Communal laundry rooms are disappearing from New York City apartments. As New York Times contributor Jane Margolies says, "Convenience is in; chatting with fellow residents while folding clean clothes is out," as washers and dryers are now present only in the units themselves.

Unless of course you're going to give residents something interesting to do while they wait for their clothes to dryNew York by Gehry, the rental building at 8 Spruce Street designed by Frank Gehry, counts a standard laundry room among its amenities, even though every apartment has its own washer and dryer. The laundry room’s location, just steps from the golf simulators, probably didn’t hurt. More than one resident has surely fit in a few holes before moving a load of towels from the washer to the dryer.

Other "old-school" common amenities are being phased out too and replaced with new technology, even microwaves: now there’s something that’s being touted as an improvement: the speed oven. As its name suggests, it cooks faster than a conventional oven — roasting a whole chicken in 20 minutes, for example, by ramping up convection heat with an assist from microwave technology. And some speed ovens have a browning setting (for things like French fries) as well as a microwave mode.

The apartment industry is also seeing 90s conference rooms, along with rarely-used theater rooms, morph into multi-purpose lounges and social spaces that can be used in a variety of ways.

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