Building Styles

Brownstones and Townhomes

These are four to five story high buildings built in the late 1800s through the early 1900s as single family houses. Their architectural styles usually reflect early Dutch, French and German influences. Many brownstones and townhomes were converted to multi-unit buildings (with seven to 10 units) around World War II, but in recent years have been restored and converted back to single family homes. Generally, apartments in these types of buildings have high ceilings, fireplaces, gardens and hardwood floors. Prices range from mid-priced to expensive, depending on location, size and renovations. Virtually none have a doorman.

Elevator Buildings

This term refers to a building that has elevator service but not necessarily a doorman. Usually when there is no doorman, these buildings have some type of intercom security system.


Originally commercial buildings, lofts have been converted for residential use. Characterized by wide, open, and airy space, most lofts have very high ceilings, huge windows and a unique design. Lofts rarely have a doorman. Many have private, locked elevators and are located in downtown areas such as SoHo, Chelsea, Greenwich Village, Flatiron and TriBeCa. Lofts command very high prices.

Luxury High Rise

This term refers to buildings over 20 stories tall that were built in the 1980s or later. They typically have a doorman and many feature concierge services, as well as health clubs and swimming pools.

Post-war Buildings

Typically constructed between the late 1940s through the 1970s, these buildings are usually 10 to 30 stories tall and constructed of white, red or brown brick. Most post-war buildings provide doormen and their apartments have larger layouts when compared to those in pre-war or luxury high-rise buildings.

Pre-war Buildings

Known for their character, pre-war buildings were built prior to World War II. They are characterized by their architecture and lovely, often ornate exterior and interior details. Pre-war apartments typically have beamed ceilings, and some feature fireplaces and other decorative touches. Laundry facilities can usually be found in the basement. Doormen are common, but a good number only have an intercom and buzzer system. Most pre-war buildings are co-ops. Pre-war buildings are in great demand and command premium prices.

Walk-up Buildings

This term refers to any building that does not have elevator service. It can apply to a brownstone, townhouse or a post-war three to five story building. These apartments can also be situated over storefronts located on avenues or on side streets.