By Carter B. Horsley
This handsome, red-brick, condominium
apartment building at 181 East 65th Street is on the former site
of the Sign of the Dove Restaurant that for several decades was
one of the most elegant and expensive on the Upper East Side.
The 34-story tower, which was completed in 2000, was designed
by Robert A. M. Stern, a leading Post-Modem architect who is dean
of the Yale School of Architecture and the author of several very
major volumes on the history of New York's architecture over the
last century or so. Ismael Leyva Architects was also involved
in the building's design.
The tower sports one of the
most attractive rooftop watertank enclosures to be created in
many decades with an extremely nice quoin treatment and nicely
The main shaft of the tower, which is atop an 85-foot-high base,
has very attractive and tall bay windows and the building's proportions
It is across the avenue from
the mid-rise Manhattan House, the full-block, white-brick apartment
house designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill whose popularity
resulted in the burgeoning flowering of white-brick towers all
over the Upper East Side.
In their great book, "New York 2000, Architecture and Urbanism
Between The Bicentennial And The Millennium" (The Monacelli
Press, 2006), Robert A. M. Stern, David Fishman and Jacob Tilove
noted that the Chatham "replaced a row of four-story apartment
houses, 1110-1118 Third Avenue (John Snook, 1868) and 166 East
Sixty-Sixth Street, also designed by Snook as part of two series
of townhouses, 156-166 East Sixty-Sixth Street and 157-167 East
65th Street, which were renovated in 1919 by Edward Shepard Hewitt,
who created a common garden between them that came to be known
as the Jones Wood Gardens, named after Jones's Wood, an early-nineteenth-century
summertime pleasure ground that had been located near the East
River and was considered for a great public park before the site
of Central Park was settled on."
The authors, not always prone
to enormous run-on sentences, also wrote that "the campanile-like
Chatham enjoyed exceptional views in most directions and exceptional
prominence in the neighborhood," adding that the two penthouse
apartments "featured grand sweeping stairs and terraces"
and that "the lobby and elevator cabs as well as the typical
hallways were designed by Stern."
This section of Third Avenue has changed dramatically over the
last two decades with several major apartment towers of considerable
gleam and gloss. As a result, this neighborhood has considerable
"light and air" because of the tower's plazas and the
pre-war "tone" of this one makes it stand out quite
The developer is The Related Companies L.P., which became one
of the city's leading residential builders in the 1980's, and
the sponsor of the project is Evod Acquisition, L.L.C.
Many of the apartments have striking views to the west including
Central Park. The 94-unit building has a restaurant with butler
service and a residents-only Equinox spa and fitness center. Parking
with valet service and separate storage space are also available
for each apartment.
A local subway station is at 68th Street and Lexington Avenue
and the neighborhood has excellent shopping.