Quintessential New York Pre-War Apartments for Less Than You’d Think


When you think of what makes a quintessential New York City apartment—one with a lot of character and charm—you probably picture a pre-war apartment (even if you don’t realize it).

Built between the 1880s and 1939 in both Manhattan—the highest concentration is in the Upper West Side, though you can find them pretty much all throughout the borough—and some areas of Brooklyn, pre-war buildings were made with a lot of personality. Characteristics like detailed hardwood floors, high, often beamed ceilings, crown molding, and sunken living rooms are common traits of a pre-war apartment, and often what we think of when we daydream about the perfect New York apartment.

It’s important to note if you’re interested in buying one, pre-war apartments are most often co-ops—but if that doesn’t interest you, you can find apartments (including rentals) with pre-war characteristics in many neighborhoods. In the meantime, you can daydream along with us about the apartments below…

Neighborhood: Midtown West, Manhattan
Year Built: 1939
Price: $500,000
Size: Studio, 1 Bathroom
Features: A decorative fireplace, 9 foot ceilings, marble countertops, a dishwasher and more, plus a part-time doorman and an elevator in the building. Check out the rest of this apartment at Douglas Elliman.

Neighborhood: Midtown West, Manhattan
Year Built: 1920
Price: $569,000
Size: 1 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom
Features: 11 foot ceilings, 2 large closets, a newly renovated kitchen and bathroom. The building is pet-friendly and has a rooftop garden, plus a gym and a playroom. See more photos at Corcoran (also, see the featured imagine above!).

Neighborhood: Midtown East, Manhattan
Year Built: 1924
Price: $450,000
Size: Studio, 1 Bathroom
Features: An eat-in kitchen, granite countertops, an integrated king-size Murphy bed, beamed ceilings, hardwood floors and more, plus the building has an elevator, doorman and laundry facilities. See the rest of this home at Kian Realty.

Neighborhood: Gramercy, Manhattan
Year Built: 1931
Price: $449,500
Size: Studio, 1 Bathroom
Features: Dark hardwood floors, beamed ceilings, a hidden Murphy bed, 2 closets, and a newly renovated kitchen. The building is pet-friendly and has a doorman and rooftop deck. Check out the full listing at Douglas Elliman.

Neighborhood: Park Slope, Brooklyn
Year Built: 1921
Price: $549,000
Size: 1 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom
Features: Hardwood floors, a windowed galley kitchen, a dishwasher, tons of natural light and more, along with a shared garden for the building and on-site laundry facilities. See the rest of this home at Dwell Residential.

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