The Loneliest Brownstone

The Loneliest Brownstone

215 East 68 Street NY NY

About five years ago we came across a striking photo of a brownstone on the Upper East Side... the last one standing, a field of rubble behind it. The photo, from the LIFE magazine archives, was accompanied by little information—the caption simply read: "Construction in NYC: land being cleared for 20 story building in East 60s—still occupied brownstone is soon to go."

After a little digging we found out the photo, taken in 1959, was of a brownstone located at 215 East 68th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. Across the street where the numbers were even, there were 16 brownstones that got to stay—the NY Times once pointed out that they were "built as a piece in 1881 [by] developer John D. Crimmins—'No more than six of them will look alike, and no monotony will spoil the aspect of this new row of houses.'" While those have survived (to this day), back on the north side the brownstones were being leveled for a new development.

The brownstone seen standing here was at one time the home of poet and writer Stephen Vincent Benet.

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Here is 215 East 68 Street Today

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