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  City Hall Library Notes, January 2006


According to the Encyclopedia of New York City, the first apartment building was completed in 1869. Until the 1880’s, these kinds of buildings were often called “French flats.” The term “apartment” became more commonly used by the 1880’s. Apartment buildings and the living quarters within have since become an essential part of the New York City lifestyle and scene. Included here are just a few resources on the apartment building and apartment living.

New York, New York: How the Apartment House Transformed the Life of the City (1860-1930) by Elizabeth Hawes examines how the apartment house came into its own during these years and affected the lives of city dwellers. Starting with the buildings designed by Richard Morris Hunt, covering the development of the Upper West Side and Fifth Avenue, and reviewing various architects and their styles, the author offers a social and aesthetic history of the apartment house.

Living It Up: A Guide to the Named Apartment Houses of New York by Thomas E. Norton and Jerry E. Patterson offers an inventory, in alphabetical order, of every apartment house with a name in Manhattan, the address of each building and information on the origins of the name. Also featured are five suggested walking tours and a short history of the apartment building in the city.

Alone Together: A History of New York’s Early Apartments by Elizabeth Collins Cromley offers an architectural history of the apartment building from the late nineteenth to the early twentieth century. Considered are various styles of building, how changing needs of city dwellers influenced architectural changes, the function of the apartment building in the expanding city and the kinds of tenants who might be living in these apartments.

Life at the Dakota by Stephen Birmingham, published in 1979, chronicles the history of the famous apartment building located at 72nd Street and Central Park West. Designed by Henry Hardenbergh and completed in 1884, the Dakota became home to celebrities such as Boris Karloff, Leonard Bernstein, Lauren Bacall and the late John Lennon. The book discusses how the Dakota came to be built, architectural style, interiors, conversion to co-ops and offers anecdotes about daily living and some of the unique individuals, famous and otherwise, who lived or worked there.

Housing New York City 1999, prepared by Dr. Moon Wha Lee for the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, published in 2002, provides a wealth of statistical information on apartment and house rentals, vacancies, income of renters, conditions of housing, rental expenditures and other issues of concern.

Vertical files on the topics of apartments and housing may also be of interest to the user.

These are just a few examples of the fascinating material you may find at the City Hall Library on apartment houses, a unique and important part of city life.


The following publications were received by the City Hall Library in the month of December. Additional government publications can be found online in our Government Publications section.

AKRF, Inc.
Gateway Center at Bronx Terminal Market: Final environmental impact statement. December 7, 2005. (CEQR No. 04DMEO17X)

Cambridge Systematics.
Long Island Sound Waterborne Transportation Plan: final report executive summary. November 23, 2005. (Prepared for New York Metropolitan Transportation Council, et al.)

Center of an Urban Future.
Creative New York: from arts organizations to ad agencies New York’s vast creative sector is one of the city’s most important, and least understood economic assets. December 2005.

Drum Major Institute for Public Policy.
Principles for an immigration policy to strengthen and expand the American middle class: a primer for policy makers and advocates. New York. [2005]

Good, Joshua and Pamela Sherrid.
When the gates open: Ready4Work. A national response to the prisoner reentry crisis. New York: Public/Private Ventures. October 2005.

Long Island Waterborne Transportation Plan: summary presentation of final report, November 29 and 30, 2005. (Sponsored by New York Metropolitan Transportation Council, et al.)

N.Y. City. Civilian Complaint Review Board.
Status report. January – June 2005.

N.Y. City. Comptroller
Audit report on expenditures for other than personal services by the New York County District Attorney’s office. December 22, 2005.

N.Y. City Comptroller
Audit report on the compliance of Telebeam Telecommunications Corporation with section 4 of its City franchise agreement. December 2, 2005. (Report no. 7683)

N.Y. City. Comptroller
Audit report on the financial and operating practices of the Kings County District Attorney’s Office. December 22, 2005. (Report no. 7687)

N.Y. City Comptroller
Audit report on the financial and operating practices of the 12 Manhattan community boards. December 13, 2005. (Report no. 7685)

N.Y. City. Comptroller
Audit report on the New York Yankees rental credits for the fourth quarter of 2004. (October 1 – December 31, 2004). December 22, 2005. (Report no. 7688)

N.Y. City. Comptroller
Audit report on the tax classification of real property in the Borough of Staten Island by the Department of Finance. December 13, 2005. (Report no. 7684)

N. Y. City. Independent Budget Office.
Adoption subsidy spending grows, but City saves. (IBO Fiscal Brief). December 2005.

N.Y. City. Independent Budget Office
An improving fiscal climate presents new challenges. (IBO Fiscal Outlook). December 2005.

N.Y. City. Independent Budget Office
Will the City’s property transfer taxes remain flush? (IBO Inside the Budget). December 13, 2005.

N.Y. City. Landmarks Preservation Commission
Landmark designation: Seaman Cottage, 441 Clarke Avenue, Staten Island. December 13, 2005. (Designation List 369).

N.Y. City. Rent Guidelines Board.
Housing NYC: rents, markets and trends 2005.

New York City Criminal Justice Agency.
Annual report on the adult court case processing of juvenile offenders in New York City, January through December 2004. November 2005.

New York City Criminal Justice Agency.
Adult-court processing and re-arrest of juvenile offenders in Manhattan and Queens: final report November 2005.

New York City’s Young Adult Task Force.
The time is now: implementing one system for New York City’s emerging workforce. A working paper developed by the task force. Washington, D.C., National Youth Employment Coalition, November 2005.

New York County Lawyers’ Association.
New York City Housing Court in the 21st century: can it better address the problem before it? October 2005.

N.Y. State. Attorney General.
Pennies for charity: where your money goes: telemarketing by professional fund raisers. December 2005.

N.Y. State. Comptroller.
Review of the financial plan of the City of New York. December 2005.

N.Y. State. Financial Control Board.
November modification review: staff report. December 20, 2005.

Public/Private Ventures.
Promoting opportunity: finding from the state workforce policy initiative on employment retention and advancement. September 2005.

Stern, Ellen.
Grace Mansion: a celebration of New York City’s mayoral residence. New York: Rizzoli, 2005.

United States Government Accountability Office.
September 11: recent estimates of fiscal impact of 2001 terrorist attack on New York. Report to Congressional requestors. March 2005.

Urban dynamics in New York City: a proceeding of a conference sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, April 22, 2005. (In Economic Policy Review, Vol. II, no. 2, December 2005)

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