- Renters Guide
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What is a Classic Six Apartment?
The Classic 6 apartment is one of New York City's most sought-after apartment layouts for families looking for a home in a few select neighborhoods. A NYC Classic 6 apartment consists 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 bath. There are also at least two other full bathrooms in the Classic 6 apartment, and often a separate laundry room as well.
The Classic 6 apartment is coveted by families most obviously for its generous size, in terns of strict square footage, as well as for its layout, which often beautifully combines openness with privacy. In many Classic 6 apartment layouts, 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 NYC 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. And because Classic 6 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 of Classic 6 apartments 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 in many Classic 6 apartments.
Classic 6 apartments are also so desirable for NYC families simply because they are so rare. 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, Classic 6 apartments are, by definition, in finite supply. Even more rare are Classic 6 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 Classic 6 apartments themselves. Often these homes have had a single tenant for decades, and definitely need some sprucing up.