150 Years of Architectural Evolution

Contrast of Old and New - New York, New York

Contrast of Old and New – New York, New York

I’m on 23rd Street on the west side of Manhattan. In front is a four-story red brick building built around the mid-19th century. That’s when many of these tenement-like structures proliferated. To the left is a cock-eyed silver structure post-2000, I’m guessing. That’s 150 years (or so) of architectural evolution in one image.

What would the 19th-century builders think about this modernist structure? Would they be amazed by its lightweight, glass-dominated design? Or would they be puzzled by its slanting walls?

I generally prefer modern buildings over older ones. However, I think the classic designs are often more honest. Other than the decorative cornice, these brick buildings are simple and beautiful. The silver building tries too hard to be different. Its undulating design appears to have no practical use, and it doesn’t improve the aesthetics in my book.

The metal overpass is part of the High Line I’ve featured for several posts. It’s not particularly beautiful at street level but fits the industrial neighborhood. Ultimately, the alien silver building might be the most visually detracting, though thankfully not humdrum.

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2 thoughts on “150 Years of Architectural Evolution

  1. I always enjoy your observations and how you see things in New York City one visit that, quite frankly, a more frequent visitor like myself does not see.

    While I generally prefer the architecture of modern buildings, older brick buildings tend to have murals that I think add character to those old city streets. A few murals can be seen when one walks along The High Line.

    I like this series of images you capture on the GFX. The large sensor format seems to capture details and highlights that the X-series sensors do not.

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