Historic Upper West Side Buildings

Part of the charm of the city of New York is its extraordinary architecture, dating all the way back to when the Dutch first settled on the north end of the island in the mid-17th century. With the construction of Central Park in the mid-1800s, the apartment building boom began. During this time, much of the Upper West Side was unbuilt and seen as a development goldmine.

Work soon began on distinctive buildings such as the San Remo and the Dakota, attracting elite buyers and driving the construction of elegant buildings on the West End. The completion of the subway in 1904 created a seamless connection between north and south, further contributing to the West End’s growth.

Today, neighborhood staples include Zabar’s, Levain Bakery, the Beacon Theater, Central and Riverside Parks, 79th Street Boat Basin, Lincoln Center and much more. A stroll through the neighborhood awash with lush parks and leafy streets is more reminiscent of a delightful Nora Ephron film, but slivers of history peek through via its stunning pre-war buildings.

We take you on a tour below of a neighborhood teeming with stunning, sophisticated buildings steeped in New York history, offering an unrivaled mix of architectural Beaux-Arts charm and convenient location.

129 West 78th St

Upper West Side, New York

Price: $7,500,000

6 Bedrooms | 5.5 Bathrooms

This stunning home was designed by famed architect, Rafael Guastavino (in conjunction with developer Bernard S. Levy), whose vaulted spaces and tile can be seen among various New York Beaux-Arts landmarks including the famed Oyster Bar at Grand Central Terminal. As Guastavino perfected his process—famously known as the Guastavino Arch—he started work on a row of townhouses on 78th Street. Arriving in New York by way of Barcelona, Guastavino was a contemporary of famed Spanish Architect Antoni Gaudi and his indelible imprint remains stamped on this stunning address.

Actor Brian Kerwin purchased the home and converted the four-story dwelling into a single-family residence with a restoration helmed by architect Zach Watson Rice. The restoration received the prestigious Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award for exterior restoration in 2015, the New York Landmark Conservancy’s highest honor for outstanding preservation.

New Yorkers looking for an elegant landmark townhouse with stunning detail will be thrilled to find this home is on the market. Modern comforts like central air conditioning and radiant floor heating throughout abound in this beautifully restored 4-story, 6-bedroom, 5.5-bathroom, 3,700-square-foot home with a garden and 2 decks.  This gem enjoys an open plan living/dining room, fully equipped gourmet kitchen overlooking the garden, and a ground floor studio; perfect for a home office or nanny’s apartment.

View more details or contact Kim Mogul Wright for a viewing.

314 West 92nd St

Upper West Side, New York

Price: $9,900,000

3 Bedrooms | 3.5 Bathrooms

This elegant, Beaux-Arts beauty on the Upper West Side established the trend of the development of elegant row houses. Unlike most 19th-century row houses, the ceilings are incredibly high on all floors.  The home was designed by Elisha Janes and Leopold Leo, known for richly-detailed homes that some felt were too flamboyant at the time.

The beautiful multi-family limestone townhouse with elevator is located on a quiet tree-lined block next to Riverside Park. The exquisitely renovated owner’s quadruplex has approximately 4,000 interior square feet consisting of 7 rooms, 2-3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, 3 large terraces and a rooftop penthouse. In addition, there are 5 rental apartments. Both the ground and second floors have a studio apartment in the front and a 1-bedroom apartment in the back. There is also a 1-bedroom apartment in the rear of the third floor. The 122-foot lot is unusually deep providing a sunny south-facing landscaped garden with about 900 square feet.

View more details or contact the team of George Vanderploeg, Steffan Kral, Helen Arden, and Oliver Gold for a viewing.

 The Ansonia, 2109 Broadway, 6-60

Upper West Side, New York

Price: $16,185,000

7 Bedrooms | 5.5 Bathrooms

The historic Ansonia proudly touts itself as “the Address of the West Side,” and was originally designed by Paul E. Duboy as a grand hotel. The property once had a farm on the roof, enabling hotel bellhops to deliver fresh produce and dairy to the guests, aligning with the developer’s aspirations of making the building a utopian dream. Turkish baths and a lobby fountain inhabited by live seals accommodated this building’s quirky history, and the hotel was the first in New York to have air conditioning. In the early 1990s, a renovation reformed the hotel into elegant apartments that maintained the original Beaux-Arts elements.

This historic Ansonia home combines 4 apartments, with a rare opportunity to create your own duplex. The space is ideal for lavish entertaining or a large family due to the enfilade of side-by-side sunny rooms including living room, dining room, media room and wraparound balcony. The residences include a unique circular 21-foot living room, an opulent 30-foot dining room, library, 5 to 7 bedrooms plus maid’s, 5.5 bathrooms, 3 of which are en suite. Detailed finishes include just under 11-foot ceilings, plaster moldings, stunning quarter-sawn white oak floors, restored original windows, multiple sets of French doors, 2 washers and dryers, custom woodwork and ample closet space.

View more details or contact the team of Nick Agostinelli, Fredrik Eklund, and John Gomes for a viewing.

324 W. 80th St

Upper West Side, New York

Price: $13,700,000

Also available for rent at $45,000 per/mo

6 Bedrooms | 7.5 Bathrooms

Bordering New York’s panoramic waterfront Riverside Park, this stunning building was designed by architect Clarence True, one of the most prolific architects during the end of the 19th century and early part of the 20th century. True utilized various design methods to play with footprints of houses, conveying a more comfortable and squarish shape that became his signature, providing a “twist on the town house.”

This six-story home features a stunning Elizabethan Renaissance Revival style bow-front façade with Roman brick and limestone trim and a ceramic tile pitched roof. Inside, generous proportions and bright light abound within approximately 8,000 square feet of living space with 6 bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms.

The home’s highlights include a library, gas fireplace with remote-starter, built-in wet bar, industrial kitchen faucet sprayer, glass Sub Zero refrigerator, separate Sub Zero beverage refrigerator, Viking range, Monogram double ovens with a separate warming drawer, and 2 Bosch dishwashers. The new Sonos sound system, custom Lutron lighting, and electronic front door can all be controlled by cell phone.

A beautifully designed floating wood staircase off the lounge leads to a fully decked and planted rooftop terrace featuring a temperature-controlled pavilion with wet-bar as well as custom lighting and sound. The fully-finished garden level includes a home theater, 500-bottle wine cellar, home office/secondary bedroom with full kitchenette, full bathroom, laundry, plentiful storage as well as a beautiful south-facing patio garden.

View more details or contact Sabrina Saltiel for a viewing.

The Chatsworth, 344 W. 72 St

Upper West Side, New York

Price: $9,795,000

4 Bedrooms | 4.5 Bathrooms

One of the most iconic buildings on the Upper West Side, the Chatsworth overlooking Riverside Park is considered a New York landmark building. Its name was borrowed from the legendary estate in England, Chatsworth House, home to the Cavendish family since the 1500s. Architect John E. Scharsmith designed the building through the elaborate French Beaux-Arts style, complete with hand-sculpted cherubs, fruit, and stags. The building attracted Manhattan’s elite and became a haven for the city’s most alluring personalities.

This 4-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom plus media room home offers open vistas of the River and Park, complete with a spacious entrance foyer, an expansive open and grand living space, and a designer-windowed kitchen that boasts high-end appliances and oversized center island.  This sprawling residence offers bespoke pre-war details throughout such as solid white oak herringbone floors with a walnut inlay, custom millwork and moldings and high ceilings. Modern conveniences include core paneled doors, a separate windowed utility room, its own dedicated HVAC system with zoning for each room, endless closet space and wiring for an advanced home automation system. Amenities include a stunning lobby with full-time doorman and concierge, library, business center, fitness center, children’s play room, cold storage, residents lounge, game room, screening room, bike storage, and individual storage for purchase.

View more details or contact the team of Kathy Murray, Marie Espinal, Dona Monteleone, and Jeff Adler for a viewing.

Take a closer look at all the historic homes the Upper West Side has to offer.

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ELLIMAN INSIDER is published by Douglas Elliman Real Estate
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