5. 27 East 65th Street Co-Op

One of the most famous debates about building color took place regarding the Upper East Side co-op at 27 East 65th Street. Its blue-glazed brick was so distinctive, the building was colloquially known as the “Blue Brick Building.” But its difference was precisely what doomed it – it was deemed not contextual to the neighborhood. In 2002, it was changed to red brick, with approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission, with The Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts stating that the blue building did not “reflect any of the characteristics of the district.”

Seri Worden of the organization also called the building’s color “innately inappropriate” in an interview with The Observer. Others like Charles Warren, the chair of Community Board 8, felt that the neighborhood was architecturally homogenous enough, without the change from blue to red. Meanwhile real estate agents felt that the blue had been a deal breaker, and the new color would make the building more sellable.