Many potential buyers and renters are often confused about what exactly a classic six apartment is when conducting their housing search. However, don’t let the real estate jargon confuse you, read on to learn all about classic six apartments, and where to find them in NYC.
A classic six or “classic 6” apartment is an apartment located in a prewar building and features 6 large rooms, high ceilings, and wood floors. Specifically, these types of homes are commonly found on the Upper East Side and Upper West Side of Manhattan.
The rooms included in a classic six apartment are the living room, the dining room, a separate kitchen, two full bedrooms, and a maid’s room. Bathrooms and galleries are not included in the calculation. Classic six apartments are so desirable because they are not too commonly available.
A classic five apartment usually does not have a maid’s room. Whereas a classic seven apartment usually has an extra bedroom. Classic 8 apartments are very rare but often include a second maid’s room. Sometimes Classic 8 apartments also have an additional bathroom as well.
Typically, classic six apartments feature thick walls, large rooms, high ceilings, with oak flooring, and, in some cases, private terraces. Overall, classic 6 apartments provide a lot of privacy because the bedrooms are typically distinct and separate from the dining and entertainment space. These types of apartments have floorplans that resemble single-family homes rather than a traditional apartment.
Classic 6 apartments can be found in Co-op buildings that were built between the 1920s and the 1940s, primarily on the Upper East Side in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Additionally, some Classic 6 apartments can be found in certain parts of Brooklyn, like Crown Heights, Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights, and Prospect Heights. However, due to the fact that they have become so popular, newer developers in new constructions are incorporating features of classic 6 apartments into their projects.
Classic six apartments become common in New York City in the early 20th century and were built throughout wealthy NYC neighborhoods up until WW2. The "classic" in classic 6 refers to the fact that they are typically pre-war apartments. Classic sixes were designed as large, spacious apartments for wealthy New Yorkers, and their layouts reflected this. A classic six could comfortably house a well-off family, their kids, and a maid.
Some people find the details of a prewar classic 6 apartment to be charming. Specifically, classic six apartments typically have prewar details such as molding and define living areas. Specifically, the apartment is usually divided into 3 zones, which include the living room dining room and library the private bedrooms, and then the maid’s quarters, including the kitchen. Hallways typically keep everything separate in a classic 6 apartment.
Classic six apartments are probably not for families or individuals who prefer more flexible layouts. Additionally, the maid’s room is often tiny and unusable for most families. As such, the maid’s room often becomes a home office or closet storage space for families and individuals. The kitchens are typically smaller going by today’s standards.
Lastly, any changes or updates to the apartment must first be approved by the co-op board. However, a family that prefers a great room or needs three full-size bedrooms might want a different style of apartment.