In a City of Glass, New Brick Constructions Challenge the Growing Norm

The New York City skyline is arguably one of the most iconic and historical depictions of city living. The tall structures that pierce the sky are a delight to natives, newcomers, and tourist alike, but the current wave of new construction high rises has the skyline not only reaching to great new heights but also becoming increasingly glassy. It’s easily an aesthetic that is exemplary of New York City, but tall and glassy aren’t the sole icons of city living.

As glass towers reign supreme in Manhattan’s new construction market, whether they graze the clouds or top off at more modest heights, new brick structures, including these notable five, are making city strides as well.

70 Charlton Street

70 Charlton Street, developed by the masterminds of Extell Development who are also the force behind One57, underwent a few plans in terms of what was going to rise at what was originally known as 68 Charlton Street. One of the recent new constructions in Soho, the plan is a 21-story building designed by Beyer Blinder Belle that will feature a brick exterior with entrances and windows bordered by steel-framing, an ode to the area’s industrial heritage.

The Sorting House  

A new construction located in Midtown West named with influence from the post office building that dates back to 1926, 318 West 52nd Street — also known as the Sorting House — honors its past. The renovated façade, designed by Architecture Outfit (who also designed the interiors), stays true to the red brick that were originally laid. It’s past life as a post office permits large spaces for each resident and its location, a block outside the Theater District promises a wide variety of entertainment outside your four walls.

The Sterling Mason

Just a block away from Hudson River views, the Morris Adjmi Architects–designed building fits right into Tribeca’s industrial character with total ease. The façade of 71 Laight Street comes together via a mixing of media and mirror images. A tale of two, six-story buildings, the side that boasts red brick dates back to 1905, and served as a coffee and tea warehouse, while the other side is a brand new building that’s adorned in aluminum paneling that resembles the brick exterior of its older sibling.

234 East 23rd Street

The perks of living in this 20-story Gramercy new construction don’t fall short of enjoyable. Dressed in a façade that touts brick and metal by way of Goldstein Hill & West Architects, the location of the building means residents can count on close proximity to Madison Square Park and the fenced-in, private Gramercy Park. (You’d need a key for access, but it’s equally nice to boast living so close to the prestigious park.)

The idea behind the design of the building, interestingly enough, was to create the look of a Soho-style warehouse, but it’s achieved in a way that doesn’t clash with the neighborhood in which it rises.

Two Ten West 77

Developed by Naftali Group like 234 East 23rd Street, Two Ten West 77’s sleek façade of handmade Danish brick, mahogany, and bronze gives off a palace-like quality when observing the exterior and its Juliet balconies and stepped terraces. Designed by Thomas Juul-Hansen, this 18-floor Upper West Side new construction gels well with the older buildings that grace one of Manhattan’s historic neighborhoods.


Propped in a fantastic location that has the Hudson River Greenway and American Museum of Natural History on either end of 77th Street, there’s also an extensive list of shopping, dining, cultural and recreational, and fitness options surrounding Juul-Hansen’s Upper West Side residential addition.

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