998 5th is by far the grandest apartment building in the city.
I wouldn't go so far as to say "by far." Â There are a handful that give it a run for its (considerable) money. Â It is damned impressive, however.
It was actually the first luxury apartment building in the city
Not exactly. Â It would be more precise to say that it was the first East Side building built specifically to attract the limestone-townhouse-dwelling upper class. Â Other luxury apartment buildings came before, but 998 was the first intended to replace the townhouse with no corners cut.