Infill Lots Disappearing In New York

Infill lots are now hot property in New York -- and developing them has forever changed the landscape of New York.

"...Building a town house has its unique problems in New York: With no staging area for contractors and the need for expensive underpinning of the neighbor's foundations, prices can range from $500 to $1,500 per square foot. But the phenomenal rise of real estate prices and ability to flip even small properties (this, the town of million-dollar studios), it has become economically feasible to build on these empty parcels. With the city’s small infill lots being snapped up at unparalleled pace, the experience of walking in the city has been forever changed in a relatively short period of time."

Full Story: House In Town



Is this house a jewel box or a fishbowl?

He says the first house he describes (Town House, Upper East Side, Manhattan, Alexander Gorlin Architects) is a "jewel box of a house." To me, it looks more like a fishbowl, with floor-to-ceiling windows that let any bypasser look in.

This is a modernist cliche. Across the street from me, there is a 1960 ticky-tacky apartment house with the same floor-to-ceiling windows. Three of the four apartments keep their curtains closed at all times, day and night, so they never get any benefit from those windows.

The illustration shows the town house with impeccable furnishings but with no people in it. I expect that, once people move in, they will start keeping their curtains closed, since it is the only way to get any privacy at all.

It is time for modernists to forget the cliche of glass walls and to go back to human-scale windows.
Charles Siegel

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