REAL ESTATE: A fresh look at the dowager Upper East Side

BY MARTHA WILKIE | To people who only know Manhattan from television, the Upper East Side is the snooty home to the 1 percent. But to those who live there, it’s a vibrant neighborhood, full of people of all stripes, character and historic architecture.

Pockets of old New York transport you to the past, like a malted from the Lexington Candy Shop or weisswurst from Schaller & Weber, a vestige of the once-thriving German community.

Celeste Manice is an agent with Corcoran and lives on the Upper East Side.

“The Gold Coast and Carnegie Hill are still the most desirable neighborhoods on the Upper East Side,” she said.

The Gold Coast is 70th to 77th Sts. between Park and Fifth Aves. Carnegie Hill is between 86th and 96th Sts. east of Fifth Ave. to nearly Third Ave.

One thing you notice about the UES, is that the streets are very clean. I once watched someone scrape gum off a sidewalk on Madison Ave.!

Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts works to preserve the neighborhood’s “architectural legacy, livability and sense of place.” Their Web site, Friends-UES.org, includes a map of new development projects and protected historic districts.

“Historic architecture is one of the character-defining features of the Upper East Side,” said Rachel Levy, the group’s executive director. “Much of the western portion benefits from historic district designation, which provides a high level of oversight over exterior alterations. For the past 36 years, we’ve reviewed  and offered testimony on every project that goes to a public hearing at the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

“Another tool that has been instrumental in preserving human-scale historic architecture is midblock contextual zoning, for which FRIENDS advocated in the 1980s and which was mapped in 1985,” she added.

While the UES lacks the hipster cache of Williamsburg, it’s actually more reasonably priced than much of Brooklyn — zillion-dollar Fifth Ave. co-ops aside.


This apartment at 575 Park Ave. gets great sun.

On Park Ave., a gorgeous sunny pre-war two-bedroom, two-bath co-op seems like a relative bargain. But mind the high maintenance (which does include maid service, fancy). $795,000.(https://streeteasy.com/building/the-beekman/1508)

A wood-burning fireplace comes with this apartment at 231 E. 96th St.


A bright penthouse four-bedroom, three-bath rental with a wood-burning fireplace on E. 96th St. would be perfect for a family or roommates. $6,400.



You can enjoy a stroll through a landscaped patio to your front door if you buy this unique offering.

Currently on the market in Yorkville is a one-bedroom, one-bath unit in an unusual two-building co-op: Behind a brick entrance is a 19th-century three-story white clapboard house with a landscaped patio. $499,000.

Now that’s an entrance! A one-bedroom is available in this stately building at 516 E. 78th St.

And on E. 78th St. is a one-bedroom, one-bath with lovely oversized windows and an impressive facade. $379,000. (https://streeteasy.com/building/516-east-78-street-new_york/6g)