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Gentrification is the ongoing story of nearly all New York City neighborhoods. Whether it's SoHo in the 1960's or Williamsburg in the 1990's, you can see its effects nearly everywhere you walk. But this is not a new dynamic. Neighborhoods rarely start off as rich and well-developed, and a prime example of that is Sutton Place.
Prior to the 1880's, Sutton Place was continuation of Avenue A. Even after receiving its new name the street was home to middle-class brownstones and the Central Park Brewery. It wasn't until the 1920's that the upper class decided they would like some Upper East Side waterfront property and began building mansions and massive cooperative apartments.