Some of America’s oldest rental apartment buildings pre-date the Civil War and are still occupied by renters today. Here are the top 20 oldest apartment buildings, according to research by RentCafe.
The oldest apartment building on the list is the quaint Pendleton in Cincinnati, Ohio. Dating back to before the Civil War, the red brick structure is alive with residents inhabiting its 78 rental units.
The top 20 oldest buildings renting today are more than 135 years old and are characteristic of the North and Northeast region.
- Cambridge Oxford is the second oldest, located near Yale University in the heart of New Haven, Conn. With 84 boutique apartments, it’s been a desirable place for renters since 1860.
- History-rich places, as well as some northern cities, have the oldest apartment buildings in the country. Buildings in Boston, Mass., top our chart with an average age of 105. It’s followed by Minneapolis, Minn., (104) and Springfield, Mass. (101).
- Meanwhile, 26 percent of the country’s old inventory is in Manhattan, a whopping 923 buildings that still rent.
“A building’s endurance and durability can be attributed to the materials used back in the day,” said Kurt Walker, a real estate investor and real estate agent for Cream City Home Buyers. “Raw materials used to cost a fraction of what they do today. Materials can make a building last more, but they can also cause a structure to wither.”
Real estate experts agree that the charm of older buildings is a big factor when renters choose them over newer ones. But there are other, more practical reasons, too — good old insulation in particular, the RentCafe report said.
“One of the biggest draws to buildings constructed before 1950 is charm,” said Marina Vaamonde, founder and commercial real estate investor at PropertyCashin. “Many folks are attracted to the look and feel of these older buildings, and there is often a certain status that living in a well-maintained, pre-1950s apartment block brings. There are more practical benefits, however. One of the biggest is the soundproofing and insulation in a lot of older apartment blocks in cities like New York or Chicago. These buildings are often reported to be a lot quieter and warmer than modern ones.”
Barry Saywitz, president of The Saywitz Company, added: “Renovated and/or upgraded older buildings tend to have a charm that you cannot find with a newer product. In many metropolitan areas, these are attractive and well-located. In many instances, the walls are solid and provide better insulation from weather and noise.”
Here are the top 20 oldest apartments: