6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, Sam Golanski gives Park Avenue doormen their moment in the spotlight. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].
Sam Golanski grew up in a small town in Poland, but has been residing in Manchester, U.K. since 2005. Though he thinks New York is “a tough place to live,” he fell in love with its energy as a child watching films set in Manhattan from the ’60s and ’70s. Now all grown up, he comes to New York frequently to visit friends and work on his urban and social photography projects (“I have to admit I shredded a few pairs of shoes by just walking up and down for days everywhere with my camera bags,” he says). In his series “Park Avenue Doormen,” Sam gives the men who safeguard the Upper East Side’s ritziest buildings an opportunity to step from behind the velvet ropes and in front of the camera.
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When the Second Avenue Subway opened on the first of the year, it changed the lives of many commuters, namely those living in Yorkville on the Upper East Side who had long walks to the 4/5/6 trains and then faced their notoriously tight cars and frequent delays. But those New Yorkers who still rely on the Lexington Avenue line have also gotten some relief: According to a New York Times analysis of MTA data, on an average January weekday, ridership fell by about 11 percent, or 88,000 trips, between 110th Street and Grand Central, undoubtedly a direct effect of the Second Avenue line’s average ridership of 140,000.
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Known as the Sherman Fairchild Mansion, the extraordinary modern-fronted townhouse at 17 East 65th Street is one of those New York City sights that might stop you in your tracks in the middle of an otherwise sedate Upper East Side sidewalk. The current façade of this five-story home was designed by William Hamby and George Nelson in 1940 for brilliant and prolific aviation pioneer/inventor Sherman Fairchild (well-known architect Michael Graves was commissioned to design yet another facade for the home in 1979, but that version was never built). The 25-foot-wide, 9,440 square-foot modern townhouse has been on and off the market since 2014; it’s currently asking $40,000. While the home’s exterior is provocative and unique–especially given the Upper East Side location a block from Central Park–the interiors, which have undergone a thorough renovation by the current owner, noted Renaissance art dealer Martin Zimet of French & Company, are yet another surprise.
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Zac Posen may love taking fashion risks, but when it comes to real estate, it’s all about the classics. The designer and “Project Runway” judge has just poured $3.5 million into an elegant Upper East Side penthouse, LL NYC shares. The duplex spread sits atop an Emory Roth-designed prewar at 210 East 73rd Street and comes steeped in ornate details like hand-painted ceilings, an iron staircase and a Chesney marble mantle. While the current decor is most certainly in need of a modern facelift, Posen will have plenty of space to flex his creative prowess. The penthouse is a classic six with two bedrooms, two and a half baths and a large 1,800-square-foot wrap terrace. And did we mention there are seven custom closets? Four of them are walk-in!
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Ricky Martin might’ve gotten a bit too optimistic about Yorkville‘s Second Avenue Subway-influenced real estate boom, as Mansion Global reports that he’s chopped the price of his condo at 170 East End Avenue from $8.4 million to $7.1 million after just five months. This isn’t the first time the Latin pop star has had trouble unloading NYC real estate; in 2012 he put his condo in Noho’s 40 Bond on the rental market for $28,000/month. In 2014, he listed it for $8.3 million, but it didn’t find a buyer until a year and half later when it sold for the reduced price of $7.55 million.
Will he have better luck in Yorkville?
This grand Fifth Avenue co-op belongs to the socialite and political fundraiser Georgette Mosbacher, who has hosted everyone from King Juan Carlos I of Spain to Tom Hanks to Presidents George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump at her apartment. It occupies the entire fifth floor of 1020 Fifth Avenue, a prestigious limestone cooperative, and it’s now asking $29.5 million. Mosbacher, who has lived here since 1992, told the New York Times, “It’s come to a point where I want to make a change in my life, and it won’t happen unless I shake it up.” So now the palatial pad could be yours.
Take the grand tour
In New York City’s interior landscape of neutral hues and fifty shades of white, it’s rare to see bright colors, especially in a classic pre-war co-op on the Upper East Side. But the current residents of this apartment at 129 East 69th Street, who undertook a two-year renovation, clearly favored the brighter side of the crayon box. The best thing about it is that with eight spacious rooms, colors, patterns and fun decorating ideas never have to clash.
For anyone who can’t decide between an Italian palazzo and a townhouse on the Upper East Side, this 6,800-square-foot “slice of Manhattan” might be just the answer. Rising six stories (five plus a gym/laundry/storage enhanced-cellar) at 115 East 79th Street just off Park Avenue and two blocks from Central Park, this beyond-opulent single-family home was built in 1903 but was far more recently renovated with just about every move-in ready modern upgrade you can think of. There are two kitchens, four outdoor spaces and seven wood-burning fireplaces–all accessible by an elevator or stairs.
Tour this opulent uptown mansion
The classic seven: That increasingly rare breed of New York City apartment, almost non-existent among condos, was much more often seen in the pre-war era, before building owners felt the need to pack as many people as possible into every square inch. This particular specimen in The Gatsby at 65 East 96th Street can be found on the market for $3.195 million in its most likely habitat, the Upper East Side, and it’s a beauty. Everything has been perfectly updated for 21st-century living and gorgeous pre-war details are at their best. There are even building amenities, plus the freedom of condo ownership, but mostly it’s the kind of apartment that only needs to show its floor plan.
Tour this gracious seven-room home
Lenox Hill will see the addition of a new 510-foot tower at 249 East 62nd Street, designed by none other than 432 Park starchitect Rafael Viñoly. CityRealty reports that plans for the mixed-use skyscraper were filed in the last days of December by Chance Gordy of Florida-based Real Estate Inverlad, who is also developing another condo tower nearby called The Clare. The Viñoly design will join a slew of new Upper East Side constructions prompted by the opening of the Second Avenue Subway line, which is located just a few minutes walk away.
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Today history is made, as January 1, 2017 marks the official public opening of the long-awaited Second Avenue Subway. The New York City transit endeavor has been in the works for nearly a century, and finally after countless delays and an eye-popping $4 billion bill, straphangers on the far Upper East Side will have access to three brand new stations at 72nd, 86th and 96th Streets.
Just before midnight yesterday evening, Governor Cuomo, MTA CEO Thomas F. Prendergast, city and state pols, members of President Obama’s Cabinet, local community members, and many of the workers who helped build the new line’s massive underground tunnels and stations, took the line’s inaugural ride.
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It might be difficult to imagine a having-it-all situation for $850K, especially on the Upper East Side, but this unusual apartment for well under a million at 225 East 86th Street definitely says “home” for someone who loves breezy country cottage style and wants more than the average boxed condo. And with living, dining and sleeping spaces divided over three levels, plus a rare glass-enclosed atrium, this heavenly home has plenty of room for guest visits as well as alone time. What’s more, despite its retail cornucopia, Yorkville is very much a residential neighborhood–one whose residents will surely rejoice with the advent of the Second Avenue Line, making the whole package an even sweeter deal.
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You’ve got options when it comes to this prewar duplex at 1281 Madison Avenue, a Carnegie Hill cooperative that’s a block away from Central Park. After being on the market for $3.125 million (price chopped down from $3.495 million) it is now also on the rental market, asking $10,000 a month. The two-bedroom, two-bathroom pad has some lovely prewar details still intact, like the large wood-framed windows, equipped with window seats, parquet floors, fireplaces and 11-foot ceilings.
Take a look around
Many an Upper East Side apartment boasts gracious rooms, decorator swag and grandeur to spare. This one-bedroom co-op at 18 East 84th Street in a prime spot just off Fifth Avenue has designer cred with cool, creative execution–and it doesn’t sacrifice a bit of grandeur. This enviable “penthouse” residence is on the top floor of a turn-of-the-century Georgian mansion with plenty of original historic details joining unique and stylish interiors; it’s currently asking $1.095 million.
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There are countless relics from the subway’s past hidden beneath NYC, but one of the most intriguing will reveal itself again in just 9 days when the Second Avenue Subway (SAS) invites straphangers to swipe their Metro cards for the first time. As Quartz noticed this past summer, a peculiar loop cutting through Central Park appeared when the MTA released their new subway map touting the addition of the SAS. Reporter Mike Murphy immediately questioned the mysterious addition that would move the Q train further north without issue (“I felt like people would have noticed if the MTA had been ripping up Central Park to build a tunnel,” he wrote). After a bit of digging, he found out the half-mile stretch was built over 40 years ago and, at least according to archival maps, it’s only been used twice since then.
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This opulent apartment has been patiently waiting to find a buyer. It first hit the market in early 2014 and the price was quietly dropped to $12.5 million by the end of the year. Now, it’s back two years later with a reduced ask—by nearly half!—of $6.295 million. This is a four-bedroom, five-bathroom pad with all the elegant bells and whistles at 555 Park Avenue, the prestigious Upper East Side building that Barbara Walters once called home.
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Just when you thought you’d get to enjoy a low-key pre-holiday Friday, the New York Times compares Donald Trump to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. While just 12 blocks away Trump Tower snarls traffic and confounds anything resembling daily life in the surrounding area with a round-the-clock hive of security details, reporters and protesters—and of course the prez-elect himself, his entourage and various cabinet-members-to-be—Hunter College’s Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute director Harold Holzer reminds us of another presidency whose earliest days were spent ensconced in a NYC residence. Of the century-old double-width townhouse at at 47-49 East 65th Street on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, now the Institute’s home, Holzer says, “It was the Trump Tower of 1932-33.” The 65th Street residence was the longtime home of Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt.
Definitely not an apples-to-apples comparison
On Monday, the Governor’s office put out a statement that Cuomo was “cautiously optimistic” that the Second Avenue Subway would open on time by the end of the month. Yesterday, MTA chairman Tom Prendergast echoed this statement, but was quick to point out that the long-awaited line would only open on December 31st if all stations were up and running (previous reports talked of a partial opening), reports the Daily News. “Track’s done, signals are done, we’ve run trains, we’ve exercised the signal system,” he said. “We’re talking about finish and escalators, elevators — things of that nature in the station.”
It looks like America’s next first daughter—and quasi-first lady—is looking to slim down her real estate holdings. As Luxury Listings NYC first reports, Ivanka Trump has just listed her apartment at 502 Park Avenue for $4.1 million. The somewhat bland spread hosts two bedrooms and two baths and is outfitted in a palette of cream and powdery blue hues. Although one might think the sale has something to do with her father‘s recent presidential victory—as not even two weeks ago, CNN reported that she and husband Jared Kusher were house hunting in Washington D.C.—Ivanka, in fact, also owns one the building’s penthouses, which she bought for $16 million nearly six years ago. It’s also been no secret that the Trump/Kushner brood has been mulling a move into the Puck Penthouses, one of Jared’s beautiful ultra-luxe developments.
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Melissa DeRosa, the governor’s chief of staff, said Friday that Governor Andrew Cuomo was “cautiously optimistic” about a December opening for the long-awaited Second Avenue subway project, according to AM New York. After several weekly visits to the under-construction 72nd Street site, the governor appeared confident that the MTA would be able to meet the project’s December 31 deadline. U.S. representative Carolyn Maloney had also expressed confidence in the Second Avenue subway meeting its year-end deadline.
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