By JOANNE KAUFMAN
WHEN Lori Berger began looking for a Manhattan pied-à-terre three years ago, she came armed with a list of priorities. The West Side was preferable to the East because it would simplify the drive into the city from her family’s primary residence in Fairfield, Conn. She wanted outdoor space, which took most prewar buildings off the table. And because she and her husband had lived through kitchen and bathroom renovations at home, they wanted an apartment that they could move into right away.
It wasn’t unbridled love when Ms. Berger first saw 165 West 66th Street. But then she remembered her father’s pet saying: “You live inside the house, not outside.”
Which is how Ms. Berger came to buy a one-bedroom in a white glazed-brick building. Long seen as a consolation prize in the real estate sweepstakes, with neither the time-burnished details of prewar nor the sparkling newness of the latest glass-walled condo, boxy white-brick structures were built for the striving middle class in the ’50s and ’60s, when about 140 inserted themselves into the brick and brownstone fabric of the city. But these days, their more-for-less prices are attracting wallet-watching buyers, and their less-is-more-aesthetic is drawing fans of mid-century design.