By Carter B. Horsley
In the late 1990s, some real estate owners
in New York City decided that to change the facades of their properties,
perhaps because they felt that their original designs were no
longer fashionable with an increasingly sophisticated, or at least
competitive, market. A few office buildings on Park Avenue donned
new glass skins and this was the first of several large white-brick
apartment buildings on the Upper East Side to switch to a red-brick
The recladding started in early 1998 and was
completed in 2000 when the building also added a handsome white
stone base and a very attractive modern lobby. The new masonry
is more intricate and very attractive.
The building, which extends through to north
wing in the middle of the 86th Street block, was built in 1955
when many developers were impressed with the clean lines of the
massive white-brick residential building known as Manhattan House
that occupies the full block between Third and Second Avenues
and 66th and 65th Streets.
This building has 158 apartments and was converted
to a cooperative in 1979.
This property has a wonderful location that
is convenient to many museums and the glamour of Madison Avenue.
Adjacent to the Carnegie Hill district, which is one of the most
desirable in the city because of its many fine schools and churches
and family-oriented boutiques, this building has two supermarkets
within two blocks and very convenient neighborhood shopping.
Although 85th Street is an entrance to one
of the transverse roads in Central Park, most of that traffic
turns from Madison Avenue and this pleasant block is relatively
quiet. The 86th street wing does not have an entrance on 86th
and is only connected to the 85th Street building on the first
floor so it appears as a separate building on 86th Street.
The building has several terraces, sidewalk
landscaping, a doorman, a concierge and a garage.
Perhaps inspired by this handsome renovation,
another, smaller, white-brick building nearby at 7 East 86th Street
undertook a similar recladding that was completed in 2002, the
same year that a light blue-brick apartment house at 27 East 65th
Street also announced it would change its colors.