Why I Love Prewar Architecture
I am often asked why I love prewar apartments. What is so special about these grand old buildings?
Here are some of the features that make them special:
- The construction methods of the times necessitated thicker exterior walls, providing for deeper window recesses. This heaviness provides a feeling of security, truly bringing to mind “A man’s home is his castle.”
- The ceilings are higher, often with exposed beams.
- The lathe and plaster walls deaden sound better, and even when skim-coated have a textural quality that sheet rock lacks.
- The baseboards are taller, the picture and crown moldings are not “extras”, the doors are thick solid slabs of wood, and the case moldings are much broader.
All of these features provide a sense of solidity for lack of a better word, and this makes people subconsciously feel safe and secure.
The layouts, with rooms large enough to actually accommodate family gatherings, are a big part of what makes prewar apartments special. The flow of Foyer, Living Room, Dining Room, and Library allows for a gracious way to live. Although most of us live very differently today than was typical in the 1920’s, there are certain timeless tableaux. A family gathered around a large table under a glittering chandelier for Thanksgiving, or opening gifts in front of a glowing fireplace are timeless, and these are the images that we seek to make real.