Roundup of Best Apartment Exteriors from around the U.S.

It’s not usually the first thing that people look at, but one of the underrated features of living in a downtown apartment is the pride and daily mood lift that comes with arriving home to a visually stunning building. Plus, with a distinctive exterior, you get the added bonus of giving easy, reliable directions to apartment guests. “The Wakabala is that building in Little Tokyo with the bright red accents,” or “The Watermark is that tall, mostly glass building in Seaport Square.”

Some prospective residents prefer historic architecture, others prefer sleek, modern construction. Regardless, don’t dismiss the look of your apartment building. With this in mind, we did a little searching and found some of our favorite apartment exteriors in major cities across the country.


New York City: In some places, certain building exteriors reflect the history and heritage of the city itself. Nowhere is this more evident than New York City. No matter which borough you live in, we recognize that any faithful list of great-looking apartment façades has to carve out a spot for the New York City brownstone. These signature townhouses offer the kind of space and privacy that’s hard to find in NYC. Whether you prefer Zumper, Pad Mapper, or Nooklyn for finding your apartment, it’s easy to see why the brownstone is one of the most coveted types of residential buildings in the city.


Boston: The Watermark Seaport has a stunning all-around design, but it’s telling that the banner headline on its website was “Break the Red Brick Mold.” This high-rise luxury apartment stands in stark relief to much of Boston’s historic architecture. Think you can’t find a modern downtown living experience in this early colonial town? Think again.


San Jose: Most other urban apartments tout their luxury, convenience, and accessibility. The Pierce has all this, too, but it also chooses to place an emphasis on the aesthetic of their building. The amazing exterior enhances the complementary beauty of the apartment interiors and views. It’s all part of a community that looks to “live artfully” in this wonderful downtown location.


Denver: Not exactly short in stature itself, Cadence Union Station and its façade continue to hold its visual appeal even as taller buildings are constructed around it. This apartment exterior has just the right amount of architectural variance giving it a playful, interlocking look without being overly flashy.


Washington, D.C.: It’s not hard to find an apartment building that so effectively blends the traditional look of light red brick with a more modern-looking exterior, but few do it so well as the Allegro in Washington, D.C. Not surprisingly, the interior of these apartments also combines modern design with smart flourishes of wood paneling and cabinet facing.


Los Angeles: Even in a city full of angels, an apartment exterior like the Wakabala stands out. Bold color accents and modern design offers curb appeal that just won’t quit. Combined with great skyline views and a location in Little Tokyo that creates easy access to downtown LA, these urban apartment homes are ones you won’t want to miss.


Cincinnati: It’s hard to choose just one category for the new Aqua on the Levee apartments in Newport, KY. It’s got great views, amenities, the works, but perhaps most underrated is the building’s architectural importance as a counterpoint to the development on the other side of the river. The Ascent may grab a lot of eyeballs, but the Aqua holds its own when it comes to Queen City apartment exteriors.


Portland: Not all amazing apartment experiences come with balconies, especially in the Pacific Northwest. The Emery makes up for it, however, with a unique and visually impressive façade, amazing interiors and floor plans, a wide range amenities. Best of all, it’s hard to beat this location, what The Emery calls “7-minute living,” just south of downtown Portland.


Baltimore: You’ll find multiple fireplace surrounds, an elegant lobby and lounge area, and some great views of the surrounding neighborhood at The Fitzgerald, but it’s the sleek modern exterior with minimal wood accents and lighting effects that make this one of the great exteriors for apartments in Baltimore.


Atlanta: 131 Ponce may not be the tallest apartment building in the city, but if you’re looking for a modern, visually stunning exterior that isn’t a high-rise, this is likely a great option for you. Plus, the interior design is every bit the aesthetic counterpart, and residents enjoy distinctly Midtown views from the roof deck as well as any number of private balconies. 


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