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6 Facts You Need to Know About New York Brownstones

A classic brownstone is a marvelous sight to behold. Despite changes over time, brownstones have made their mark on New York’s landscape. Brownstones were used as residences for ordinary people until the 1920s when apartments became popular.

Today, many homeowners still choose brownstones over townhouses or condo units.

The word “brownstone” describes sand quarried from the Upper New York Bay shoreline in the 1830s. By then, granite was becoming more common in building construction, while sandstone had different uses. Brownstone was used to build elegant homes, especially in the New York City area. These buildings have uniformity and distinction that make them stand out from other houses of the period.

New York homeowners still prefer these classic structures and want to make it their haven in the city. The history of these structures is also something worth reading. Find out why New Yorkers can’t get over how beautiful brownstones are.

A True Brownstone is Built Using Bricks

Brownstone is technically a sandstone, but homeowners today know that this refers to homes made of brownstone bricks. It’s easy to understand why the name stuck, as New York homeowners still refer to their buildings as brownstones.

Just about every part of a brownstone is built out of brick. This includes foundations walls, staircases, door frames, and fireplaces. The homeowners who choose to live in these classic homes enjoy the old-fashioned feel that brick construction brings along with it.

This distinctive design is also easier to maintain than other types of stone buildings or wood frame constructions. Brick requires less extensive maintenance when compared to any other type of building material, especially as homeowners will usually need to repaint the units after thirty years.

Brownstones Can Be Found in Many Areas of New York

The city of New York is not the only place that has these classic brownstone structures. The homeowners who live in these houses can be found all over the state, especially in areas with a large concentration of desirable neighborhoods. Brownstones are located in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Manhattan. Some homeowners across Long Island also enjoy the traditional design of Brownstones.

Some older brownstone apartments have been converted into single-family homes. Homeowners simply added rooms to connect adjacent units and renovated the apartment to update the plumbing and fixtures.

A Brownstone’s Elegant Design Makes It a Fine Piece of Real Estate


Brownstones are known for their architecture. These homes were built between 1850 and 1910, so they have intricate detailing inside and out. The exterior boasts fine masonry work, high-quality wrought iron fixtures, and elaborate cornices.

The interior also showcases a home that has been cared for by its owners. The grand, central hall and beautiful curved staircase are just the start of the home’s unique design. The floor plan includes an abundance of windows to bring in lots of natural light and high ceilings to help make them feel larger than they are.

The Stops Make Brownstones Unique

Stoops are as much a part of homeownership as the apartments themselves. These steps, which go up to the home’s main entrance, have always endeared Brownstones to homeowners all over New York.

More than just making it easier for you to enter your house, these steps always make a great first impression. The home’s brownstone design makes it even better by giving the house a classy and grand appearance that no other home might be able to match.

Great Homeowner Insurance for Brownstone Apartments

It’s neither easy nor cheap to keep up with the maintenance requirements of these historic structures, but homeowners who know what they want are willing to put in the work because they love their homes so much.

It would be best to get the right homeowners insurance for your brownstone apartments to ensure excellent protection and coverage. Your insurance may be able to cover the cost of repairs, damage, fires, or other untoward incidents that may happen to your home.

Brownstones Symbolize Wealth in NYC

Houses have always been a symbol of wealth for New York residents. The same is true for these brownstones, as their distinctive design shows off a home that you will be proud to call your own. These buildings show that the homeowner can afford something more extravagant than the average neighborhood house. They are also impressive because they were built by hand and have stood the test of time.

That’s why home buyers are willing to pay higher prices for these homes over smaller, more affordable row houses.

In today’s real estate market, homeowners are always looking for the next big thing. In New York, that fact is more evident than ever as homeowners have started to look north of the city in their search for affordable housing options. However, if you have a little extra, or are willing to invest in a house with great resale value, consider a Brownstone home.

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