998 Fifth Avenue

Northeast Corner of 81st Street

Total: 18 out of 20 stars

Tour a Residence

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Building Overview By: Dickse Fitzgerald; Principal Broker, DwellingsNYC

Residential apartment building, 998 Fifth Avenue, was designed by McKim, Mead and White, the architectural firm who designed the Pennsylvania Station that was demolished in 1964. The limestone-clad structure features distinguished Italian Renaissance Revival-palazzo style principles.

No financing allowed ║ pet friendly building

Built in 1910 & converted to co-op in 1953 ║ 12 floors & 17 units
Building Esthetics & Construction:

Striking balustrade stringcourses define the division of the base from the body, and the body from the top. Each window above the stringcourse is capped with a pediment or cornice. Impressive panels of escutcheons and light-yellow marble adorn this structure horizontally at four-floor intervals. A heavily quoined corner and richly decorated overhanging eaves add to the exterior splendor of this structure.

The imperial façade is further abetted with a beautiful iron marquee that extends over the side street entrance and is crested with palmette forms. The building has a large inner courtyard.


Full-time doorman ║ laundry facilities ║ storage


Co-op, 998 Fifth Avenue is located between 81st and 82nd Streets.  It is situated across Fifth Avenue from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This building shares the block with co-op, 1001 Fifth Avenue and 1009 Fifth Avenue, The Duke Seamans Mansion. A transverse Road cuts through Central Park at 79th Street. Prime shopping on Madison Avenue is in close proximity.


Ceilings in the residences measure ten and one-half feet, except the fifth floor, where they are a foot higher. When built, the interior design of 998 Fifth Avenue provided three apartments for every two stories and is comprised six duplexes, located in the southern corner, and eleven 17-room simplexes. Most residences are approximately 6,000 square feet and all and feature woodburning fireplaces.


Distinguished Italian Renaissance Revival-palazzo style building with a large inner courtyard; most apartments are approximately 6,000 square feet; high ceilings; woodburning fireplaces


The MET is located across the street so there is a lot of foot traffic in the area; few building amenities


Viewed as one of the city’s most impressive residential apartment buildings, in the early 1900s hundreds the building was widely credited with convincing New York’s rich and elite that apartments could make for acceptable homes; with its capacious apartments, 998 Fifth Avenue was specifically designed for wealthy tenants with large staffs.

According to an article in The New York Observer, when it opened as a rental in 1912, the building stood as a remote and unpopular tower along Millionaire’s Row on the avenue until Douglas I. Elliman, the rental agent for his brother’s real estate firm, Pease & Elliman, convinced Senator Elihu Root to move there. Root agreed to leave his Park Avenue home at 71st Street only when motivated by the reduced yearly rent of $15,000 an annual savings for him of $10,000. After Root signed his lease, the building filled quickly with residents including Watson Bradley Dickerman, president of the New York Stock Exchange in the 1890’s; Murray Guggenheim; former U.S. Vice President Levi P. Morton and a granddaughter of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt.  James T. Lee, the developer and the grandfather of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis also lived in the building. The renting agent was the young Douglas Elliman, beginning a career in the real estate business that would last for decades.

According to a 2006 article in The New York Observer an apartment owned by the estate of Yolande Fielding Scheftel sold for $20 million which made it a tie for the ninth place for the top co-op sales in New York City at the time.