- New York City doormen guard the entrances to some of the city’s most expensive residences.
- Their jobs are notoriously private, and some are under strict NDAs that keep them quiet about the residents they guard.
- Photographer Sam Golanski photographed the doormen of Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
Many of New York’s wealthiest people reside in multimillion-dollar condos on Park Avenue on the Upper East Side. There’s 740 Park Avenue, where John D. Rockefeller, Blackstone founder Steve Schwarzman, and business tycoon David Koch have all lived. Just down the street at 730 Park Avenue, “billionaire bidding wars” have led to some sky-high home sales, including a penthouse that reportedly sold to hedge funder Daniel Benton for $US39 million in 2012.
Guarding the entrance to these and other tony buildings along Park Avenue are the doormen who often live vastly different lives than those inside. A doorman’s tasks can vary greatly, as they assist residents with everything from running errands, to loading up their cars, to calling cabs, and most importantly, providing security. As of 2014, unionized doormen in New York City made an average of $US49,402 a year.
It was the unusual job of the doorman that photographer Sam Golanski was most interested in when he visited New York in 2015. He convinced them to pose briefly for his camera. “These guys are real people who need more attention. [They’re] not pampered celebs wearing their Gucci bags and expensive watches,” Golanski told Business Insider.
Ahead, see 11 doormen pose outside their posts.
'In many cases it's a job for life,' Golanski said. 'One gentleman said he had been working as a doorman at the same building since (the) late '70s.'
An important part of the job of a doorman is to keep residents' personal lives private. 'They do witness a lot about resident life, but there is a secret agreement between them and the people they serve not to talk about it to outsiders,' Golanski said.
As for the buildings they're guarding, many have a rich history. 485 Park Avenue, for example, was originally built in 1922. This 15-story building has 24 apartments, two of which are currently on sale for $3.5 million and $3.9 million apiece.
575 Park Avenue is also known as The Beekman. A co-op of 110 apartments, it was built in 1928. According to public record, apartments here have sold for an average of $945 per square foot.
In 2014, 737 Park Avenue made news with the listing of a $32 million penthouse that came with a roof terrace.
When 480 Park Avenue was first converted into a co-op building in 1951, it was one of the largest apartment buildings in the city to ever be converted.
Designed by James E. R. Carpenter, who was renowned in the 1900s for being the architect behind many of the city's luxury high rises, 812 Park Avenue originally sold 15-room triplexes and 13-room duplexes. Today, it is mostly made up of duplexes, one of which recently sold for $7.2 million.
610 Park Avenue, a 15-story condo building, is part of the Trump Organisation's real estate portfolio. Converted in 1998 from a hotel into condos, the building dates back to 1925.
When 930 Park Avenue was first converted into a co-op in 1946, the 14-story building had an assessed value of just $685,000. According to recent property data, it's now valued at more than $14.5 million.
Golanski's aim with the series was simple: 'I hope people will understand and respect more (those) who serve us everyday, and who we pass by without even paying any attention to.'
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.