12 East 87th Street, aka The Capitol, is a stunning example of George & Edward Blum’s textured designs. The eight-story luxury building is hidden mid-block between Fifth and Madison Avenues.
The Capitol is clad in glazed white terra cotta and Roman brick, with deep-set windows and remnants of a prominent terra cotta cornice (the upper part of the cornice was removed, but the supporting brackets remain). A dry moat in front includes stairs to the basement level. The black railing in front was originally all brass, matching the entrance, but pieces were stolen over the years, and replaced with galvanized steel.
The original whole-floor apartments boasted 14 rooms and four baths. Each apartment’s four main “public” rooms – the living room, dining room, reception room and salon – were interconnected to provide a 40-foot by 50-foot space for entertaining. In 1935 and 1943, the owners subdivided the eight apartments into 32 units. (See the Street Easy listing for current floor plans.)
The building became a cooperative in 1985.
12 East 87th Street Vital Statistics
- Location: 12 E 87th Street between Madison and Fifth Avenues
- Year completed: 1912
- Architect: George & Edward Blum
- Floors: 8
- Style: neo-Renaissance
- New York City Landmark: 1993
12 East 87th Street Recommended Reading
- NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission designation report (Expanded Carnegie Hill Historic District, pg. 129)
- The New York Times Streetscapes/The Blum Apartment Houses; Deft, Nonconformist Touches, Many Since Vanished (October 17, 1993)
- City Realty review
- StreetEasy NY listing (includes floor plans – see “units” tab)
- Emporis database
- Historic Manhattan Apartment Houses