Many buildings in downtown Manhattan are converted industrial and commercial buildings, turned into residences as businesses closed and the city found itself in need of more housing for a growing population. The transformation of these buildings into apartments gave way to a new style of residence: the loft apartment, notable for its open floor plan and not-quite-finished interior. Neighborhoods like Soho, Tribeca, Nolita, and the East Village are full of loft apartments within converted commercial warehouses and defunct factories. When shopping for your loft apartment, watch for these common elements to make sure your floor plan matches that of a genuine loft.

High ceilings and oversized windows

Because loft apartments occupy buildings previously designed for commercial use, the ceilings are distinctively higher than those of a standard apartment. A convention loft can have walls beyond 12 or 16 feet high. These open spaces originally provided enough room for large machinery and were commonly lit by natural light, provided by floor-to-ceiling windows spanning most of the outward-facing wall.

Large, open living area with a lofted platform

A true-to-form loft apartment is primarily made up of an open living area—a den or living room—separated from its kitchen by a half-wall. Because of the high ceilings and lack of square footage, constructing a second platform partway through the room is common. This platform is open to the main living room, often positioned over the kitchen and separated only by a railing or partition, and serves as the apartment’s bedroom.

Exposed piping and support beams

Repurposed industrial buildings are often kept as close as possible to their original design when converted into residential buildings. Uncovered piping, visible support beams, and exposed brick are common in loft apartments. Lofts with their original flooring and ceilings preserved are often valued higher for their rustic historical appeal.

Tribeca may have originated as an industrial district, but its former commercial buildings are now some of New York City’s most popular lofts. Tribeca House’s no-fee luxury loft apartments are the perfect combination of spacious comfort and convenience in the heart of Manhattan’s trendiest neighborhood. Visit Tribeca House today to experience the views from our luxury lofts.