Embracing and Preserving New York’s Pre-War Architecture

Architecture-New-York New York by Gehry and the lower Manhattan skyline.
New York by Gehry and the lower Manhattan skyline | Flickr, Vivienne

(New York) — Anyone who has strolled along the streets of New York City has probably noticed the start contrast in different types of New York architecture. Examples of architecture that are distinctively “old” New York, and buildings that are entirely “new” New York can be found all around the city. While some of the most noticeable “new” New York buildings create the impressive New York skyline, for many New Yorkers it is the historic “old” New York buildings that give the city its charm.

Hearst Tower, Designed by Foster & Partners | Architecture Style
Hearst Tower, Designed by Foster & Partners | Architecture Style

The historic brownstones, and townhomes or pre-war buildings as they are called, have made the city one of the richest in the country for historic architecture. While some New Yorkers are fans of the historic structures and others seem to prefer some of the more modern structures around the city, these pre-war housing structures still make up a significant part of the current New York real estate market.

While there are many buyers looking to invest in one of these historic residences; for sellers and brokers, it is important to know how to stage a pre-war building to ensure it is still competitive in today’s market. With proper staging the right areas of the property, and the areas that commonly make these homes so desirable, can be highlighted. This should be done while areas that may be lacking when compared to modern buildings, are gracefully downplayed.

Knowing staging with these types of homes is often more important than any other type of property in the city, which is why many experts recommend a few basic tips in properly staging pre-war listings. The key for most sellers is to combine the old world architecture of the home with some modern design, showing how the two worlds can be combined and how older buildings can still serve as beautiful new modern homes.

Architectural features of the properties such as elegant molding, hand carved wood paneling or mantels, and bold fireplaces should all be highlighted.  Furniture should be modern without being in too stark of contrast to the original designs of the home. One of the most important things to keep in mind is while the home may be older, the space in the home should be arranged in a way that is functional for modern living. This can be a challenge but is one of the best ways to show the benefits of owning one of these older homes.

When brokers help prepare these homes for a sale, it is more important than ever to market the home to the type of buyer who will be buying interested in these properties since these homes appeal to a more specific group of buyers. When it comes to selling these pre-war properties, the key to success is embracing and preserving the pre-war architecture while still creating a modern home that is both functional and visually appealing to buyers.

First Published: EPOCH TIMES


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