central Park is about a 20 minute walk from Plaza 400, and Central Park Zoo is located at the nearest corner to the building. The Rockefeller University is also nearby, as well as other levels of schools that include Cathedral High School, Art and Design High School, Golden House School, The Beekman School, and R L Stevenson School.

First Avenue provides many services and stores including banks, pharmacies, book stores, apparel and clothing stores, as well as restaurants and cafes. There are also car and bike share programs within walking distance.[2]


Street View of Plaza 400

This giant, 40 story tower which was designed by the space-saving architectural firm of Philip Birnbaum & Associates stands at 109.73 meters tall. The intriguing design of the building is built around an H-shaped plan which makes it much more interesting than your usual tower design, and also provides for a courtyard-like entrance with a private drive and a fountain feature.

Constructed in 1968, the building rises without any setbacks included in its design, and utilizes its flat roof line for a rooftop lounge, pool and sundeck. The building's mass is enlivened with its columns of protruding balconies. The apartment building was converted to a cooperative in 1981. The building also offers an impressive lobby which features a point of interest in its sparkling Baccarat Chandelier, which was ordered and designed by the Nizam of Hyderabad, India, the richest ruler in the world, and took five years to complete.

The building has an exposed concrete base with natural grey and rusticated red color schemes, and the remainder of the tower is clad in a beige brick facade. The building's design features insets that create its H design, and also visually distinguish the building into separate parts. The building features many windows, and its entrance is nicely setback from its busy cross-street of First Avenue.[3]

Layout and Features

Plaza 400 is a self-managed building that offers residences with central air conditioning and all utilities included in the maintenance fees. The structure has many different layouts, many of which are studios, one, two, or three bedrooms in size, but some of which have been combined over the years to create larger residences.

Many of the layouts offer incomparable city and river views, and the common rooftop deck and pool offer views of the Chrysler and Empire State buildings. Many of the residences offer their own private, large balconies, while most also feature large living spaces with many windows for natural light and exposure of the views.

Most of the kitchens are also windowed, some of which have been updated with high-end stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops. Each of the layouts make the most use of the provided square footage, while some still offer formal dining spaces.

Many of the homes feature their original parquet hardwood floors, and some of the living spaces offer rounded, bay windows that reach from wall to wall. The spaces provide for eating spaces and large closets, but usually do not offer entrance galleries or foyers in order to use the space most functionally while providing many units. In-unit washers and dryers are not permitted at Plaza 400, nor are pets. Pied-a-terre, guarantors and co-purchases are allowed with board approval.[4]

Floor Plans

There are 126 floor plans available for Plaza 400. Here is a brief overview.


Amenities offered at Plaza 400 include:

  • Full-time Doorman
  • Children's Playroom
  • Fitness Center
  • Outdoor Swimming Pool
  • Roof Deck


Plaza 400 Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets No
Age No
Barbecues Yes

  • Pets are not allowed
  • Rentals and pied-a-terre are allowed
  • There are no age restrictions

Plaza 400 is self managed by its' own owners' corporation, phone: (212) 759-8808


Sustainable and eco-friendly features offered at Plaza 400 include:

  • On-site amenities to encourage an at-home community
  • Durable parquet hardwood floors
  • Double-pane, energy-efficient windows
  • Many windows for natural light
  • Durable concrete construction

Some of the interiors have also been updated with energy-efficient appliances and light sources. In-unit washers and dyers are not permitted, which keeps the energy usage low. The outdoor pool is only heated and run when the season permits. There are many nearby public transit routes as well as amenities within walking distance.


Aerial View of Sutton Place

Sutton Place, for which the area of Plaza 400 is named after, is very short street and neighborhood which is known for its upscale apartment houses, which is similar to the remainder of the Upper East Side. Sutton Place above the Queensboro bridge turns into York Avenue, which coincidentally runs through its namesake neighborhood of Yorkville, while Sutton Place does the same to the south of the bridge.

Sutton Place was originally a disconnected stretch of Avenue A east of First Avenue. In 1875, a group of brownstones were constructed between 57th and 58th streets by Effingham B. Sutton. This is believed to be where the name "Sutton Place" was borrowed, although other sources only date back to 1893. "Avenue A" was changed indefinitely to "Sutton Place", covering the blocks between 57th and 60th Streets. The area became "fashionable" around 1920 when a few wealthy socialites built townhouses on the eastern side of the street, overlooking the East River. Both of these townhouses were designed by architect Mott B. Schmidt, which launched his career in designing many houses for the wealthy.

There are several grand and historic cooperative buildings on the street which were designed by Rosario Candela. Because of the Great Depression, however, the northernmost part of Sutton Place was not developed until the 1940s and 1950s. Well-known residents of Sutton Place include architect I. M. Pei, former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, and actress Sigourney Weaver.[5]


  1. Street Easy
  2. Walk Score
  3. Emporis
  4. Elliman
  5. Wikipedia

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