8. Inwood is home to Manhattan’s first modular apartment building

The Stack, Manhattan's first modular apartment building
The Stack, Manhattan’s first modular apartment building.

Ensconced between Inwood’s pre-war apartment houses is the Stack, Manhattan’s first modular apartment building. In a modular apartment, sections or modules of the construction are completed away from the building site and then delivered once the foundation has been prepared for assembly. As a result, construction speeds up by seven to nine months and costs drop by an average of 10-20%. In addition, the modules can be placed side-by-side, end-to-end, or stacked, allowing for a variety of new configurations or styles to be created. However, for all these benefits, prefabricated constructions disrupt long-standing construction practices in New York, posing a danger to the city’s construction unions by leading to the exportation of jobs to outside factories. 

Debuting in 2014, the Stack was designed by architect Peter Gluck on a 50 foot wide lot previously designated as “Parking Facilities.” It is seven floors tall and composed of 56 modules. Sections of the Stack were manufactured in Berwick, Pennsylvania at the DeLuxe Building Systems. For Gluck, the Stack represents the evolution of architectural ideas stemming from the 1920s through the 1960s and will work in the future as an efficient tool to improve housing across New York City.