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Old 08-11-2007, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
2,806 posts, read 15,200,407 times
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Yeah they are townhouses....they are supposed to look alike. If they didn't look somewhat similar then it would just be completely bizzare.

Single family houses, on the other hand, are not supposed to look 100% alike unless you live in Levittown or one of these soul-crushing Subdivisions that are being built all over this country.

There is supposed to be a mix among single family houses, that is how it always has been. In traditional neighborhoods you will usually see one style of houses predominate on a block, however even with that there will be big differences between the different houses.

With all of these HOA's out there, I don't know if you will ever see any meaningful differences created among these subdivision homes. You aren't allowed to change anything to the exterior of the home, so it will likely remain the same.

Here are some pics of some older town houses in Philadelphia:





This style is much more typical for Philly though:



If you want to see what a traditionally developed, middle class urban neighborhood look like, here are some pics of my Irish neighborhood in the Bronx, NY: A Walk Down Katonah Avenue in Woodlawn . There's a good mix of everything here, houses, rowhouses, apartments, co-ops, stores, churches. This is how most neighborhoods were built in America until after World War II.

The rest of the world still builds their neighborhoods like this, America really is the exception to traditional city and town planning and not the rule. Only a couple of other countries in the world build these low-density suburbs like America does (I believe it is confined to the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand).

Last edited by mead; 08-11-2007 at 09:19 AM..
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Old 08-11-2007, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Washington D.C. By way of Texas
18,632 posts, read 27,042,193 times
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Quote:
The rest of the world still builds their neighborhoods like this, America really is the exception to traditional city and town planning and not the rule
I would say we are slowly, very slowly, starting to build neighborhoods like this with gentrification and large new urbanist centers now.
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Old 08-11-2007, 02:49 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,985 posts, read 102,540,351 times
Reputation: 33045
Quote:
Yeah they are townhouses....they are supposed to look alike. If they didn't look somewhat similar then it would just be completely bizzare.
Single family houses, on the other hand, are not supposed to look 100% alike unless you live in Levittown or one of these soul-crushing Subdivisions that are being built all over this country.


On p. 2 of this very thread, there is a picture posted by j33 of single-family houses in Chicago that all look alike.

Also see this thread on the Denver forum. There aren't many pictures of houses, but most look alike and I can assure you that they are typical of houses in Denver of their age.

Platt Park Neighborhood (Old South Pearl) Photos

Last edited by Katarina Witt; 08-11-2007 at 03:11 PM.. Reason: addition
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Old 08-11-2007, 04:31 PM
 
1,486 posts, read 4,027,177 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pittnurse70 View Post
Single family houses, on the other hand, are not supposed to look 100% alike unless you live in Levittown or one of these soul-crushing Subdivisions that are being built all over this country.


On p. 2 of this very thread, there is a picture posted by j33 of single-family houses in Chicago that all look alike.

Also see this thread on the Denver forum. There aren't many pictures of houses, but most look alike and I can assure you that they are typical of houses in Denver of their age.

Platt Park Neighborhood (Old South Pearl) Photos
But those in Chicago look nice, even if they are all similar. On the other hand, the new stuff they are mainly building in the burbs now...

But if you like those pieces of garbage, good luck to you. You have plenty to choose from because they are being dumped like a med student's girlfriend at graduation with the market the way it is. Guess that is what happens to "quality" these days.
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Old 08-11-2007, 05:01 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,985 posts, read 102,540,351 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irwin View Post
But those in Chicago look nice, even if they are all similar. On the other hand, the new stuff they are mainly building in the burbs now...

But if you like those pieces of garbage, good luck to you. You have plenty to choose from because they are being dumped like a med student's girlfriend at graduation with the market the way it is. Guess that is what happens to "quality" these days.
First it's "no they don't look all alike". Then it's "well, they're rowhouses, they're supposed to all look a like". Now it's "well, they look better than the new stuff". What's next?

I think when those houses were being built, the same complaint was made. "They all look alike". They were built on raw land, the were on the fringes of the cities at the time. They didn't have mature trees in the yards, etc. They probably looked pretty bad to the "old timers" of the day.

I don't think it helps to insult people's taste by calling it "garbage". There is low end stuff and high end stuff being built today, just like in years past.
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Old 08-11-2007, 09:41 PM
 
Location: NYC
1,158 posts, read 3,207,663 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pittnurse70 View Post
First it's "no they don't look all alike". Then it's "well, they're rowhouses, they're supposed to all look a like". Now it's "well, they look better than the new stuff". What's next?

I think when those houses were being built, the same complaint was made. "They all look alike". They were built on raw land, the were on the fringes of the cities at the time. They didn't have mature trees in the yards, etc. They probably looked pretty bad to the "old timers" of the day.

I don't think it helps to insult people's taste by calling it "garbage". There is low end stuff and high end stuff being built today, just like in years past.
I completely agree. The Chicago homes pictured as just as cookie-cutter as anything being built today. Those Chicago homes all have the same exterior, most likely the same floor plan, and they are NOT rowhouses. So what is it about them that looks so much "better" than the newly homes that people love to bash so much? I need more than a "just because I said so" or "well it's just good taste" answer.
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Old 08-12-2007, 12:54 AM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
2,806 posts, read 15,200,407 times
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Alright, listen. I've never been to Chicago so I have no idea what goes on there, but I'm very knowledgeable about most of the Northeast. I've never seen anything like that in NYC or any other city in this area for that matter.

Having every single house on a block look EXACTLY alike in an urban area is an anamoly in my eyes. However, even if that was really so bad; every subdivision in the country looks exactly alike. Its not just one block, but nearly EVERY SINGLE subdivision being built throughout the entire USA looks exactly the same. There are no differences at all beyond color and minor exterior changes.

In my neighborhood there are some streets that have a maybe half a dozen houses in a row that were originally built according to the same blueprint. However over time people added onto the houses with new rooms or balconies. They changed the colors and added garages and stuff like that. So now these houses all look fairly different from one another.

With these subdivisions though, I dont' think you could ever make these types of changes. These houses in subdivisions will look exactly the same as they are now in 100 years. That is the difference between a city and a subdivision. In a subdivision the HOA won't allow you to make major changes to your property. You can't sell your land, knock down your house, and build 2 houses in its place, thereby making the area more dense. It is against the zoning rules. You can't make major changes to your house without getting the HOA involved. In a city you can generally do whatever you want to your house, within reasonable bounds of course.

Listen I know a lot of people on here really love living in suburbs in the middle of nowhere; imaginging that their lives was something out of Little House on the Prarie. But this all has to come to an end. It is simply unhealthy. It is not good for peoepl to be isolated in the middle of nowhere and to not know their neighbors. If you are unconcerned about your own status in life in your subdivision, then at least think about your kids. Don't raise them in a neighborhood where there is nothing to do except for causing problems at school and getting drunk/high. This is really the dirty little secret of the suburbs; that there is absolutely nothing for teenagers who are too young to drive to do and as a result they generally get into all types of trouble. This artificial isolation that is caused by subdivisons is very detrimental to our country, and it really needs to come to an end.
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Old 08-12-2007, 05:21 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,985 posts, read 102,540,351 times
Reputation: 33045
Quote:
There are many suburbs I would not want to live in. If I mention any of their names, I'll get shellacked, so I'll leave it at that. There are many city neighborhoods I would not want to live in, either. Ditto.

My DD used to date a guy who believe the "sterile suburbs" myth. On Labor Day Weekend last yr, DD had an epiphany. The annual "Fall Festival" was going on in our little suburban (gasp!) city. It was Saturday morning, and the kids were lining up for the pet parade. Kids had their dogs on leashes, their cats in covered coaster wagons, their birds in their cages, ready to walk down Main Street and be announced as they passed the reviewing stand. DD looked at the scene and said "who says the suburbs are sterile?"

The bf is from Seattle, so I"ll ask you pwright1, does the city government do such an activity there?

supernova7, you won't tell us where you live, so I'll ask you generally, does your city have a "Parade of Lights" in December where any group or individual can festoon itself in lights and walk down the street? In our little "sterile suburb" it is mostly Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops who do this, then Santa comes at the end. Santa then sets up on the city hall lawn to talk to "good little boys and girls".

And my buddy Drover, does Chicago have a 4th of July picnic with free brats and hotdogs cooked by Hizzoner the Mayor, the city council and staff? Would you eat one if they did?

These are all things that happen in my little sterile suburb. If I want to see a play, there is community theater. We have a couple of art exhibits a year. And we are very supportive of our high school sports teams.

If I want to see a world-class theater production, I can go to the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. I like the Denver Zoo, the Colorado History Museum, the Denver Art Museum, etc. And I do like to attend professional sporting events. Before you say that I enjoy all the amenties of the city but don't want to pay for them, I will tell you that Colorado has a "Scientific and Cultural Facilities District" that collects tax from everyone in the metro area to support these things in the cities and the suburbs. Furthermore, we the people voted for this tax ourselves, because that's how we do things in Colorado. We are not just all sitting around "poppin' a few tops' and watching "The Sopranos" on our satellite TV.
The above is a quote from another post of mine on another thread on this forum.

Quote:
In my neighborhood there are some streets that have a maybe half a dozen houses in a row that were originally built according to the same blueprint. However over time people added onto the houses with new rooms or balconies. They changed the colors and added garages and stuff like that. So now these houses all look fairly different from one another.
from mead.

I have posted the same sentiments on many, many threads in these forums. Yes, the houses start to look different after while. Guess what? So do the houses in the suburbs! You say you haven't been to Chicago; have you been to the suburbs of NYC? Not every suburb is governed by a HOA, and not every HOA forbids people from building additions, changing paint colors, etc. The subdivision where we bought our first home had 4 basic floor plans, but first of all, with all the options one could choose when building the house, such as one-car garage, 1 1/2 car garage, 2 car garage, basement/no basement, family room/no family room, different roof lines, etc, I would bet there are not two houses in the entire subdivision that look the same. Not to mention different paint colors. As the houses have gotten older, additions have been built, landsacaping has been added, and they all look similar, but not alike.

This is not true. YOu need to get out of the Bronx more.

Quote:
Don't raise them in a neighborhood where there is nothing to do except for causing problems at school and getting drunk/high. This is really the dirty little secret of the suburbs; that there is absolutely nothing for teenagers who are too young to drive to do and as a result they generally get into all types of trouble.
The above problem is more complex than you state. My kids and their friends found plenty to do in a (gasp, gasp!) suburb. Contrary to the popular belief of people who have never been to one, suburbs have movie theaters, high school sporting events and dances, restaurants, ice skating rinks, bowling alleys and. . . . more! "Nothing to do but drink" is more a state of mind than anything else. Please quit trying to "rescue" those of us who have made a different, possibly way more informed, choice than you!
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Old 08-12-2007, 07:46 AM
j33
 
4,625 posts, read 12,864,128 times
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Not to mention older subdivisions with no HOA oversight have houses that look very different. My parents live in a subdivision in a wooded area of the midwest that was established in the 1960's, and not a single house looks even remotely alike. In fact it seems to me that every 4th house is some sort of architectural experiment and it is quite charming. It is a subdivision that is popular with professors from the local university, so while it isn't all that wealthy, it is eclectic, and nobody cares if you build a sculpture in your front yard, tear your house down to build a log cabin (something the biology professor did down the street), or paint your house bizarre colors.

Sadly, in my neighborhood. This place was recently torn down for, you guessed it, more condos.
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Old 08-12-2007, 07:50 AM
 
Location: NYC
1,158 posts, read 3,207,663 times
Reputation: 1080
The subdivision I live in isn't in the middle of nowhere and by no means is it little house on the prairie. This suburb in blends right into the next suburb over, which blends right into the city. My subdivision was built in the 1990's so it has that cookie-cutter look to it, but there is no HOA. We're basically free to do whatever we want to the landscaping of our home or the exterior of the house. The color of our siding and shutters has changed over the years, our front yard is by no means neatly manicured, the neighbors two houses down from us barely even have any grass in their front yard since it's all gardens, etc. We do know our neighbors here. Every night you'll see groups of people talking to each other in the street well past 9pm. And yes, we still wave to each other as we drive by. People actually stop their cars to talk with neighbors they know as they drive by.

Look, I'm not against city living. In fact, I prefer the city. But I don't see the suburbs as the greatest evil mankind has ever faced. I understand why many people prefer to live there and I hold nothing against them for it. My parents also loved the city and would've stayed there, but they didn't want me to go through the horrible mess that is Baltimore City Public Schools.

And BTW, not all subdivisions across America look the same. They may all look the same in the Northeast, but the Spanish/Mediterranean houses in Santa Clarita, CA don't look anything like the traditional/colonial homes in Olney, MD.
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