Why Was Brownstone Used to Build Row Houses in NYC?
Brownstone was actually used only to "front" row houses built of less-expensive brick. It was cheaper than granite, marble or limestone and was also considered less desirable until the mid-nineteenth century, when the Romantic Movement ushered in a taste for dark materials. Improvements in mining made newly stylish brownstone more affordable and by the 1860s it was the building stone of choice.
Upper West Side