GRAMERCY PARK HISTORY
GRAMERCY PARK HISTORY OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD
A real estate investor names Samuel B. Ruggles created Gramercy Park in 1831 after buying a large parcel of land in the area. Ruggles envisioned a private park for the use of owners and residents of mansions, townhouses, rowhouses, and houses of worship surrounding it. Similar to the residential squares that exist in London. His vision was to make Irving Place the main artery of approach to his private park.
In the 1840’s and early 1850’s the brownstones appeared the streets of Gramercy Park with rowhouses, and mansions along with some buildings that housed churches. In the 1920s the north end of Gramercy Park was transformed. Emery Roth made the design of the 60 Gramercy Park North as the row houses with Italian and Spanish motifs.
Architect Herbert Lucas designed prestigious 1 Lexington Avenue on the north side of Gramercy in 1910. A few years later Herbert Lucas was going to design 24 Gramercy Park South. People consider it as a sister building of 1 Lexington Avenue on account of a similar architectural design. These cooperatives along with 34 Gramercy Park East which was one of the first cooperatives built in New York City in 1883 had large apartments to attract affluent families to Gramercy Park.
Over the years the character of Gramercy Park evolved with modern architects leaving their footprints. The newly formed Landmarks Preservation gave the historic district designation for Gramercy Park in 1966.
More information about Gramercy Park you can find here
THE KEY TO GRAMERCY PARK
I’m often asked when showing properties in the Gramercy Park neighborhood is if the building has access to the park. Only residents of the buildings that are located on Gramercy Park have access to the park. There are fewer than 400 numbered and coded coveted keys. It opens the four wrought iron doors of Gramercy Park and each individual key costs $365. The locks are changed every year and keys are difficult to duplicate.
HOW TO GET IN
If you’re curious about Gramercy Park, I urge you NOT to try to sneak in! The Park is closely watched by keyholders and board members. And as it is private property, an unauthorized entry can be seen as trespassing. You need a key both to enter AND exit. So sneaking in behind someone could get you in hot water.
As of now, the only real ways to enter the park are to purchase property in a building with a key. Buy an apartment that comes with its own key, befriend someone who already has a key. Become a member of the Players Club or National Arts Club. Or use one of the Gramercy Park Hotel’s 6 keys while accompanied by a doorman.
Long story short—it’s not easy to get in (but it’s worth it)!
To learn more about me and my experience you can here.