City Realty:

Top 10 Upper East Side Condos: High-end Buyers Covet Pre-War Design

February 27, 2024Read Full Article Download PDF

During the Gilded Age (defined as the 1870s to the late 1890s), the opulent mansions lining Upper East Side streets were considered the center of New York society. More than 100 years later, Emmy Award-winning HBO drama The Gilded Age was recently picked up for a third season, some have speculated that a new Gilded Age is taking place off-screen, and the Upper East Side is clearly top of mind for luxury buyers: Last week, both Manhattan’s highest-priced sale and top luxury contract took place in traditional Upper East Side buildings located at the center of a condo boomlet.


While today’s buyers appreciate the beautiful architecture and grand proportions of prewar buildings, they may find traditional cooperative rules overly restrictive. As such, CityRealty data shows impressive performances among Upper East Side condominiums that boast traditional design influences, not to mention sumptuous interiors, thoughtful amenities and services, and addresses close to Central Park, upscale dining and shopping, world-renowned museums, and notable schools.


Below, we look at the most architecturally impressive and luxurious condominiums on the Upper East Side. The buildings are ranked by average price per square foot comprising all condo sales from 2021 to the present day.


#5. The Benson

1045 Madison Avenue

Developed by Naftali Group | Design by Peter Pennoyer Architects

Completed 2022

No Public Availabilities


Count of Sales: 17

Average PPSF: $3,726 | Average Price: $14,768,368



All renderings of The Benson via Hayes Davidson




It is little wonder that Naftali Group displayed Jerry Seinfeld’s pro-city op-ed in The New York Times on the side of The Benson when it was under construction - they clearly felt optimistic about the return of New York after weeks of top sales and a quick sellout. The Benson’s design by Peter Pennoyer Architects pays tribute to the prewar architecture surrounding it with a limestone façade, mullioned windows, and setback terraces. The jewel box lobby and private screening room were designed by Achille Salvagni, and additional amenities include a fitness center, half basketball court, spa with sauna and steam room, library with adjoining garden, pet spa, and landscaped roof terrace with fire pit and Central Park views.


#2. The Bellemont

1165 Madison Avenue

Developed by Naftali Group | Design by Robert A.M. Stern Architects

Completed in 2023

No Public Availabilities


Count of Sales: 12

Average PPSF: $4,169 | Average Price: $21,386,883



All images of The Bellemont via DBOX


Naf_1165_12_PHD Staircase.jpg

Developed by Naftali Group, The Bellemont comes in hot on the heels and just up the street from The Benson (see above). Its classically inspired design by Robert A.M. Stern Architects features a limestone facade and dramatically scaled windows that allow for incredible natural light in the grandly proportioned units. Amenities include a sophisticated attended lobby, a holistic fitness center, a regulation squash court, a state-of-the-art screening room, a well-thought children’s playroom, and a rooftop terrace with spectacular views of Central Park. Closings are expected to commence at the end of 2022. See all details here.