Manhattan real estate in history/today: The Beresford

Real Estate Agent

The Beresford Upper West Side Manhattan

The Beresford

A coop building so vast it contains three separate lobbies fronting both Central Park West and West 81st Street.

It has three addresses 211 Central Park West, 1 West 81st Street and 7 West 81st Street. The building was completed a month prior to the stock market crash in 1929.

The Beresford is a master piece of architect Emory Roth. The building has 175 apartments on 23 floors with a limestone base and brick-clad upper floors.

The courtyard contains a fountain and a garden. Italian Renaissance in design, the Beresford is executed in brick with limestone and terra cotta trim. Animating the walls is a distinctive blend of late-Renaissance sculpture: winged cherubs, angels, dolphins, rams' heads and rosettes.

The Beresford is where Rock Hudson had his "classic six" home away from Hollywood. After the star died of AIDS in 1985, most of the contents of his Beresford apartment were auctioned off at William Doyle Galleries in New York, bringing prices that far exceeded the auction house's expectations.

Fans fought over many of the items from his apartment including the footstool that 5-foot -4 inch Elizabeth Taylor used to reach the 6-foot -5-inch actor's Beresford bathroom sink while staying in the apartment in 1981. Written on the stool in lavender ink are the lines "E.T. stood here (she had to because she couldn't reach the sink) R.H. is a love, and I thank him always --even tho he is one foot taller. Your always friend, Elizabeth."

The Beresford has many famous former and current residents. Current resident Jerry Seinfeld had extensive major renovations to his apartments at The Beresford. His renovations went on for a very long time annoying the other neighbors and famous residents. Because of his lengthy renovations NYC coops enacted a new coop regulation called the "Seinfeld Rule." For every day that a renovation continues after it's scheduled completion date the apartment shareholder must pay the coop fines of $500 a day.

Jerry Seinfeld also bought a Townhouse on West 82nd Street for $3.95 million adjacent to his Beresford apartment for his cars. In that townhouse real estate transaction his broker wasn't available to show him the townhouse on Saturday because of religious observance. Jerry negotiated directly with the seller and tried to cut his broker out of her commission.  A judge ordered Seinfeld to pay her the commission.

Built in 1929 The Beresford converted to a Co-operative in 1962. The Beresford has six (6) Attended Elevators, A Fitness Room, Laundry Room, Private Storage, Washer/Dryers and Pets are Allowed. Maximum financing allowed is 50%. There is a 2% "transfer fee" paid by the seller. Residential Street, Block: 1195, Lot: 29, Community Board: 7, School District: 3. Prices in The Beresford range from $2.5 million to $31 million.

For more information about The Beresford or any other Manhattan building please contact me.

Manhattan real estate in history/ today

A blog series by Mitchell Hall

Landmark Living

Hotel des Artistes

The Castle 455 Central Park West

The Ansonia 

The Dakota

50 West 86th 

The Oliver Cromwell

Townhouses to Apartments     

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Comments (17)

Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection
Mitchell - I always look forward to your post.  I think of it as exploring NYC one post at a time.  This is a massive yet beautiful building with  lots of interesting tidbits. Thanks for sharing.
Dec 07, 2007 07:50 AM
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON


You're a wonderful writer....your sentences and thoughts keep the reader glued and I find I absorb more of the details that you write than I do from most things that I read. History becomes fascinating with you leading the way.

The Beresford is certainly a beautiful building... 



Dec 07, 2007 09:06 AM
Mitchell J Hall
Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn

Barbara, Thank you for stopping by I love New york too.

Jennifer. Thank you, I pass the building almost everyday and still am in awe when I look at it.

Jo-Anne. Thank you very much. During the 80's I worked for The Hollywood Reporter. I love both the history of Hollywood and Manhattan real estate history.

Dec 07, 2007 10:10 AM
Kaye Thomas
Real Estate West - Manhattan Beach, CA
e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
Mitchell- What a gorgeous building.. with prices to match.  Just when I think prices are high on the west coast I read one of your posts and feel inexpensive once again..
Dec 08, 2007 03:44 AM
Mitchell J Hall
Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn
Hi Kaye Thanks for stopping by. If only I could afford some of the buildings I write about. lol
Dec 09, 2007 12:28 AM
Carole Cohen
Howard Hanna Cleveland City Office - Cleveland, OH
Realtor, ePRO
Mitchell it sounds so expansive that if it was in Britain's countryside it would be an estate. Great history, and I could use that footstool
Dec 09, 2007 06:34 AM
Mitchell J Hall
Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn
Hi Carole, lol It is a grand old building. It really looks incredible from inside Central Park
Dec 09, 2007 10:29 AM
Jesse Turnquist, CMPS
Guardhill Financial Corp - Hudson, NY


What a building!  I can only imagine the view from one of the top floor apartments.  Thank you for your post.  I enjoyed it immensely.

Dec 10, 2007 12:11 AM
Laurie Mindnich
Centennial, CO
Mitchell, on those occasions when I've visited the city, I often wonder about the occupants in some of these amazing buildings- thanks for the insight!!  I'm waiting for your post on the horse drawn carriages and the battle to eliminate them- I'll be waiting for the NYC expert to weigh in! :)
Dec 10, 2007 01:27 AM
Mitchell J Hall
Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn

Hi Jessie. At night one of the apartments in one of the towers (southwest) has a beautiful lit chandelier that is visible from blocks away.

Hey Laurie, This spring they closed The Claremont Academy and stables in my neighborhood. I do miss the horses and horseback riders on the bridal paths. I suppose I should weigh in on the horse drawn carriages. I'd hate to see them go but to be honest I don't know if it's just crazy PETA fanatics that want to eliminate them or if the horses really are treated cruelly. I'll have to investigate.

Dec 10, 2007 02:09 AM
Laurie Mindnich
Centennial, CO
Mitchell, my daughter and her fiance were engaged in Central Park on a buggy- and they both live in Colorado (and have, their whole lives)- it was, for them, the ULTIMATE spot in which to be engaged.  I'd hate to see the horses go- they're a huge part of the city (to us hicks)!  I'll be watching for the post!
Dec 10, 2007 02:51 AM
Mitchell J Hall
Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn
Laurie, That is really romantic. What a great memory for them. I would hate to see them go too. Ok my next post.
Dec 10, 2007 12:55 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital
Mitchell, I was catching up on my reading and I just love your dish on Seinfeld.  What a freakin' DOG!  I'll never laugh at another one of his jokes!
Dec 12, 2007 04:09 PM
Mitchell J Hall
Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn

LOL Pat, All that money and he tries to stiff his broker.

Dec 13, 2007 12:35 AM
ActiveRain City and State Listing Group
Christiansted, VI

Every time I see something about New York, I think what an amazing city it must be. You give a very enticing presentation of your location. I'd love to see it some day, too bad I don't really enjoy going into such a LARGE place with so much going on. I wouldn't know where to start and I would probably run out of money anyway.

Great posts.

Dec 15, 2007 08:38 AM
Mitchell J Hall
Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn
Hi Don, Thank you and thanks for stopping by. Each neighborhood in NY is like a small town with it's own personality. Start one neighborhood at a time and it's not very large. I can tell you where the bargains are and where not to go. New Yorkers call the expensive places "tourist traps."
Dec 16, 2007 01:44 AM