Tudor City: Manhattan’s Historic Residential Enclave tells the story of Tudor City, the massive apartment complex on the far east side of midtown Manhattan.
Tudor City, often referred to as a city-within-a-city, is not just the architectural masterpiece created by real estate developer Fred F. French but the first residential skyscraper complex in the world. Beyond its sheer size—immense for its time—Tudor City set a pattern for urban residential development by creating from scratch what was designed to be an essentially self-sustaining community. As well, the ways in which money was raised to build Tudor City were unprecedented in the 1920s, this too making the complex an important milestone in the history of real estate development. The community's beloved parks served as a much-contested site in the 1970s and 1980s, with developers and preservationists fiercely battling it out on the streets and in the courts. The almost century-long rollercoaster ride of Tudor City is nothing short of fascinating, and tells us much about the ups and downs of New York City over the decades.