The phrase "porte-cochere" comes from the French phrase "carriage porch," and throughout New York, several of the buildings that have these covered entrances or driveways date back to a prewar era when carriages were the main means of conveyance. Cars have long since displaced horses as the dominant means of conveyance, but port-cocheres have become a key feature in New York’s luxury buildings.
The prevalence of the port-cochere, a decidedly car-oriented amenity, has some scratching their heads. At the end of 2019, The New York Times noted that port-cocheres take up more space than most city apartments, and that the city was moving away from car culture. Indeed, new bike lanes and bus lanes were taking shape all over New York even before the first coronavirus case was reported, and the pandemic sped up the transition to a more pedestrian-friendly city with popular initiatives like Open Streets and Open Restaurants. Additionally, in spring 2021, as part of a new package of City Council bills aimed at New York City deliveries, Councilman Antonio Reynoso has suggested that at least 25 percent of available curb space be repurposed as loading zones in residential and commercial zones, which will cut into the number of parking spaces.
At the same time, the new initiatives have put parking at a premium and made it an in-demand amenity for car owners. Portcochere buildings typically have on-site parking garages, which gives residents one less thing to worry about. Celebrities and other high-profile individuals appreciate the privacy port-cocheres have to offer, and all types of residents appreciate being able to pull right up and unload their luggage, shop ping bags, or other cumbersome items at the entrance with the help of the building’s staff. And even those who don’t own cars appreciate the safety and shelter of a port-cochere, especially during inclement weather. Below, we take a look at the most beautiful port-cocheres in New York City residential buildings and the availabilities inside.