Wednesday, 27 February 2013

What's Under the Siding

There's nothing positive to say about the state Hurricane Sandy left Red Hook in. But the storm did pull off one slightly interesting trick.

In the mid-20th century, in a misguided effort at beautification, many a Brooklyn and Queens building was sadly blanketed in aluminum siding. I've often wondered, as I walked by these eyesores, what sort of structure lay beneath the sheath of cheap metal blandness. I always pictured a handsome red-brick home or a brownstone.

Sandy ripped off a good chunk of siding from a three-story home on Verona Street. And the surface beneath it was not what I expected. There's basically a kind of plaster, stucco facade, colored a sort of umber. Nothing very attractive. It looks like the building was made of oatmeal. The window lintels are somewhat more interesting, but only slightly.

That said, it's still better looking than the siding. But you kind of understand why the owners, a half century ago, opted to a new, somewhat cleaner look.

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