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21 East 87th Street

Northwest corner at Madison Avenue

View from the southeast

21 East 87th Street from the southeast

By Carter B. Horsley

This handsome, beige-brick apartment building, which occupies the Madison Avenue western blockfront between 87th and 88th Streets, was erected in 1927 and converted to a cooperative in 1953.

The 13-story building has 75 large apartments and is typical of many of the rather conservative apartment buildings and hotels that were developed at the time in this area, large and bulky but well constructed edifices.

It has a step-up entrance that leads to an attractive, marble-lined vestibule that leads to a step-up lobby. The building has a doorman and the building has a one-story, rusticated limestone base, attractive window surrounds and quoins on the second floor, sidewalk landscaping and a small cornice. It has no garage and no health club and permits protruding air-conditioners.

Its entrance is across the street from the very handsome glazed terracotta apartment building at 12 East 87th Street, which is one building away from a very pleasant garden that belongs to Liederkranz Hall, a club that was formerly a Phipps family mansion designed by Grosvenor Atterbury. The northeast corner of 87th Street and Fifth Avenue had been the site of a very large and impressive mansion with gardens behind a balustraded limestone fence that had also belonged to the Phipps family and was eventually replaced by the handsome apartment building at 1060 Fifth Avenue.

This is a very quiet block in the heart of the Carnegie Hill neighborhood, which is named after Andrew Carnegie, the steel magnate, who was also a partner with Henry Phipps. Carnegie's mansion still stands, with its large fenced garden, on Fifth Avenue between 90th and 91st Streets.

A supermarket is nearby on Madison Avenue, which also has numerous nice boutiques and restaurants. There is excellent cross-town bus service on 86th Street and many important cultural institutions and many leading private schools in the vicinity.

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