Professor Montgomery

Comparing Urban New York/Brooklyn architecture and streetscape

Manhattan and Brooklyn have architecturally significant buildings in a wide range of styles showing different historical and cultural times. The Architecture and streetscape of Manhattan and Brooklyn had a major influence by the Dutch and British style during the beginning of the urban development, even though both Manhattan and Brooklyn differ in terms of forms, details and structure.

Brooklyn Heights neighborhood is largely composed of blocks of picturesque rowhouses and a few mansions. A great range of architectural styles is represented in the buildings, such as Greek revival. Some houses were constructed of brick and wood but the dominant building material was brownstone.  A typical brownstone house is three or four stories tall with the main floor above the street level and reached by the stairs referred to as a stoop a word derived from Dutch. The basement is typically a half down from the street, the rear of the lot would be a private garden. Also, Brooklyn Heights has very few high-rise buildings with three, four and five-story buildings creating a neighborly atmosphere where Manhattan has a different structure and design of the building environment.

On the other hand, Manhattan has been a powerful city from the beginning and has been shaped by big tall buildings and big structures using solid stone and brick. Manhattan’s large residential areas are mostly defined by elegant brownstones rowhouses, townhouses, and tenements that were built during the 1800s defining the city growth and development. Stone buildings in Manhattan have a unique form where the first floors are taller than the rest of the other floors with a variety of textures, designs, and shapes. Also, the windows are particularly similar to the floor structure for example windows in the first floor are very different than the upper floors, it seems to follows a pattern where the first and upper floors are divided in two forms even thought is just one building with a different form of design.

In the end, we can see the difference between Brooklyn and Manhattan architecture and streetscape by looking at the structures and forms of the buildings where Manhattan has the tallest elegant buildings and commercial structure while Brooklyn had a lower scale building with a more neighborly atmosphere. In terms of streetscape Manhattan have a more organized and wide space while Brooklyn lacks organization and space.

1 Comment

  1. J A Montgomery


    There are sentences/phrases in your text that are taken from other sources. They must be cited at ALL TIMES. These assignments are to be completed in your own words. If you use a source, cite it but also paraphrase. The majority of the writing should be original as a reflection on your learning, not a citation of facts.

    Prof. Montgomery

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