Astoria has been home to many different groups throughout its history, and the diversity of its past shows in its current architecture. Many of the buildings that currently house Astoria’s businesses reflect the styles that were popular over a century ago. While construction is constantly visible, most investors and new businesses keep in mind the old architectural look that can be found in many of the neighborhoods under Queens’ elevated train lines.
Mansions are abundant in the popular early nineteenth century Greek Revival style; Greek Revival designs were able to remain prevalent in Astoria past their prime in the rest of the Northeast because it remained a fashionable building trend among the Greek residents in the area. However, large numbers of immigrants demanded smaller and more affordable housing. Therefore, the red and brown row houses seen all over Queens were quickly developed, the cramped quarters giving Astoria a decidedly immigrant feel.
Even more recently, an increasing population in Manhattan has forced many businesses into the outer boroughs. Astoria, located right under a major subway line, is considered prime real estate. Although some of these businesses continue to use the century-old buildings of the past, some are putting in place more modern designs, of the modern and international styles – the sleek aluminum and glass condos stick out clearly, shiny new beacons amongst their brick and clapboard neighbors.
The architecture of Astoria reflects its residents – while many old styles are still around, new ones are moving in. The incoming building materials, neon caution tape and construction vehicles add even more color to an already brightly mixed neighborhood. Astoria is truly the meeting place of several architectural and cultural generations.

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