Price Check Rental Edition

5 rentals with lots of character in landmarked brownstones, for under $4,000

By Leah Hochbaum Rosner  | October 7, 2019 - 2:00PM

This 1900-era brownstone is in the Upper West Side Historic District. A remodeled one bedroom here is asking $3,500 a month.

Douglas Elliman

Living in New York City typically means making some kind of sacrifice. That something is usually space (many apartments here would scarcely qualify as walk-in closets in other parts of the country) or character (meaning that your little white box of an apartment will likely be identical to the one next door… and the one next door to that).

If living in a place with personality is your apartment goal, and you are not in a position to buy, you should know that there are apartments available to NYC's historic districts that have lots of unique, period detail.

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission is strict about what changes owners of landmarked buildings in historic districts can and can not make—so even the ones that have been renovated have charming original details that’ll stand out.

If all that sounds good to you, here are five rentals in historic brownstones in Brooklyn and Manhattan that could be yours for under $4,000 a month (a few are a lot less).


231 Decatur St., #4, Stuyvesant Heights

Listed for $2,625 a month, this two-bedroom, one-bath, top-floor rental has hardwood floors, high ceilings, in-unit laundry, and lots of windows. It’s located in a four-story brownstone in the Stuyvesant Heights Historic District. It’s available for rent on October 15.


137 St. James Pl., #1, Clinton Hill

This $3,200-a-month, one-bedroom, one-bath unit was recently renovated, and now has stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, as well as in-unit laundry. The apartment, which is located in the Clinton Hill Historic District, also has wide-plank wood flooring, exposed brick, and three closets. It overlooks a back garden. No dogs are allowed. It’s available for rent on November 1.


54 West 71st St., #3F, Upper West Side

Asking $3,500 a month, this remodeled one-bedroom, one-bath rental is located in a circa 1900 brownstone in the Upper West Side Historic District (also pictured top). The space has oversized windows, high ceilings, and an open layout. There’s a fireplace in the living room, and the new contemporary kitchen has white cabinetry and stainless steel appliances. No pets are allowed.


16-18 Charles St., #1N, Greenwich Village

Listed for $3,610 a month, this one-bedroom, one-bath duplex has exposed brick walls, hardwood floors, and a renovated kitchen with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances—all on the ground floor. Head up the stairs to the bedroom. There’s laundry on the premises, and additional storage is available for rent. The unit is located in the Greenwich Village Historic District. No pets are allowed.


8 West 122nd St., #3, South Harlem

This 850-square-foot, one-bedroom, two-bath floor-through unit was recently renovated and is listed for $3,850 a month. It’s been modernized but still maintains many of the space’s original details and wood moldings. The apartment has a large bedroom, 12-foot ceilings, a 160-square-foot private deck, an open kitchen with a dishwasher and a washer/dryer, a large walk-in closet, and a large living room. It’s in a brownstone designed by William Tuthill (who also designed Carnegie Hall) that was built around 1909. It’s located in the Mount Morris Park Historic District.


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