Architecture - Reflection | New York City, New York

© Sophie W. Smith

Melville, United States

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Artist's Description

The character of New York’s large residential districts is often defined by the elegant brownstone rowhouses, townhouses, and tenements that were built during a period of rapid expansion from 1870 to 1930. In contrast, New York City also has neighborhoods that are less densely populated and feature free-standing dwellings. In the outer boroughs, large single-family homes are common in various architectural styles such as Tudor Revival and Victorian. Split two-family homes are also widely available across the outer boroughs, especially in the Flushing area.

Stone and brick became the city’s building materials of choice after the construction of wood-frame houses was limited in the aftermath of the Great Fire of 1835. Unlike Paris, which for centuries was built from its own limestone bedrock, New York has always drawn its building stone from a far-flung network of quarries and its stone buildings have a variety of textures and hues. A distinctive feature of many of the city’s buildings is the presence of wooden roof-mounted water towers. In the 19th century, the city required their installation on buildings higher than six stories to prevent the need for excessively high water pressures at lower elevations, which could burst municipal water pipes. Garden apartments became popular during the 1920s in outlying areas, including Jackson Heights in Queens, which became more accessible with expansion of the subway. Read more

Artwork Comments

  • John Schneider
  • © Sophie W. Smith
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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