CityRealty's Top 10 Lists
New York City apartment buildings offer the best of everything: views, style, amenities, services, space, location, prestige...
CityRealty's residential architecture expert, Carter B. Horsley, has reviewed and compiled definitive Top 10 lists for every aspect of New York City apartment living and architecture. If you're looking for the right New York City apartment building with the best of something special you want in a home, or you just need to know who has the most spectacular rooftop decks in the city or the most incredible gargoyles, the CityRealty Top 10 lists let you know where it's at.
Although the Upper West Side is famed for the great twin-tower, pre-war apartment buildings along Central Park West, it has a fabulous inventory of great, mid-rise, non-skyscraping residential buildings. All but one of its top 10 most prestigious New York City co-op apartment buildings front on Central Park and the exception, Hotel des Artistes, the legendary building with huge studio apartments and a great restaurant, is just a few feet away. Not all the buildings, of course, are as formidable as the Dakota.View List
Donald Trump built three of the Top 10 post-World War II New York City apartment buildings on this list and no one else has two. That tells you that sleekness and glitz are not necessarily considered derogatory in the minds of many buyers who expect doors to be opened for them. Their amenities are nice, but location and views still count for a very great deal. Most of these buildings are not architecturally adventurous, but sometimes a building that was not universally acclaimed has new merits such as the Metropolitan Tower's razor-sharp, angled edge will preserve its views of Central Park and let its residents see around the big new surprise on the 57th Street block, the gargantuan, 1,004-foot-high One57 mixed-use tower.View List
Pure, unadulterated, honest and organic wooden rooftop watertanks are a signature skyline theme, but they don't make our list of the Top Ten Watertank Enclosures in NYC apartment buildings on the West Side that are stellar architectural achievements fit for the apex of our buildings. It was, therefore, encouraging to note, therefore, that some alert citizens have organized the Water Tank Project at www.wordabovetheestreet.org to convert many of the city's unadorned rooftop watertanks into works of art in the summer of 1913. Of course, many of our finest watertanks have been already transformed into classical temples, turbines, ribbed barbecues, simple pyramids and rocketships.View List
Some of the most attractive condo apartment buildings in the city are located on side-streets, but too often they are at the corners with avenues, or on major cross-town streets, and therefore subject to considerable traffic noise. Sidestreets, on the other hand, are much quieter and private. Architecturally, of course, these tend to be conservative and not show-stoppers, but they appeal to those who prefer a boutique feel and a more discrete residence.View List
There are lots of handsome pre-war New York City apartment buildings on Fifth and Park avenues in Carnegie Hill but the real attraction to this extremely popular neighborhood for families is the very impressive number of private schools and cultural institutions. Geographically, no other neighborhood in the city begins to compete by those important measures. The Top 10 Carnegie Hill apartment buildings also provide easy access to the area's charming boutiques for children's things and restaurants for ladies who lunch.View List
Third Avenue became the "newest" of the major avenues on both the Upper East Side when its elevated subway tracks were taken down in the 1950s. The redevelopment occurred quickly but is still not complete. While Manhattan House at 200 East 66th Street was the real pioneer with its block-long driveway, copious gardens, roof deck and many balconies, influencing scores of post-war buildings, Trump Palace, three blocks north squeezed a lot of elegance into its very tall and spindly, orange-brick tower.View List
With much of the world in economic turmoil and interest rates at historic lows, where are you going to stash your gold whose value is pretty high now? In times of stress, it's monumental, memorable and almost indestructible architecture that calms the waves of angst and steadies your gilded world.View List
Santa has a lot on his mind and an awfully lot of chimneys to survey, so he generally now starts at the top. That means that he's likely to squeeze down New York by Gehry at 8 Spruce Street first and then hurry off to the four lit spires of Zeckendorf Towers on Union Square next before moving on to the three shining lots of the Beresford on Central Park West and then down to the two lit towers of the Time Warner Center on Columbus Circle. Then, its across town to the bright lights atop One Beacon Court with a little side trip to be serenaded by the chorus on the setbacks on Trump Tower. The last stop, of course, will be the Close at The Chelsea Enclave on Ninth Avenue where Clement Moore jotted down "It was the night before Christmas." Santa is nostalgic, you know.View List
Several of the Top 10 Chelsea condos are among the finest in the city. The Porter House condo at 360 West 15th Street is a spectacular, cantilevered, rooftop addition to a small warehouse in Chelsea that has became a beacon, literally, for the neighborhood. The High Line Elevated Park has spawned numerous interesting condos including the HL 23, a cantilevered, mid-rise building that tilts forward and backward with the greatest of ease. Near by is 245 Tenth Avenue that does the same trick in stainless steel while 100 Eleventh Avenue offers fractured views on its main, curved facade and 200 Eleventh Avenue offers rooms in its spacious apartments for the residents' cars.View List
Although rustication implies a rough, rocky surface façade treatment, over the years it has come to denote a very pronounced, but generally smooth, rectilinear outlining of building elements, particularly at a structure's base, such as was popular on "palaces" in the Italian Renaissance. A few of the city's pre-war buildings have rustication the full height of a building, but others usually confine it to first several floors with no particular clue to whether more such floors conveys more status or not.View List
Over the past decade, Downtown Brooklyn has truly emerged as a distinct business hub. Since the 2004 rezoning of the neighborhood, more than two-dozen new residential projects have risen on every corner, many of which offer lavish amenity packages, picturesque skyline views and, of course, convenient transit access to Manhattan and beyond.View List