Posts Tagged ‘tenements next to skyscrapers New York’

Holdout tenements dwarfed by towering giants

October 24, 2013

Holdoutbuildings22ndst

Every so often on New York City streets you come across a faded old walkup or tenement that’s holding its own beside a gleaming tower or tall office building.

It’s hard not to be charmed by these little underdogs, whose owners likely turned down a hefty buyout offer for the property.

I love these two buddy tenements on Third Avenue and 22nd Street, once probably part of a late 19th century row of tenements that looked just like them.

New York is all about change, and lovely buildings are always being torn down to make way for something new.

Yet there’s something strangely satisfying about a massive 20-story co-op being forced to build around these two stragglers.

Holdoutbuildings20thstreet2

On East 59th Street sits the well-maintained walkup below—squeezed between handsome 1920s residences that are at least six times the little building’s height.

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Also in the East 50s is this little guy—a fire-engine red old-school walkup wedged against a 20+ story apartment building, with other apartment residences casting cold shadows over it on its right and from behind.

Holdoutbuildingeast50s

What’s it like to live in an architectural relic—left behind from an older, smaller-scale New York—that refused to budge as the city marched forward?