1261 Madison Avenue New York was designed in 1900 by Buchman & Fox, 1261 Madison was one of the first luxury apartment buildings built in Carnegie Hill. In 1910, The World’s New York Apartment House Album described it as “one of the most select and attractive apartment houses on Madison Avenue.” 1261 Madison remains as one of the most beautiful and distinctive buildings in the neighborhood. Just 7 stories with only 14 apartments and built in the French Beaux Arts style with its mansard roof and cast iron railing, 1261 Madison was designated a city landmark in 1974.
Located in the heart of Carnegie Hill on 90th and Madison Avenue, 1261 is much sought-after not only for the uniqueness of its apartments and their pre World War I details (12 foot ceilings, magnificent floors and mouldings) but also for its prime and coveted location, close to the city’s finest schools and Central Park.When Andrew Carnegie began the four-year long construction of his brick Georgian mansion in 1899 far north of the established Millionaire’s Mile, the affluent took notice. In seeking open air, garden space and a view of Central Park, Carnegie initiated a trend of building in the area which would become known as Carnegie Hill.
Mansions and luxury apartment buildings began replacing squatters’ shacks, farmhouses and tenement buildings as the wealthy moved north. Gilbert Brown, recognizing the trend and the opportunity, quickly purchased the large lot of land at the northeast corner of Madison Avenue and 90th Street where he would build an elegant and exclusive apartment building. Completed a year later, the restrained Beaux Arts structure was seven stories tall, including a fashionable tiled mansard roof. Built for only 14 families – two apartments per floor – it was supported by a rusticated, two-story limestone base accentuated by a grand entranceway.