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Old 09-16-2011, 03:05 PM
 
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In response to an earlier statement, triple-deckers are NOT found everywhere in New England; many sections of NH and ME don't have any, and they are quite rare in the state of Vermont. They're largely a phenomenon of Boston, Worcester, a little less in Providence, used sparingly in Portland, and less in general the further west, and north, you go in New England...
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Old 09-16-2011, 08:42 PM
 
Location: Macao
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff Clavin View Post
Contemporary versions of the classic triple decker are still being built. Many feature garages on the ground floor. I'll try to snap a couple flix this weekend.
Would love to see those!
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Old 09-22-2011, 02:37 PM
 
Location: a bar
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These are all in South Boston. The bottom is my favorite.
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Old 09-22-2011, 10:09 PM
 
Location: Macao
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WHOA! Those are really beautiful houses!!
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
WHOA! Those are really beautiful houses!!
Well, that may be going a little far. But it's good to see the form reinterpreted in contemporary styles. They were outlawed in the city of Boston sometime in the 1930s as firetraps. That was only after thousands had been built throughout the city. In recent years the building codes have been changed to allow them again.

Here's what a Globe editorial said in the 1970s:
"The ubiquitous triple-decker, described by Edward Everett Hale in 1869 and cited by Christopher Tunnard and Henry Hope Reed in their book, American Skyline, has never won any architectural prizes and the chances are it never will. Jane Jacobs writes of the 'atmosphere of buoyancy, friendliness and good health' among the 'four and five-story tenements' of Boston's North End. And Margaret Mead recently told a California audience that ideal urban family housing should be no higher than treetops. But the three-decker, so familiar to Bostonians, is still regarded by many as distinctly second rate, even hazardous housing that should be replaced as soon as possible. Yet, as a new study by the Boston Redevelopment Authority and the Boston Urban Observatory points out, the triple-decker continues to be one of the most basic forms of housing in Boston, constituting one-fifth of the city's housing stock, or 50,000 out of the city's 232,000 dwelling units. And nobody can afford to replace them. Homely though they may be, they are too useful for destruction and there is nothing to take their place. Public housing has been a disaster because public funds have not been forthcoming in sufficient amounts to maintain it satisfactorily. The typical wooden triple-decker falls apart quickly if it is not maintained, but it is a credit to the many owner residents that so many have survived for 50 to 75 years. But the triple-decker is in trouble, too. Traditionally, many landlords lived in their own buildings (two-thirds of them are still owner-occupied), thereby getting a free apartment and a little income besides. Today, higher taxes and maintenance costs make that sort of arrangement less possible. Many banks are not interested in lending mortgate money for old triple-deckers as they are for other types of housing. Abandonment and neglect by absentee landlords are increasing problems... "
Boston Globe editorial, Jul 27, 1975.

Since then, very few have been lost, and some new ones have been built (thanks to Cliff Clavin for the photos!) Banks have changed their minds and many have been converted to three-unit condominiums. I've never agreed with the view echoed in this editorial that they're ugly. Some are, but many are handsome pieces of Victoriana.
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Old 09-23-2011, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Macao
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Originally Posted by missionhill View Post
Well, that may be going a little far. But it's good to see the form reinterpreted in contemporary styles. They were outlawed in the city of Boston sometime in the 1930s as firetraps. That was only after thousands had been built throughout the city. In recent years the building codes have been changed to allow them again.
I've heard of the fire traps....curious what kind of code is able to allow them?

Seems like fire would still just go up them, just the same as before....'fireproof' the floors or something? I don't get that part.

Still though, I love the housing styles. Even more, they are even more gorgeous in the interior.
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Old 09-23-2011, 10:30 AM
 
Location: a bar
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Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
I've heard of the fire traps....curious what kind of code is able to allow them?

Seems like fire would still just go up them, just the same as before....'fireproof' the floors or something? I don't get that part.

Still though, I love the housing styles. Even more, they are even more gorgeous in the interior.
The issue wasn't the fire spreading floor to floor but rather building to building. What would happen is if one home caught fire, half a block would be lost.
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:38 AM
 
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I had read that the reason the three deckers had short ends of the house facing the road was that it was less expensive to connect to public service lines. Does anyone know of that or of three decker homes of Brighton,MA
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:45 PM
 
Location: home...finally, home .
8,387 posts, read 19,356,284 times
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How about in Medford?
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Old 12-29-2011, 01:28 PM
 
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Some triple decker was built way over 60 years. That just to show how strong they are.
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