A West Side Renaissance

The Rise of Lincoln Towers

In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, New York City was undergoing a renaissance of development and redevelopment, spurred by federal and state legislation, particularly Title I of the National Housing Act of 1949, which encouraged the renewal of entire neighborhoods, as opposed to individual buildings. With government funds for acquiring and clearing marginal urban areas available to augment the vision and capital of private developers, the face of New York City was being transformed.

On Manhattan’s West Side, that transformation included two major development projects located in the Lincoln Square Urban Renewal Area, which were constructed at about the same time, and only blocks away: Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and, just one and one-half blocks north, Lincoln Towers (construction on Lincoln Towers did wait, however, until the 1961 movie version of “West Side Story,” filmed in part among the abandoned buildings that once stood there, was completed). Lincoln Center, with its Metropolitan Opera House, David Geffen Hall, David H. Koch theater, Juilliard School and many more buildings, parks and cultural attractions, runs from 62nd Street to 65th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenues. The 20- acre Lincoln Towers campus runs from 66th Street to 70th Street on both sides of West End Avenue, bounded by Amsterdam Avenue on the east, and Riverside Boulevard on the west.


Originally built as rental units, all of the 3,837 apartments in Lincoln Towers were rent stabilized until the eight buildings converted to co-ops on May 1, 1987. At the time of the conversion more than 53% of the units were purchased; that number has since risen to about 95%. Rent stabilized tenants were not forced to buy, and the remaining 5% of unsold apartments will retain their stabilized status until they are vacated, and then sold.

Since the conversion to cooperative ownership, Lincoln Towers has gone through a number of transformations. All of the complex’s parks and playgrounds have been upgraded, and every building has renovated its lobbies, hallways, and elevators at least once. All have added exercise rooms, children’s playrooms and other amenities that combine to make Lincoln Towers an oasis of luxury community living in the center of Manhattan.

Let’s Accomplish Your Real Estate Goals Together

The Cooper Team are committed to providing their clients with the highest level of service and expertise. Whether you are buying, selling, or renting, Andrew and Chase can help you achieve your real estate goals, including by providing a complimentary market analysis of your Lincoln Towers apartment. Contact them now!

Follow Us on Instagram