Monday, January 29, 2007

Diptych #3, Manhattan #11

The ordinary brown-stone front was thus a series of pretentious shams, and with these shams miles of the streets of New York were and are composed. To live in and among them, to become inured to them, was to suffer the deprivation of taste the more pitiable for being conscious. The brown-stone front was enough to vulgarize a whole population, and in our case it came near succeeding.

Montgomery Schyler, "The Small City House in New York" Architectural Record (1899)

The neighbourhood was thought remote, and the house was built in a ghastly greenish-yellow stone that the younger architects were beginning to employ as a protest against the brownstone of which the uniform hue coated New York like a cold chocolate sauce; but the plumbing was perfect.

Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence (1920)