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12 East 86th Street

Southwest corner at Madison Avenue

12 East 86th Street viewed from the northeast

12 East 86th Street viewed from the northeast

By Carter B. Horsley

This very large, pre-war, rental apartment building occupies most of the eastern half of the block bounded by Madison and Fifth Avenues and 86th and 85th Streets.

It was built in 1923 and designed by Schwartz & Gross. For many years, it was owned by Sarah Korein, whose other major holdings in Manhattan over the years included Lever House, 120 Broadway, and the Beresford.

This 15-story building, which has a concierge and a garage, has good retail along the avenue, and many of its discrete air-conditioners have been cut through the building's few decorative spandrels. The building is pet-friendly and has laundry facilities and a bicycle room.

Building viewed from the northwest

12 East 86th Street viewed from the northwest

The beige-brick building has light wells along the avenue and a setback on 86th Street. It has a very large entrance marquee on 86th Street with a concierge and a very large but bland lobby. The building was originally the Croydon Hotel. (Another former hotel on the same blockfront, the former Adams Hotel at 2 East 86th Street, was converted to a luxury condominium and was able to get a Fifth Avenue address even though it is not on the avenue but just to the east of the new Serge Sabarsky museum of German Expressionist Art at the Fifth Avenue corner.

The building has good retail along the avenue including a Gristede's, a bank and a large stationery store, but no sidewalk landscaping and its many of its discrete air-conditioners have been cut through the building's few decorative spandrels. It has a garage, but no sundeck.

Marquee entrance on 86th Street

Building has large marquee entrance on 86th Street

This neighborhood at the south end of the Carnegie Hill District became very attractive in the late 1980's and the 1990s with the opening of many boutiques and several restaurants and the upgrading of a nearby supermarket. There is excellent neighborhood shopping and many excellent schools and religious institutions nearby as well as many of the city's most important cultural institutions. There is excellent west-bound cross-town bus service on the street, and the east-bound service has a stop across the avenue. An express subway station is at Lexington Avenue.

Facade detail

Detail of top of facade of low-rise midblock wing on 86th Street

There is considerable traffic along the avenue and especially on 85th Street, which is the approach to a Central Park cross drive.


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