What is a Classic 6 Apartment?
The Classic 6 apartment is one of New York City's most sought-after apartments layouts for families looking for a home in a few select neighborhoods. The apartments each consist of a living room, a formal dining room, two full bedrooms, a separate kitchen, and a third, smaller bedroom, still today referred to as a "maid's room", usually located off the kitchen, and usually with its own full or half bath. There are also at least two other full bathrooms in the Classic Six apartment, and often a separate laundry room as well. It's also not unusual to find a separate rear, or service entrance that goes directly into the kitchen.
Coveted by well-to-do tenants, these distinctive homes are loved most obviously for their generous size, in terms of strict square footage, as well as for their layouts, which often beautifully combines openness with privacy. In many floorplans, the formal dining room and living room run into each other, visually or otherwise, sometimes separated by French doors or another retractable sort of delineation, other times by the front foyer. Either way, the optical effect is one of expanse and flow, an uncommon feeling in non-loft apartments.
But the Classic 6 apartment layout also provides a fair amount of privacy, with the gathering, dining, and entertaining areas distinct from the bedrooms, which are often separated by the length of a hallway. In this manner, these apartments have floorplans that closer approximate a single family home, rather than a traditional apartment. And because these apartments are found almost exclusively in pre-war buildings, the thick walls and heavy construction only add to the sense of quiet and seclusion once you're closed inside your bedroom.
The third bedroom, or maid's room, set back from the rest of the home off the kitchen, is even more isolated from the other bedrooms and living rooms. This fact alone often makes the maid's room, despite its small size, a favorite of NYC teenagers. Alternately, given the space's separation from the main living space, but proximity to the kitchen, many tenants turn the maid's room into a small office, or homework room, or crafting or project space. Of course, the maid's room also winds up becoming something of a catch-all storage area for many tenants as well. The adjacent bathroom also makes it a great option for a guest room, or mini "inlaw suite."
Classic Six apartments are also so desirable for NYC families simply because they are so hard to find. Located almost entirely within pre-war buildings on the (by the way for the most part family-friendly) Upper East Side and Upper West Side, these apartments are, by definition, in finite supply. Even more rare are finding one of these rare apartments available for rent, as the vast majority of these homes are in co-op (and, occasionally, condo) buildings.
For all of their similarity in terms of layout, however, not all Classic 6 apartments are created equal. Pre-war buildings may be united by their solid construction and attention to details, but, obviously, some are far more handsome than others, and have been maintained and tended to over the years with varying degrees of attention, money and taste. The same is true of the apartments themselves. Often these homes have had a single tenant for decades, and definitely need some sprucing up.
Classic 7 and Classic 8
The rarest of the rare, is the Classic 7, or 8. These apartments are essentially the same as the Classic Six, with the addition of another bedroom (in the Classic 7) or two (in the Classic 8), and sometimes an additional bathroom as well.
In a city such as NYC, with small apartments being the norm, these sprawling apartments, with their wonderful layouts and generous size rooms, are truly considered both extremely desirable, as well as somehwhat of a "trophy" property. That's why even units that need a full remodel can command top dollar when one comes available, and tend to not stay on the market for long, whether for sale or for rent.
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