Historic Districts of the Upper East Side

Three contiguous historic districts connect Fifth Avenue, its surrounding blocks, and, in a zigzagging fashion, to the east beyond Park Avenue to Lexington Avenue.

Therefore, they encompass a major portion of the Upper East Side, and practically the entire Fifth-to-Third-Avenue-blocks as a swath, while documenting the upper-crust’s latenineteenth-century migration farther north to 96th Street, where it abruptly stopped (for upper-echelon society, at least).

A brief survey of the Upper East Side’s park-block real-estate development is separate portions (by neighborhood) in Navigating Manhattan, which is a section of our Neighborhoods department.

The numerous eminent architects hired along the way to design the robber barons’ suitable mansions along Fifth Avenue, the elites’ town houses, on the surrounding streets, and swells’ brownstone row houses throughout the Upper East Side Historic District, which are now landmark buildings, is a Sidebar within our Navigating Manhattan, Time Lines and Sidebars.

A Navigating Manhattan Time Line also depicts the public transportation expansion, an important element allowing the migration north. In addition, the effect Central Park, the cornerstone of Manhattan real estate, had on the Upper East Side is discussed at greater length in Navigating Manhattan.

The three westernmost historic districts are:

Upper East Side Historic District runs along Fifth Avenue from Grand Army Plaza, at 60th Street to78th Street, on the west, encompassing Park Avenue to Lexington Avenue, as well as a narrow portion, between 68th and 71st Streets, near to Third Avenue, on the east.

Upper East Side Map || Info

Metropolitan Museum Historic District runs along Fifth Avenue from 78th to 86th

Street, incorporating the mid-blocks between Fifth and Madison Avenues

Metropolitan Museum Map || Info

Carnegie Hill Historic District runs along Fifth Avenue from 86th to 98th Street, zigzagging to the Park-to-Lexington Avenue mid-blocks, and occasionally encompassing landmark dwellings nearer Third Avenue.

Carnegie Hill Map || Info

Plus, the three pocket-size historic districts are:

Hardenbergh/Rhinelander Historic District, at 89th Street, runs one-half block north, on Lexington Avenue’s west side, between 89th and 90th Streets

A Manhattan real-estate institution, the Rhinelander Real Estate Company (which managed the company for 50 years) and the eminent architect, Henry Janeway Hardenbergh, combined their talents to create this gem.

The six-row houses, on Lexington Avenue, built in 1889, are a complementary architectural sextet set.

The materials–red brick, terra cotta ornamentation, with rusticated brownstone–and symmetrical architectural details, such as prominent pediments, pierced parapets, with modillion cornices, build upon, as a crescendo, when echoed on the ensemble French flats building, at 121 East 89th Street.

Hardenbergh/Rhinelander Map || Info

Henderson Place Historic District bounded by East End Avenue, at its east, between 86th and 87th Street, to the north and south

Thirty-two houses, begun in 1881 and completed in 1882, by a developer, John C. Henderson, and designed by the architectural firm of Lamb & Rich, as modest singlefamily dwellings, are compactly arranged along East End Avenue, and a blind ally Henderson Place.

The 24 remaining homes are fine Queen Anne derivatives. Each contains a variety of the similar details, including red-brick, rusticated-stone stoops, leading to arch entries, terracotta ornamentation, projecting bay window designs, including large and smaller bordering glass panes.

Henderson Place Map || Info

Treadwell Farm Historic District encompasses the north and south mid-blocks, on East 61st and East 62nd Streets, between Second and Third Avenues.

The Treadwell family occupied and farmed the land, from 1815 to 1860. In 1868, furthermore, the heirs sold the property as lots; with a covenant: to build modest singlefamily homes.

After several robust town-house-building boom cycles, at the immediate west, by 1920, the Treadwell Farm row house stoops had been removed and their projecting detail stripped, creating a uniform, simple elegance.

Treadwell Farm Map || Info

Additional National Register Historic Districts

On the Upper East Side

City and Suburban Homes Company’s First Avenue Estate Historic District

Period of Significance: 1900-1924, 1875-1899 1168-1200 First Avenue, 401-429 East 64th, and 402-430 East 65th Street

Row houses, at 322-344 East 69th Street

Period of Significance: 1875-1899

East 73rd Street Historic District, 161-179 and 166-182 East 73rd Street Period of Significance: 1900-1924, 1875-1899, 1850-1874

City and Suburban Homes Company’s York Avenue Estate, and Shively

Sanitary Tenements Historic District

Period of Significance: 1950-1974, 1925-1949, 1900-1924, 1875-1899, 1850-1874, 18251849, 1800-1824

Roughly bounded by York Avenue, East 77th Street, Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive, and East79th Street

Town houses, at 1026-1028 Fifth Avenue, now Marymount School Period of Significance: 1900-1924