“They were initially really maligned as a crystallization of pure real estate justification with architecture that had just been attached,” said Liz Falletta, an architect and professor of planning and urbanism on the University of Southern California. “But we have built enough of them which you could rent them at a reasonable price. And now they’re celebrated for his or her mid-century modern design, and there is plenty of nostalgia for them.”
Brownstones, which now sell for hundreds of thousands in New York City, were also hated of their heyday.
“Although later considered authentic, contemporaries rejected the sandstone stones as modern and artificial,” wrote Suleiman Osman, professor of American studies at George Washington University, in his book The Invention of Brownstone Brooklyn.
“When one saw one house, one saw all of them,” one critic, quoted in Mr. Osman’s book, wrote concerning the sandstone tenement houses within the nineteenth century.
As with sandstone townhouses and dingbats, the bad taste may fade over time.
“In 20, 30, 40 years, many individuals will live in them. In their role as housing and much-needed housing, people can view them more positively,” Ms Falletta said of today’s buildings. “Maybe they will not be recognized pretty much as good design, but people’s attitudes will change.”
According to Freddie Mac, there was a 3.8 million housing shortage within the country at the tip of 2020. Multi-family buildings, despite their aesthetic flaws, can fill this gap much faster and cheaper than, say, sandstone townhouses or bungalows.
Critics agree that more housing is a positive, but in addition imagine that the present construction misses the chance.
“Building houses is more necessary than picking on aesthetics,” said Kate Wagner, architecture critic and creator of “McMansion Hellblog, “but there’s definitely room within the case for aesthetic improvements.”