Tudor City is an apartment complex located on the southern edge of Turtle Bay on the East Side of Manhattan in New York City, near Turtle Bay’s border with Kips Bay.
Construction commenced in 1927, making the building the first residential skyscraper complex in the world. It is bordered by 40th Street to the south, First Avenue to the east, Second Avenue to the west, and 43rd Street to the north.
Tudor City takes its name from England’s Tudor dynasty, which ruled from 1485 to 1603 and included King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I.
Before Tudor City was constructed, tenements and slums dominated the area, which bordered slaughterhouses and a power plant along First Avenue on the East River.
The area was known as “Goat Hill” (goats and squatters ruled the area) and later “Prospect Hill”. The area eventually developed into a shanty Irish community known as “Corcoran’s Roost”, founded by Jimmy Corcoran, in the 1850s. It later became known as a community with a high rate of violent crime and as a haven for waterfront thieves, most notably the Rag Gang, during the late 19th century.
In the 1920s, the real estate developer Fred F. French sought to lure tenants to Tudor City, his vision of an urban Utopia — a “human residential enclave” that boasted “tulip gardens, small golf courses, and private parks.”
Tudor City’s 15 buildings, comprising 11 co-op apartment buildings and four brownstones, are home to more than 5,000 residents. The complex includes restaurants, a hotel, grocery, a gourmet deli, and convenience stores, a hair salon, laundries and dry cleaners, as well as three garden parks and a children’s playground. Tudor City is also known for its rooftop TUDOR CITY sign overlooking 42nd Street.