A 20-story condo subsumes a Yorkville tenement

It’s hard not to cheer on a holdout building. You’ve seen these underdogs: the old, unfashionable walkups that stand their ground against modern apartment house developers, forcing the big guys to build around them or thwarting new development altogether.

But I don’t think I’ve ever seen a holdout building quite like the tenement that appears to be subsumed by its newer neighbor at 408 East 79th Street, just east of First Avenue.

The tenement, at number 412 for at least a century (at right in 1940), is a 5-story brick building with a fire escape on the facade; it’s the same small apartment building still found all over Manhattan neighborhoods.

The newer neighbor, the Arcadia, is a condo completed in 2005 and designed by Costas Kondylis. The spacious, lovely apartments in this 20-story residence sell for millions.

I wasn’t able to uncover the backstory, but it looks like the tenement stood down the Arcadia…which then swallowed the little building whole.

[Second photo: New York City Department of Records and Information Services]

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9 Responses to “A 20-story condo subsumes a Yorkville tenement”

  1. aspicco Says:

    Somebody had to buy the air rights, that’s for sure… the owner of that little building must have made some $$$

  2. andersson1899 Says:

    Nice job. I love when you use the 1939 Tax Photos.

    Best regards,

    Brian G. Andersson (Former Commissioner, NYC Dept. of Records)


    • ephemeralnewyork Says:

      Thank you for your service taking care of the records preserving New York City’s history!

  3. Clark Says:

    sounds like a dramatic headline, but, the little building most likely sold its air rights for big dollars…

  4. Greg Says:

    Boy, that cornice is long gone!

  5. M Says:

    It’s the fault of the large developers who offer pennies to get the recent out while making millions per new apartment. We have that issue going on with the Pending 25 story development On First between E. 85-86th. They offered the tenant a mere $2,000,000. NOTHING after tax in today’s real estate market. They could offer $10 million plus a guaranteed apt in the new building at his old rent, but NO, the developers greed prevails. I’m rooting for the gold out.

  6. Valentina Says:

    I grew up in this building! The owner, Fred, is no joke! I’m so happy to see it still fighting the good fight. Thank you for posting this.

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