Prewar and Postwar A Residential Architecture Primer

When visitors to New York, or even some residents, are asked about landmark, historic or architecturally striking buildings here, they'll probably mention the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, the Woolworth Tower, Grand Central Station, the Guggenheim Museum, the Flatiron Building, and maybe the Museums of Modern Art and Natural History and the United Nations.

Ask them about significant or landmark apartment buildings, however, and most will have to think twice. Most will know the Dakota - but probably more for the fact that John Lennon lived there than for anything else.

The city is full of architecturally significant residential buildings however, many of which are now co-ops and condos. Their history is much less celebrated than their commercial counterparts, but these buildings are innovative nonetheless. Furthermore, architecturally innovative apartment houses are still being built in New York.

Center of Innovation?

Is New York City a center of architectural innovation and experimentation? Opinions among architectural professionals vary.

Architect Daniel Koplowitz of Preservation Design Group in Blauvelt, N.Y., which is in Rockland County, says, "New York is the center of the universe. It has some great schools, like Columbia, and you get the cream of the crop in all aspects of design, including industrial and architectural."


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  • You forgot Parkway Village in Queens, a garden apartment of historic significance built for the United Nations employees at the time the UN was formed.