Architecture Review: Astoria

by JACQUELINE CHANCER · June 26, 2008

Astoria ArchitectureWith rising rents all across the city, it's surely not news that the outer boroughs have experienced a surge in construction and an influx of inhabitants. It's a common phenomena, one that is only increasing as the economy wavers. Take Astoria for instance, once home to a large population of Greeks and Italians, which is seeing a strong trickle of youth. But, I'm not here to discuss demographics, rather the housing itself.

Looking around Astoria, one sees the majority of buildings are yellow or red brick multiple family houses or apartment buildings. There is a certain old-school charm to these buildings, and in the same vein the architecture is not how should I say cutting edge.

That is not to say the living spaces leave something to be desired, because they don't emulate the avant-garde glass structures popping up all across Manhattan. But rather, the structures are as charming as the area's long-term residents sipping coffee in the European style cafes that line 30th Ave.

Everywhere you look there is construction in Astoria. For the most part, builders have taken into account the architectural history of the area. But, the builders of this little number on 47th Street in Astoria refused to embrace the brick which Astoria was founded on. With its large, impractical glass windows (with a view of the apartment building across the street?!?), this apartment complex has been on the market for well over a year, if not more.

Building began in late 2005, early 2006, this apartment complex was built atop a double lot containing a single family house. Yet its sleek design has yet to attract any buyers. It is not a bad design, I find it rather nice, but it's certainly not fit for Astoria. Perhaps if it were higher, it would fare better across the river. But, at this rate it only seems fit for a beach in Malibu.