Despite a love for all things new and shiny, New York City offers a wealth of classic architecture, including the glorious and highly coveted brownstone.
The emergence of the brownstone dates to New York's early history, way back when chickens roamed freely above 34th Street. Prior to the 1830s, most new buildings constructed in the city had either brick or wood facades. Although more sophisticated building materials were available, stones such as marble were too costly as they needed to be cut by hand and transported long distances. The mid-19th century brought an economic boom, resulting in a new and growing urban middle class with a taste for a more refined style of housing. Brownstone, a type of sandstone, was ready on hand nearby in New Jersey and Connecticut and could be easily shipped to New York City by barge. And so, brownstone veneers entered into the architectural picture.
Today, Manhattan's Upper West Side and Harlem neighborhoods are renowned for their beautiful brownstones.