6. 134 East 60th Street

Bloomingdales-Midtown-Upper-East-Side-Townhouse-NYC-Untapped Cities-Nasha Virata

This four-story townhouse sits across Bloomingdale’s, protruding from the side of a 31-story office tower on East 60th Street near Lexington Avenue. A memorial to one of New York City’s best-known holdout battles, the former townhouse had been converted to five rent-stabilized apartment units by the 1980s.

When the developers began construction, four of the five tenants moved out. The fifth, Jean Herman, refused. She believed the developers had a responsibility to find her a suitable replacement, a new apartment that had both the neighborhood appeal and affordability of East 60th St. The developers, unable to meet her request, decided to build around the townhouse, even shaving off the fifth floor, above Ms. Herman’s unit. Ms Herman quickly became a neighborhood favorite and continued to live there until her death in the 1990s. Today, most people who walk by don’t notice this townhouse holdout, as retailers have found ways to make it seem like a continuation of the office tower.