Why are NYC postwar apartment buildings generally ugly?

Apartment buildings built in New York City since 1945 are generally:

1. White brick buildings built in the 1950s and 1960s.  They are bland and often the white brick is discolored.

2.  Bland buildings built in the 1970s and 1980s.

3. Brick buildings built in the 1990s and 2000s, with the concrete used for floors exposed as cement stripes at each level, without ornamentation: just basic brick with cement showing through.

None of these types are attractive.  Plus the range of unattractive architectural styles around New York City don’t match.

Why do builders in New York City do this?  Some of the newer high-end condominium buildings are pretty sleek, and a lot of the buildings built in, say, the 1890s are at least visually interesting.  So attractive buildings can be built.

Nobody in, say, Charlotte or Cincinnati would pay top dollar for an apartment in a building as ugly as the scores of ugly buildings around NYC.  Other cities have more appealing architecture.

2 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    A lot of buildings that old are ugly, not just in NYC.  You pay top dollar in NYC because it is NYC.   Other cities do not have buildings as old as NYC. 

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  • 1 month ago

    It was the style of the day.

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