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Old 01-09-2011, 08:19 PM
 
31 posts, read 59,233 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davecj View Post
I don't even know where to begin with the OP. I will simply state that the most efficient way to build housing is to use what is already there.

Yes, but the most efficient way may not always be the best way. I mean if you needed to paint your room and the only can of paint you had was a bright orange can of paint, the most efficient use of your time and materials is to simply use the bright orange paint you already have. I mean it's just a color, right?

Building identical row homes covering an entire lot is definitely an efficient use of materials, space, and planning. But it might not produce the most beautiful city streets. Efficiency and beauty should go hand in hand. You're not building a jail cell you're building a living space. And there should be some consideration given to the emotional impact the environment will have on those who will be interacting with it.
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:29 PM
 
75 posts, read 128,184 times
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I love Baltimore, and really appreciate row homes for all they offer. I do wish that we had a little more of what Washington, DC or Philly have: row/townhomes split up into well executed condominium apartments of studios, 1 and 2 bedrooms. We do have condominiums, but this would further widen the availability of home ownership and the rental market to those who do not have the need or the budget for a 2 or 3 bedroom property. It would also preserve, at least the facade, and hopefully the interior architectural details, of individual row homes.
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:12 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,476 posts, read 5,690,166 times
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I live in a rowhome, and love it.

I don't get it. There is a ton of variety in housing stock here.
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:15 PM
 
356 posts, read 423,710 times
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The pressing need isn't to knock down rowhomes, we need to knock down the blighted and boarded up homes. A few weeks ago I missed my turn to get on the highway to get home and drove straight through north Baltimore. It was boarded up home after boarded up home with a blinking blue light on every streetcorner. Those need to be torndown.

What gets me though is that they are MUCH larger than the ones over in Canton where the home prices are high. (Yes, I wish the ones over here were like that but fixed up of course, I'm jealous, lol).
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:59 PM
 
Location: North of the hood, south of the valley
2,945 posts, read 6,528,751 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhemy1 View Post

It just seems that the endless streets of row houses abutting the sidewalk with no green space or trees is abit dismaying. It's almost as if in those areas the goal was simply to build houses and not living spaces, and it's unfortunate. Urban living can be dense without being disheartening.
For the most part I disagree with Rhemy in regards to the row houses, because in general I like them a lot. However, from my limited experience of Baltimore, I do have to agree on this one point. The row homes in Baltimore seem to be bereft of greenery. Greenery can be accommodated without full on yards as Rhemy seems to advocate by doing planter boxes and lots of street trees. However, a lot of Baltimore doesn't seem to have these, and that gives many of the rowhouse neighborhoods a very desolate appearance.
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Old 01-10-2011, 06:10 AM
 
3,354 posts, read 3,105,791 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kettlepot View Post
For the most part I disagree with Rhemy in regards to the row houses, because in general I like them a lot. However, from my limited experience of Baltimore, I do have to agree on this one point. The row homes in Baltimore seem to be bereft of greenery. Greenery can be accommodated without full on yards as Rhemy seems to advocate by doing planter boxes and lots of street trees. However, a lot of Baltimore doesn't seem to have these, and that gives many of the rowhouse neighborhoods a very desolate appearance.
I'll agree with this...a lot of the streets that have absolutely no trees or anything do look a bit desolate. Baltimore does have a fair amount of parks, but sometimes you can walk 10 blocks from one of the parks and not see another inch of grass.

I also agree with davecj in that it's easier to use what was already there. But as has been mentioned, in addition to the abundance of rowhomes, Baltimore does have some condos and single-family homes as well. Not sure how many other "types of housing" you'd want there to be? Should they start building barns and castles in the middle of the city?

Somewhat off-topic, but I'll never understand the point of building completely new rowhomes/townhouses in a suburb that isn't necessarily lacking of space to build houses...it seems odd to drive through an area where there's not much there and then all of the sudden there's 100 townhouses all clumped together...I feel like if you're building new houses, especially relatively bigger ones, won't they get more money for them if they're single-family houses? Is it really that much cheaper to build it so that it shares a wall or two?
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Old 01-10-2011, 07:18 AM
 
3,344 posts, read 4,159,823 times
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Isnt the City already doing this?? Many areas of the City have new 'townhomes' which are a more modern day version of a rowhome. Areas around the inner harbor to the heart of West Baltimore (Pennsy Ave) have newer townhomes which appeal to higher income urban buyers, provide more space and even garage parking.....while not taking away from the City's traditional landscape in row house areas. You have developments like Frankford Estates in NE Baltimore which has a suburban feel right in the City. New developments like Uplands off of Edmonson will be a combination of single family homes, townhomes, and duplexes and will resemble many suburban developments. Other that I can think of that you can google are Wyndholme Woods in SW Baltimore and Hillsdale Estates in NW Baltimore 2700 HILLSDALE Rd, BALTIMORE, MD 21207 | MLS# BA7254033 just to name a few. Not to mention there are hundreds of "in fill" new single family homes built in existing single family neighborhoods in NW and NE Baltimore... some blend into the neighborhoods.. others are more suburban style in nature.
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Old 01-10-2011, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
4,636 posts, read 4,939,203 times
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YOu dont' like Rowhomes? Move elsewhere where they dont' exist. Part of the charm of living in a citiy that's different than other cities is that, well, it's differnt than other cities. the rowhomes aren' the problem with Baltimore and swapping them out for single family, separate homes, that take up more ground space, won't fix that.

Boarded up rowhomes are ripe for gentrification. Peopel copmplain that that simply displaces poor people, but if the homes are boarded up, you're really not displacing someone who lives there. I wodn't mind buying up a small section of them myself (always wanted a set of three in a row to combine into a single dwelling, with the central one opened up into an atrium that the other two look out on).


Quote:
Originally Posted by GoPhils View Post
Somewhat off-topic, but I'll never understand the point of building completely new rowhomes/townhouses in a suburb that isn't necessarily lacking of space to build houses...it seems odd to drive through an area where there's not much there and then all of the sudden there's 100 townhouses all clumped together...I feel like if you're building new houses, especially relatively bigger ones, won't they get more money for them if they're single-family houses? Is it really that much cheaper to build it so that it shares a wall or two?
developers can max out the number of houses in teh land that they buy that way. Pretty simple. It may look like there's a lot of space to build separat houses in, but the fact is, that "space" is owned by someoene else, usually. And if you Do build separate houses, there are often regulations on how much open area there has to be between houses with new construction. meaning for the cost the developer is paying for the property, they minimize the profit they can make by spreadin ghte houses out (and especially in this market, the profit margins are going to be thin du to the reduced price of housing). We should be happy that new construction is happening at all.
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Old 01-10-2011, 01:15 PM
 
Location: moving again
4,388 posts, read 11,314,141 times
Reputation: 1486
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhemy1 View Post

Building identical row homes covering an entire lot is definitely an efficient use of materials, space, and planning. But it might not produce the most beautiful city streets. Efficiency and beauty should go hand in hand. You're not building a jail cell you're building a living space. And there should be some consideration given to the emotional impact the environment will have on those who will be interacting with it.
I think Baltimore's streetscapes architecturally are absolutely beautiful. So much better than what is built today. Just because you think every homes needs a large green yard, a 3 car garage, and whatever else you think makes a street pretty, or makes people happy, there are many people who view it differently. Baltimore's old streetscapes can not be reproduced or duplicated. reducing blocks and blocks to ruble only destroys a unique streetscape and a history that according to you would be replacecd by cookie cutter suburban homes.

As a side note, in west baltimore many blocks have rowhouses on all sides to the block and then a park in the center. Parks serve the purpose of a yard pretty well.
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Old 01-10-2011, 01:20 PM
 
201 posts, read 325,381 times
Reputation: 58
I find it interesting that Canton, along with other formerly white, working class neighboorhoods have been gentrified because they are viewed as safer than other city neighborhoods. But, to the OP's point the houses are pretty small, say compared to the houses around Druid Hill Park. The neighborhoods around Druid Hill also have lots more intermingled green space and the housing stock is much more family friendly. If safety and race weren't a factor in where people lived, our city would be much different.
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