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Old 06-24-2014, 10:16 PM
 
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Those numbers reflect the percentage of total housing units in each city. If a city has a large number of apartments, it will skew the numbers, as large apartment buildings will contain many housing units inside of a small footprint. Also, in a city like New York, many of the large rowhouses that were built as single family homes, are now subdivided. The percentages in the census records are for attached single family units. Thus the official record will differ from what your eyes will tell you from walking around these cities. While a place like Brooklyn will appear to have half of it's land covered in rowhouses, the many apartment buildings, and subdivided houses will cause it to show a much lower number. This is why you have to take those numbers with a grain of salt.
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Old 06-24-2014, 10:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
First, it's one unit attached. And Boston doesn't have that many row houses. I'd expect San Francisco to be higher
Boston should be pretty similar to Pittsburgh in the number of rows, but in other ways they are exact opposites. In both cities, rows are common, but not the majority of housing types. However, in Boston, most of the rows are houses built for the middle class, and higher, and are located in very conspicuous areas, while most Pittsburgh rows run from middle class down, and are located in less conspicuous areas.
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Old 06-25-2014, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herodotus View Post
Those numbers reflect the percentage of total housing units in each city. If a city has a large number of apartments, it will skew the numbers, as large apartment buildings will contain many housing units inside of a small footprint. Also, in a city like New York, many of the large rowhouses that were built as single family homes, are now subdivided. The percentages in the census records are for attached single family units. Thus the official record will differ from what your eyes will tell you from walking around these cities. While a place like Brooklyn will appear to have half of it's land covered in rowhouses, the many apartment buildings, and subdivided houses will cause it to show a much lower number. This is why you have to take those numbers with a grain of salt.
Most NYC brownstones were not built as single-family homes, but as two-units, with the basement/first floor one unit, and the second/third floor another.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herodotus View Post
Boston should be pretty similar to Pittsburgh in the number of rows, but in other ways they are exact opposites. In both cities, rows are common, but not the majority of housing types. However, in Boston, most of the rows are houses built for the middle class, and higher, and are located in very conspicuous areas, while most Pittsburgh rows run from middle class down, and are located in less conspicuous areas.
Given my experience with both cities, I think you're wrong here. Besides Beacon Hill and Back Bay, most of the rowhouse neighborhoods which have survived were modest (Charlestown) to working class (Southie, North End) in terms of who they were originally constructed for. This isn't too different from the mix in Pittsburgh, where Allegheny West, Manchester, and the Mexican War Streets were the gentried areas, and the rest of the surviving rowhouse areas were middle to working class.

As to prominent, I'm not sure what you mean. Pittsburgh doesn't have anything like the North End, or Beacon Hill, where there's rowhouses right next to downtown. But I'm not sure what residential neighborhoods would be considered conspicuous.
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Old 06-25-2014, 12:55 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
As to prominent, I'm not sure what you mean. Pittsburgh doesn't have anything like the North End, or Beacon Hill, where there's rowhouses right next to downtown. But I'm not sure what residential neighborhoods would be considered conspicuous.
A lot of Beacon Hill today is subdivided units (split as you described NYC brownstones) rather than housing units side by side. Blocks vary, but the buildings are taller than typical row house neighborhood and residential density isn't that different from the North End:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Beaco...91.96,,0,-8.62

South End and Back Bay are also row house neighborhoods adjacent to downtown, while the housing stock for both is similar, South End was for a long time more of a working class neighborhood. Again, a lot of these may be subdivided like Brooklyn Brownstones:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=South...1.35,,0,-11.69
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Old 06-25-2014, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
South End and Back Bay are also row house neighborhoods adjacent to downtown, while the housing stock for both is similar, South End was for a long time more of a working class neighborhood. Again, a lot of these may be subdivided like Brooklyn Brownstones:
I'm not sure if I would say South End or Back Bay are immediately next to downtown in the same sense that the North End or Beacon Hill is. Close enough to walk within 20 minutes of course, but there's some breaks in development (Boston Common and the highways respectively). You couldn't literally stumble upon them wandering in Downtown Boston. More importantly, Pittsburgh does have a few intact neighborhoods only a 20-minute walk from downtown.

That said, Bay Village is tiny, but clearly qualifies as a downtown-adjacent neighborhood. One of my favorite spots in Boston, due to its quasi-hidden nature.
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Old 06-25-2014, 01:23 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Hmm. Right across from the commons seems right next to downtown. And Back Bay is part of downtown in a practical sense. More of the center city shopping areas are in Back Bay than Downtown proper, and there are some office skyscrapers. The South End is much more connected to downtown than South Boston, which feels like a separate self-contained residential neighborhood.
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Old 06-25-2014, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
Hmm. Right across from the commons seems right next to downtown. And Back Bay is part of downtown in a practical sense. More of the center city shopping areas are in Back Bay than Downtown proper, and there are some office skyscrapers. The South End is much more connected to downtown than South Boston, which feels like a separate self-contained residential neighborhood.
I know what you mean, and I also know what Herodotus was saying. The old brick rowhouse core of the city really does feel like a distinct unit in Boston. There's nothing like this in Pittsburgh, both due to geography and because a trench of urban renewal and industrial zones destroyed most of the first ring of neighborhoods, leaving only the second ring remaining, which either developed independent identities (Oakland, Lawrenceville, South Side, or Bloomfield) or in the case of the North Side, kept a collective identity but more or less "turned away" from Downtown due to the physical separation of the highways. Still, it's not as if the non-rowhouse neighborhoods are any more "conspicuous."
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Old 06-25-2014, 02:27 PM
 
Location: New England
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Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Given my experience with both cities, I think you're wrong here. Besides Beacon Hill and Back Bay, most of the rowhouse neighborhoods which have survived were modest (Charlestown) to working class (Southie, North End) in terms of who they were originally constructed for. This isn't too different from the mix in Pittsburgh, where Allegheny West, Manchester, and the Mexican War Streets were the gentried areas, and the rest of the surviving rowhouse areas were middle to working class.
Southie isn't really a rowhouse neighborhood. There are a few, but it's mostly triple-deckers, small apartment buildings, and lots of 1-2 family homes built very close together.

Do you mean the South End? Lots of brownstones there. Completely different neighborhood.
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Old 06-25-2014, 02:40 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Originally Posted by Woodchucker View Post
Southie isn't really a rowhouse neighborhood. There are a few, but it's mostly triple-deckers and 1-2 family homes built very close together.

Do you mean the South End? Lots of brownstones there. Completely different neighborhood.
South Boston has a fair amount of rowhouses. See here, here, here, and here. I think of it as more the transition zone between the inner Boston urban typology and the outer Boston urban typology than anything.

Regardless, even if rowhouses proper are only a minority of the neighborhood, those which exist were certainly not built for the gentry.
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Old 06-25-2014, 02:59 PM
 
Location: The City
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http://cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-ge...0/PHILA-16.jpg
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