The problem is teardowns — the practice of buying a house just to demolish it and put up a larger one in its place. Sounds innocuous enough, but in an older neighborhood, teardowns can be a disaster. This pattern of replacing architecturally distinctive homes with large new structures that loom over their neighbors ultimately destroys the very qualities that make the neighborhood appealing to newcomers and longtime residents alike.
That Old House
Sadly, the New York metropolitan area is at the center of this epidemic...teardowns destroy more than houses. Neighborhood livability is diminished as trees are removed, backyards are eliminated and sunlight is blocked by bulky new structures built right up to the property lines. Economic and social diversity are reduced as costly new houses replace more affordable ones, including the modest “starter homes” that our parents knew and that first-time homebuyers still search for today. As teardowns proliferate and once-quiet streets turn into construction zones, residents find themselves pitted against developers and begin to feel they’ve lost control of the place they call home.