New York City’s apartment building boom has been hailed as a “once in a lifetime” opportunity for young, ambitious renters, but some of the buildings have looked downright unkempt.
New York Times columnist Jonathan Chait argues the city’s new apartment boom may be causing some of this to change, but for now, the apartment buildings are just as unkemptered as ever.
“It’s been a weird, strange, beautiful, ugly city,” says one New York developer.
“These buildings are almost like old neighborhoods.
They look like a city, but they don’t look like neighborhoods.”
Chait writes that while the apartment towers in New York are beautiful, they aren’t quite as diverse as other New York neighborhoods.
The city’s skyline looks much more like a cluster of buildings than the skyline of Manhattan, which is what we usually think of when we think of the city.
“The way you see the skyline is that it’s divided into three regions: the Manhattan, the Queens, and the Bronx,” says architect Frank Gehry.
Gehry was born in Brooklyn, but moved to New York when he was young.
Gehrys has designed a number of buildings in the city, including the iconic World Trade Center and the World Financial Center, which were constructed with money from the World Trade Organization.
Gehries most famous projects include the Chrysler Building, the iconic Chrysler Museum and the Grand Central Terminal.
But Gehry also designed the Lincoln Center, the world-famous Smithsonian Museum, and many other buildings.
“I don’t think there is any reason to think that there is not a city-wide problem with this,” he says.
“This is not just a city problem, this is a global problem.”
But is the city really in a crisis?
Chait tells his story of working in the office of architect Daniel Libeskind.
Libes, who also worked in the design of the Chrysler Museum, says that while some of these buildings look very similar, the architecture of these towers was different than what you might see in Manhattan.
“They were designed for different uses, for different people,” Libes says.
For example, the World Bank Building in New Jersey is designed for a single purpose: It’s a bank building, but it also houses offices for a global banking company, Deutsche Bank.
The buildings are often surrounded by parking lots, so the apartments have a different feel to them than the streets surrounding them.
“If you walk into a building, it feels like a different building,” Libs says.
While he has no reason to believe the apartment building problem is caused by the global economy, he does say that it could be a long-term issue for the city and its neighborhoods.
“There are still buildings in New England that look like this,” Libis says.
“They are designed to be used as an office building, and as an apartment building, they’re built to be as compact as possible,” says the architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who designed the World’s Fair in New Orleans.
Wright was born and raised in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and was a designer of architectural landmarks in Boston and Boston’s Chinatown.
“We’ve had a long time of trying to do that, and it hasn’t worked very well,” Wright says.
The Boston Globe recently featured a report on a new study from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst that showed the average income of renters in Boston’s inner suburbs is about $100,000 lower than in New Haven.
But it also found that New Englanders are just like the rest of the country: they’re middle class.
“So we’re kind of looking at a middle-class society, which would not have been possible if this wasn’t happening,” says David Crouch, a professor of sociology at New York University and author of “The City: A Brief History.”
But there’s a solution, according to the architect Daniel Loeb, who has built some of New York ‘s most iconic buildings.
Loeb says that he believes New York apartments could be transformed.
“What you need is a whole new set of ideas about how to create more of these apartments,” Loeb tells the Times.
“How can we build more units with a lot of amenities and conveniences, and then maybe also build a little bit more density?”
He says that New York apartment buildings can look very different from other cities, but that he would prefer to see the buildings be a mix of traditional buildings with new ideas.
“We have this incredible opportunity to redesign and reimagine the urban fabric,” Loab says.
He believes that this could be done by taking a look at the different buildings in Manhattan and comparing them with the buildings in other cities.
“That will let us see if we can create these buildings that look different and maybe even better,” Loob says.
But some of Loeb’s fellow architects aren’t so sure.
“At least in the case of the World Building, you’re talking about