What is a classic-6?

Updated March 7, 2022

A classic-6 is a real estate term popular in New York that refers to apartments built in the prewar era with six rooms. The term “classic” references the 1920s through1940, during which time these residences were created. Classic-6 homes often fall within the range of 1,500 to2,000 square feet.

These apartments typically include two bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, formal dining room and a maid’s quarters with its own bathroom (bathrooms are not counted as part of the “six”). The maid’s room can be used as a third bedroom, but it is often located right off of the kitchen and is much smaller than the other rooms in the house. It may be more suited as an office or guest room. 

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Flexible layout


Classic-6 apartments are commonly found on the Upper East Side and the Upper West Side of New York, in older, more formal co-operative buildings. Features of these units often include thick walls and high-ceilings reaching at least nine feet tall. Detailed molding and cornices often frame the spacious rooms, which have solid core doors and equally spacious closets. 

Primary bedrooms often have an attached en-suite bathroom with a second bathroom off the main hallway. Hardwood floors, grand entrance galleries and large foyers are other touchstones of a classic-6, but the most desirable features are a working wood-burning fireplace and a private terrace. This floor plan with its clearly defined rooms allows for high levels of privacy.

A classic-6 is a real estate term popular in New York that refers to apartments built in the prewar era with six rooms. Credit: Hardik Pandya/Unsplash

The downside of the classic-6 apartment is that they do not include high-end apartment or building amenities found at some newly built buildings. The clearly defined rooms are very different from the popular open-concept, airy home of today. Kitchens in classic-6 apartments are much smaller than traditional homes as they were often used by a maid instead of an entire family. Many classic-6 apartments are part of a co-op, so if owners want to make any updates they are required to seek approval from the co-op board before going ahead with any changes. 

This apartment layout has always been considered an ideal family home, with a designated space for different activities, but a large family great room is desirable these days as it makes it easier to monitor young children. This style of city living has gained popularity in recent times, however, due to the fact that more people are working from home and prefer the privacy of a room with a closed door. 

Modifications on the classic-6 can be found in the form of a classic-5, classic-7 or even a classic-8. The maid’s room is missing from the classic-5. The classic-7 has the addition of a third full bedroom and the classic-8 has a fourth room for a second maid.

Developers are now introducing the ornate embellishments of classic-6 apartments into new construction, so buyers can enjoy the elegant, old style with today’s luxury amenities such as a gym and pool. This also saves buyers from having to find a prewar building and pass a co-op board. 

The average asking price of a classic-6 in a New York co-op is US$2.8 million, according to real estate agency Compass. They are often hard to come by and even harder to find as a rental.