The prettiest pre-war apartments in NYC you can rent for less than $5K/month

Dee Yonker

We’ve all admired six-figure New York City homes from a digital distance, saving listings that are way beyond our wallet’s reach. 6sqft has an entire column dedicated to these types of properties, in fact. But with median net effective rents still down compared to last year, especially in Manhattan, a dream rental property isn’t so unattainable these days. We’re rounding up the prettiest pre-war pads–most of which have classic details like high ceilings, decorative moldings, and custom woodwork–on the rental market for less than $5,000/month. From a classic six apartment in Washington Heights to a one-bedroom in a full-service white-glove building on Park Avenue, these homes are full of early 20th-century charm.


Photos courtesy of Douglas Elliman

790 Riverside Drive, 3J
Washington Heights
This classic six apartment in Washington Heights ticks off all the boxes on our pre-war checklist. Now renting for $3,500/month, the two-bedroom, two-bath home boasts hardwood floors, spacious rooms, high ceilings, and original moldings. The kitchen has been modernized with state-of-art appliances, custom cabinets, and Carrara marble countertops. Because the apartment is so large (for NYC), the living area and the maid’s room could be set up as additional bedrooms or as office space. The apartment sits within the Riviera, a Beaux-Arts style co-op designed in 1910 that has 24-hour doorman service, a historic marble lobby, on-site laundry, storage, a bike room. Located between Riverside Drive and Broadway, the building has views of the Hudson River and sits one block from the 1 train at 157th Street.

[Listing details: 790 Riverside Drive, 3J at CityRealty]
[At Douglas Elliman by Ann Marie Folan]


Photos courtesy of Douglas Elliman

136 Prospect Park West, #4D
Park Slope
A two-bedroom directly across the street from Prospect Park is available for $3,850/month. The Park Slope pad at 136 Prospect Park West has been renovated but maintains original features like a decorative fireplace, hardwood floors, and high ceilings. The kitchen has a center island that could double as a breakfast bar and decent cabinet space. Amenities at the pre-war gem include bike storage, laundry, and easy access to over 500 acres of green space at Prospect Park. The building is also pet friendly and accepts guarantors.

[Listing details: 136 Prospect Park West, #4D at CityRealty]
[At Douglas Elliman by Nadia Bartolucci, Rachel Altschuler, and Ian Murphy]


Photos courtesy of Warburg Realty

243 West End Avenue, Apt. 1008 
Lincoln Square
An elegant pre-war one-bedroom in an Emery Roth-designed building in Lincoln Square is now renting for $2,700/month. The corner apartment has north and west exposure, restored hardwood floors, and two oversized closets. The kitchen is nice and bright thanks to two windows and features new stainless steel appliances and sleek countertops. Currently, the no-fee unit is offering one month free on a 13-month lease. Constructed in 1924 and converted to co-ops in 1989, the Coliseum Plaza at 243 West End Avenue sits just minutes from the Hudson River Greenway on one side and the bustle of Broadway on the other.

[Listing details: 243 West End Avenue, Apt. 1008 at CityRealty]
[At Warburg Realty by Lisa Camillieri]


Virtually staged apartment images courtesy of Warburg Realty

242 West 101st Street, Apt #3
Upper West Side
Just over a block from Riverside Park, a floor-through one-bedroom in a brownstone is renting for $2,800/month. Lovely design elements like the tiled decorative fireplace with mirrored mantle, large bay windows, and wallpapered outer hall can be found inside. There’s enough room in the living area to create a home office nook or playroom. The unit overlooks the tree-lined block of West 101st Street and since it’s located on the top floor, lots of natural light saturates the space. Additional perks of the unit include decent closet space and a new air-conditioner. The many restaurants and retail stores of Broadway are found just steps away, with Central Park about a half-mile walk from the building.

[Listing details: 242 West 101st Street, #3 at CityRealty]
[At Warburg Realty by Elizabeth Helene O’Neill and Joy Grossman]


Photos courtesy of Brown Harris Stevens

525 Park Avenue, Apartment #8D
Upper East Side
Hardwood floors, 10-foot ceilings, and a renovated kitchen with a wine cooler and Miele washer/dryer in a full-service white-glove building on Park Avenue can be yours for $4,061/month. This chic Upper East Side one-bedroom has three exposures and a huge living room with an alcove perfect for dining. The built-in bookshelves, walk-in closet, and windowed bathroom are some highlights of the space. Located on the corner of East 61st and Park, the building is near the best of the neighborhood’s dining, shopping, and cultural scene, with Central Park two blocks away.

[Listing details: 525 Park Avenue, Apartment #8D at CityRealty]
[At Brown Harris Stevens by Agnes M. Beaugendre and Perine Fernando]

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