NYC Apartments Have Come A Long Way. Look at 50’s Living in Rentals

We peek back into the world of the 1950s and 1960s by tuning in to watch Don Draper in Mad Men, and we see the best of 50s and 60s style. It was new. It was radical. At it’s best, it’s still seems modern and worth having 60 years later. But much of the 50s and 60 style was and is junky. Sure, after a long world war, we got to experiment with color and form. Materials changed. Plastics were the new frontier. Disposable this and disposable that. Only the simple and cheap stuff was “Made in Japan”. And we put all this stuff into our apartments, when rents were still only $30 or $60 a month.

New York apartments for rent today cost in the thousands. Apartment rentals in Manhattan might cost slightly more, but apartment rentals in Queens were definitely less. Queens was the new frontier, filled with optimism. We named a major thoroughfare the “Utopia Parkway” to show our unbound faith in what the future would bring.

Today, smart renters look for no fee rentals in NYC. Back then, we looked for new white brick high rises and houses in Queens that looked just like suburbia. Here’s a peek back into what houses and apartments looked like in the 1950s and early 1960s. Before the Beatles come on the scene, the coffeehouses of Greenwich Village were the place to be, and James Dean was still a rebel without a cause.

A Fabulous kitchen for the 1950s. Great use of color.

This was a top-of-the-line 1950s home. Groovy baby.

Appliances came in pink, yellow, and avocado.

An early clock-radio and among the first hi-intensity lamps right next to it. I love the plastic chair.

TV dinners and tray tables were introduced in the 1950s. Shag carpeting was the way to go.

The Home bar stool, another new innovation in the 1950s.

The new frontier of suburbia – Queens, New York.

For more 50s and 60s photos, memorabilia, and kitsch, visit this wonderful Tumblr blog, Kitschyliving.

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Written by Lorenzo

Lorenzo has been hanging around the office for the past 20 years, and, in the process, has become the president of,, and His mission is to build into New York's largest no fee apartment rental service. Before, Lorenzo was a Regional Sales Manager for Time Equities, Inc., one of New York's largest converters of rental buildings to coops and condos. Lorenzo was once a part owner of Swift & Watson Real Estate in NYC's Greenwich Village.

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