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The Building Styles of New York City Apartments for Rent

NYC is a melting pot of various cultures, ideals and practices. Because it has always been a main port of entry for immigrants, the area has pockets of distinct character. You’ll find unique building styles not only in each borough, but also from neighborhood to neighborhood. It’s helpful to know what some of the different terms mean when you look through New York City apartments for rent listings so you’ll have some idea of what to expect from each building before you visit.

Dwelling Type

* Townhome- A to wnhome is a style of home that shares at least one main wall with another home. They often contain multiple floors and were originally designed for a single family to live in. Some have been divided up into smaller apartments over time.

* Row Houses- A row house is a specific style of townhome, in which the homes are lined up and share a side wall.

* Brownstones- A brownstone home is typically thought of as a row house that was designed in the early 19th century using sandstone. However, some people will refer to any row house as a brownstone or any home with a brown façade as one too. These are highly-sought after and dot the more affluent neighborhoods. They’ll usually have a garden area and are sometimes broken up into smaller apartments.

* Lofts- A loft is normally a commercial or industrial building that was converted into an apartment building. They generally boast high ceilings and massive windows.

* Tenements- Tenement housing became popular in the early 19th century as well. They began as single-family homes that were divided up into units to house multiple families. As the population boomed, every inch of land would be worked into the design so more people could be accommodated. This led to unsafe conditions, and most of the buildings were torn down or remodeled over time.

Era

Another way apartments may be described is determined by whether they were built before or after World War II. Pre-war units typically have beautiful designs, hardwood floors and thicker walls. Post-war ones will be more modern and will probably have more amenities, but may not possess the charm of a pre-war building.

Floorplan

People often use the terms “railroad” and “wing” interchangeably, though there are some slight differences in the two. They both refer to long and narrow units, and the designs became popular in the early-to-mid 20th century as the population continued to grow. Wings generally position bedrooms on each end of the unit. Railroads can be the same, but occasionally, they lack a hallway and you must pass through multiple rooms to reach your own.
There are numerous other styles as well, though these are some of the most commonly found ones. Exercise diligence as you search for New York City apartments for rent, so you’re sure to find the building style that’s right for you.

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