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Sutton Place, Manhattan, 10030





Sutton Place is the name given to an affluent street and surrounding enclave of the borough of Manhattan in New York City, New York, United States, that is situated on the cusp of the Midtown and Upper East Side neighborhoods. In the narrowest sense, Sutton Place is the wide (north/south) avenue that runs only two blocks, from 57th Street to 59th Street, along the East River and south of the Queensboro Bridge. The stretch that continues below 57th Street down to 53rd Street is called Sutton Place South. North of 59th Street, the road continues as York Avenue. Sutton Square is the cul-de-sac at the end of East 58th Street, just east of Sutton Place; and Riverview Terrace is a row of townhouses on a short private driveway that runs north from Sutton Square. The greater "Sutton Place area" is bounded on the east by the East River and on the west by Second Avenue, and is coextensive with Sutton Place and Sutton Place South (i.e., 53rd Street to 59th Street). Sutton Place is a small neighborhood where some of Manhattan's wealthiest people live.[citation needed]


Sutton Place was originally one of several disconnected stretches of Avenue A, where space allowed, east of First Avenue. Effingham B. Sutton constructed a group of brownstones in 1875 between 57th and 58th Streets, and is said to have lent the street his name, though the earliest source found by The New York Times dates back only to 1883. At that time, the New York City Board of Aldermen approved a petition to change the name from "Avenue A" to "Sutton Place", covering the blocks between 57th and 60th Streets. (The vacant block between 59th and 60th Streets is no longer part of Sutton Place.) Sutton Place first became fashionable around 1920, when several wealthy Manhattanites built townhouses overlooking the East River. Very shortly thereafter, developers started to build grand co-operative apartment houses on Sutton Place and Sutton Place South, including several designed by Rosario Candela. Development came to an abrupt halt with the Great Depression, and the luxury apartment buildings on the lower part of Sutton Place South (below 56th Street) and the northernmost part of Sutton Place (adjacent to the Queensboro Bridge) were not developed until the 1940s and 1950s.


Prominent residents of Sutton Place include architect I. M. Pei, former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, his son-in-law designer Kenneth Cole, and actress Sigourney Weaver. Former residents include Freddie Mercury, Michael Jackson, Bill Blass, C. Z. Guest, Bobby Short, Irene Hayes, Elsie de Wolfe, Joan Crawford, Raj Rajaratnam, Marilyn Monroe and her then husband Arthur Miller. One Sutton Place (North), an imposing townhouse at the northeast corner of Sutton Place and East 57th Street, was built as a residence for Anne Harriman Vanderbilt, widow of William K. Vanderbilt.


The official residence of the United Nations Secretary-General is a five-story townhouse next door to the former Anne Vanderbilt residence. This townhouse was built in 1921 for Anne Morgan, daughter of financier J.P. Morgan, and donated as a gift to the United Nations in 1972.




Sutton Place encompasses two public parks overlooking the East River, one at the end of 57th Street and another at the end of 53rd Street. The 57th Street park is separated by an iron fence from the elegant landscaped grounds behind One Sutton Place South, a neo-Georgian style apartment building designed by Rosario Candela (and one of New York's most fabled addresses). The property behind One Sutton Place South is currently the subject of a dispute between the building's owners and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Like the adjacent park, the rear garden at One Sutton Place South is, in fact, cantilevered over the FDR Drive, a busy expressway at Manhattan's eastern edge that is not visible from most of Sutton Place. In 1939, city authorities took ownership of the property behind One Sutton Place South by condemnation in connection with the construction of the FDR Drive, then leased it back to the building. The city claims the building's lease for its backyard expired in 1990, and was never renewed. If the city prevails in this litigation, the property will be combined with the adjacent park, more than doubling the size of the existing public space.


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