History & Culture
Sutton Place appears on the Commissioners’ Plan of 1811, when it (and York Avenue, which is the same street, though going by that different name between 59th and 92nd) was designated Avenue A. It wouldn’t be until the late 19th century, however, that developers began to build here and also bestowed a more tony name: Sutton Place. Then, starting around 1920, it became known as the address of choice for Manhattan’s wealthiest residents, with members of the Morgans, the Vanderbilts, and other leading families buying homes along its length. The Great Depression put a brake on the luxury real estate market here, but by the 1940s, the area’s rowhouses and luxury apartments were once again synonymous with Manhattan’s elite. Its name has appeared in cultural classics — Rodgers & Hart lyrics and Catcher in the Rye, for example — as shorthand for a certain swanky elegance, and countless movies have used the setting to convey privileged wealth.