Thursday, September 15, 2005
Art Deco apartment houses are the most prevalent Art Deco building type surviving in the United States today. In sheer numbers, more filling stations were built (approximately 20,000), though an overwhelming number of these have been demolished, leaving apartment houses as being the most prevalent surviving building type.
Washington Heights and Inwood are fortunate to have the largest concentration of Art Deco apartment houses on Manhattan, and one of the largest concentrations of Art Deco apartment houses in the United States.
This fact has largely gone unrecognized by many people, including property owners, local government, community leaders, and leading experts and scholars on Art Deco in New York City - that is until now. Limited understanding of the significance of the Art Deco buildings of Northern Manhattan poses the greatest threat to their survival. Though education alone is not enough. This requires a comprehensive effort to generate local interest and pride, and financial incentives to help protect these buildings.
Appropriate recognition of the Art Deco apartment houses in Washington Heights and Inwood has the added advantage in promoting recognition and understanding of Art Deco apartment houses nationwide.