The building that
started it all
Enter Mid-Century Modern
The ornate Art Deco stylizations of the 1920s and 1930s dominated New York City for decades.
But in 1951, Manhattan House proclaimed the arrival of a unique style. More understated, Mid-Century Modern forever changed the face of the city. Manhattan House’s sleek design is framed by gleaming white brick, which invigorates and illuminates the city skyline. Visibly notable on the Upper East Side, Manhattan House occupies a full city block between 2nd and 3rd Avenues and 65th and 66th Streets.
Iconic and historic
For its groundbreaking design and architectural significance, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission conferred Landmark status on Manhattan House in 2007.
The Commission recognized Manhattan House as one of the first buildings in New York City to provide “an indoor-outdoor synthesis,” boldly breaking down the barrier between nature and design by use of a glass-walled lobby employing large floor-to-ceiling windows, cantilevered balconies, paved and landscaped porte-cochères, conveniently set back from the street, and a block-long, one acre, expansive, well-manicured, walled, private garden replanted seasonally.
The Trailblazing Architect
Manhattan House was designed by world-renowned architect and leading proponent of modern design, Gordon Bunshaft of the firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.
He also designed Lever House at 390 Park Avenue, 510 Fifth Avenue (both Landmark-status designated buildings) the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, and the Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC, amongst other notable national structures.
Bright and airy “H-Plan” — the key to the 21-story building’s design is the unique and innovative footprint. With 5 wings extending from the main structural spine, the modified H-plan eliminates the dark, claustrophobic courtyards of earlier building designs, and this increases the exposure to natural light and fresh air.
Two Special Entrances — Manhattan House is easily approachable through two weather-proof porte-cochère driveway entrances, one on the west side of the building and the other on the east side.
Wider, semi-private 66th Street — During construction, East 66th Street was widened, creating an essentially private street separated from thru traffic by beautiful trees and a granite block wall. The original owners of the Manhattan House structure (New York Life Insurance Company) subsequently donated that private street to the City of New York, which reconfigured 66th Street to become one of the few two-way East/West streets in the city. The granite block wall is still there, and U-turn spaces have been carved out near 2nd and 3rd Avenues to provide convenient access to Manhattan House to and from the porte-cochères.
Floating Balconies — the unusual cantilevered balconies were among the first in the city to project out without visible means of support. Enclosed with safety wired-glass and white metal framing, the transparent parapets were designed to minimize visual interference for maximum visibility from the units.
World famous residents
Over its long, distinguished history, many glamorous celebrities and leading community and civic leaders have lived in Manhattan House.
Film star and Princess of Monaco Grace Kelly
Jazz legend Benny Goodman
Former New York state Governor Hugh Carey
Designer Florence Knoll
Comic Actress Imogene Coca who starred opposite Sid Caeser on Your Show of Shows
Businessman Frank Hardart, co-founder of Horn & Hardart coffee roasters and operator of the first food service automats in New York