Listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, the Gramercy Park Historic District is one of the earliest examples of community planning in New York City. It showcases a variety of 19th- and 20th-century architectural styles that blend together to create a diverse yet harmonious neighborhood.
On the western side of Gramercy Park are five brick townhouses built in the 1840s. Although they are not identical, they have many elements that create a sense of unity, a common theme throughout the district. The townhouses at 1 and 2 Gramercy Park W. are built in the Italianate style, while 3, 4 and 5 Gramercy Park W. exemplify the Greek Revival style. However, all five townhouses rise to the same height of five stories and are each three windows in width, creating an appearance of unity between the different styles. The cast-iron porches at 3 and 4 Gramercy Park W., designed by Alexander Jackson Davis, lend elegant and intricate detail to this side of the square.
The National Arts Club building is comprised of two brownstones dating from 1845 and joined together in 1874 by Calvert Vaux for Samuel J. Tilden in the Victorian Gothic style. The late-19th-century renovations – including the addition of intricate ornamentation and the carved heads of famous authors interspersed throughout colorful stonework – suited the mission of the National Arts Club, which has occupied the building since 1906.
On the east side of the square, one cannot miss the 12 –storied, U-shaped building at 36 Gramercy Park E. This Gothic apartment complex, with its white, glazed terra-cotta façade, was designed by James Riely Gordon in 1908. The entire façade is ornamented with elaborate details, such as the spiral rope moldings that rise up at the corners of the building, and the projecting oriels that begin on the fourth story and continue up six stories to the balconies of the recessed 10th-story windows. Two knights with shields protect the recessed entrance, which is topped by an intricately detailed pediment.