When I was on a recent trip to North America we saw many different types of houses, apartments and farmsteads – all in different materials. Mostly timber, it must be said. Whilst we were grinding our way around a very seriously busy and congested New York, there was plenty of opportunities to look up at the amazing blocks – mostly glass, steel, varying amounts of concrete. Even though it is so heavily built on, each block has a beauty – the mansion blocks of the older styles are particularly attractive with railings outside the top windows and a very French look.
The maintenance of these buildings must be more challenging than in any other city – there is no room on any pavement to get ladders and several buildings have scaffolding that is wrapped in safety polythene – usually green. This is because landlords can get away with securing a failing building by wrapping it and then not actually getting anyone in to carry out the necessary repairs.