Borough and State: Manhattan, New York
Type of district: National Register historic district, local historic district
Main Intersection: Madison Avenue and East 68th Street
Adjoining Central Park, the Upper East Side Historic District features handsome town houses and luxurious apartment buildings, as well as a number of mansions. Development in the area began in the late 1860s and early 1870s with rows of brownstones. Mansions along the avenues became prevalent in the 1890s. In the early years of the 20th century, many of the early brownstones had their façades extensively altered in limestone to reflect the then popular Beaux-Arts and Renaissance Revival styles. This practice of façade alteration continued until about 1925.
Another architecturally significant occurrence in the Upper East Side Historic District was the advent of the tall luxury apartment building. These began appearing in the district in 1910 and were erected by large realty and development companies on land where mansions, town houses, row houses, stables and carriage houses once stood. By the late 1920s, an assortment of apartment buildings exhibiting the best aspects of neo-Italian Renaissance, neo-Georgian, neo-Federal and Art Deco style design existed in the district. In the later part of the 20th century, many row houses along the avenues were converted for commercial uses at their ground floors while institutions took up residence in the mansions of the late 19th century.