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View Poll Results: Most like England?
Boston, MA 71 49.65%
Portland, ME 15 10.49%
Providence, RI 5 3.50%
New York City, NY 8 5.59%
Philadelphia, PA 24 16.78%
Washington, D.C. 4 2.80%
Pittsburgh, PA 3 2.10%
Other (please write) 13 9.09%
Voters: 143. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
Old 05-09-2019, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Greater Boston (Formerly Orlando and New York)
667 posts, read 252,665 times
Reputation: 688

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Honestly didnt even really consider Portland. Portland ME is very similar to a British seaport town now that I think about it.

Id actually revote to place it slightly above boston


1. Portland ME
2. Boston MA
--Gap--
3. Manchester NH
--Smaller Gap
4. Philadelphia PA
5. Brooklyn, NY
--Small Gap--
6. Providence RI
7. Washington DC
8. Pittsburgh PA
9. The Rest of NYC
10. Manhattan, NYC

(I added Manchester NH and separated NYC)

If we really want to get down into smaller cities... Id say the most British cities would be

1. Newburyport, MA
2. Portsmouth, NH
3. Portland ME
T4. Exeter, NH
T4. Essex, MA
T4. Gloucester, ME
T4. Dover, NH
Generally nywhere between Boston and Maine seems to be really British for the US.
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Old 05-09-2019, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,556 posts, read 12,118,297 times
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As I said upthread, the main issue I have with claiming that New England cities are very British-looking is the built residential vernacular looks nothing like the UK at all.

New England houses: Detached, made out of wood

English houses: Attached, made out of brick/stone (rowhouses).

English cities and towns look much more like Mid-Atlantic areas - like the small cities in Eastern Pennsylvania.
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Old 05-09-2019, 03:39 PM
 
Location: Greater Boston (Formerly Orlando and New York)
667 posts, read 252,665 times
Reputation: 688
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
As I said upthread, the main issue I have with claiming that New England cities are very British-looking is the built residential vernacular looks nothing like the UK at all.

New England houses: Detached, made out of wood

English houses: Attached, made out of brick/stone (rowhouses).

English cities and towns look much more like Mid-Atlantic areas - like the small cities in Eastern Pennsylvania.
Ehh I disagree, think the opposite after spending time in all three. I get a very British vibe from NH/ME/NoMa/Merrimack Valley. But great point!
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:25 PM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
7,197 posts, read 10,012,627 times
Reputation: 6529
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
As I said upthread, the main issue I have with claiming that New England cities are very British-looking is the built residential vernacular looks nothing like the UK at all.

New England houses: Detached, made out of wood

English houses: Attached, made out of brick/stone (rowhouses).

English cities and towns look much more like Mid-Atlantic areas - like the small cities in Eastern Pennsylvania.
Totally agree.

Wood was far less available as a building material in England when compared to the Eastern United States. That is because of centuries of cutting down the forests for farmland and firewood, plus the remaining forests were either locked up for the Crown or Noble estates. So very often buildings were built of stone and brick, and sometimes the roof was made out of thatched straw.

Even today rural England is still very open and has less woodland then the Eastern USA. Take a look at a satellite view of rural and small towns in England and compare them to similar areas in New York and Pennsylvania (which are about the same size as England) and you can see the difference.

For this reason, it is those cities that have blocks of brick and stone row houses, found mostly in some of the older cities of the USA (especially in the Northeast and Midwest) that look most similar to British cities.
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Old 05-10-2019, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
8,154 posts, read 16,232,919 times
Reputation: 9535
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
As I said upthread, the main issue I have with claiming that New England cities are very British-looking is the built residential vernacular looks nothing like the UK at all.

New England houses: Detached, made out of wood

English houses: Attached, made out of brick/stone (rowhouses).

English cities and towns look much more like Mid-Atlantic areas - like the small cities in Eastern Pennsylvania.
Generally I agree, there are a lot in Eastern PA, NY, and MD do share some similarities and much of New England has too much timber frame construction. But there are exceptions here in New England and I think the more organized "grid" you find in most Mid-Atlantic areas kill many of the similarities for me. While, for some reason (maybe just familiarity) Portland ME is getting mentioned (I've beaten it to death, but I just don't see it), other cities in New England fit the bill better.

Newburyport, MA. The red brick is redder than most of what you'll find in the British Isles, but this is reminiscent of coastal villages all over the UK in many ways.

Portsmouth NH is larger than Newburyport, but fits the bill for similar reasons.

Nantucket, MA always felt like a town that could be plopped on the English coast.

New London, CT has the street layout, central train/ferry station and some of the retail density downtown that you'd find in a comparably sized English town.

Even pockets of downtown New Bedford have a somewhat British Isles appearance.
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Old 05-10-2019, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,556 posts, read 12,118,297 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
Generally I agree, there are a lot in Eastern PA, NY, and MD do share some similarities and much of New England has too much timber frame construction. But there are exceptions here in New England and I think the more organized "grid" you find in most Mid-Atlantic areas kill many of the similarities for me. While, for some reason (maybe just familiarity) Portland ME is getting mentioned (I've beaten it to death, but I just don't see it), other cities in New England fit the bill better.

Newburyport, MA. The red brick is redder than most of what you'll find in the British Isles, but this is reminiscent of coastal villages all over the UK in many ways.

Portsmouth NH is larger than Newburyport, but fits the bill for similar reasons.

Nantucket, MA always felt like a town that could be plopped on the English coast.

New London, CT has the street layout, central train/ferry station and some of the retail density downtown that you'd find in a comparably sized English town.

Even pockets of downtown New Bedford have a somewhat British Isles appearance.
I agree that if you look at the business districts of smaller New England cities (at least the ones which haven't been urban renewed) they can look quite "British." But it very quickly moves to looking not very British as soon as you step onto a residential side street.

I have heard that the wood-framed craze in New England partially sprung from the part of the UK that the Puritans were originally from (East Anglia) being less brick-crazy than elsewhere in England. Though when I do a streetview tour around the cities of East Anglia (which have very New England names like Colchester, Ipswich, Boston, Norwich, etc) it seems that most of them were long since cleared out for brick terraced housing.

Boston's North End is probably the single most British-looking neighborhood in the U.S. Has the narrow streets, total lack of grid, and brick construction.
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
8,154 posts, read 16,232,919 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I agree that if you look at the business districts of smaller New England cities (at least the ones which haven't been urban renewed) they can look quite "British." But it very quickly moves to looking not very British as soon as you step onto a residential side street.

I have heard that the wood-framed craze in New England partially sprung from the part of the UK that the Puritans were originally from (East Anglia) being less brick-crazy than elsewhere in England. Though when I do a streetview tour around the cities of East Anglia (which have very New England names like Colchester, Ipswich, Boston, Norwich, etc) it seems that most of them were long since cleared out for brick terraced housing.

Boston's North End is probably the single most British-looking neighborhood in the U.S. Has the narrow streets, total lack of grid, and brick construction.
Absolutely. I'd reiterate that I don't think any American cities look very British, but I do see some resemblance in pockets. The North End is a good example. I think Harvard Square is another good one.

Some of the older American industrial cities have neighborhoods that look a lot like older industrial cities in the U.K. Holyoke, MA for example has streets that are not entirely unlike streets in Liverpool, UK. There are similar comps in Baltimore, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, etc.

Richmond's Fan District always reminded me a bit of some of the more gentrified parts of Liverpool, Manchester, etc.
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:40 PM
 
Location: New York, N.Y.
226 posts, read 266,538 times
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I still maintain that the low rise neighborhoods in Manhattan and Brooklyn are most London like. Soho, West Village, Nolita, Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, etc etc. the Manhattan areas especially, with a lot of winding medieval-sequel narrow streets, cobblestone, low rising buildings with no set backs or spaces between them, dating back to the 1800s and a few from the 1700s.

Throw in the public transport, cosmopolitan, diverse and fashionable mix, and the similarities are uncanny.
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Old 05-10-2019, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Chibostoncaliseattle
2,121 posts, read 1,153,781 times
Reputation: 1893
Quote:
Originally Posted by mraza9 View Post
I still maintain that the low rise neighborhoods in Manhattan and Brooklyn are most London like. Soho, West Village, Nolita, Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, etc etc. the Manhattan areas especially, with a lot of winding medieval-sequel narrow streets, cobblestone, low rising buildings with no set backs or spaces between them, dating back to the 1800s and a few from the 1700s.

Throw in the public transport, cosmopolitan, diverse and fashionable mix, and the similarities are uncanny.
Well, Boston is leading this poll by a mile. And the bolded is *exactly* what Boston is throughout it's core and western neighborhoods.

If this is a London vs. US City comparison, as I said upthread, I'd do NYC followed by Chicago. It's not just the look, but also the feel. Plenty of suburbs in both Chicago and NYC that could pass for cities outside of London too.. Scarsdale, Winnetka, etc.

If it's British vs. area, I'd say New England, and most specifically Boston MSA.

Last edited by mwj119; 05-10-2019 at 02:46 PM..
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Old 05-10-2019, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Chibostoncaliseattle
2,121 posts, read 1,153,781 times
Reputation: 1893
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
New England houses: Detached, made out of wood

English houses: Attached, made out of brick/stone (rowhouses).

English cities and towns look much more like Mid-Atlantic areas - like the small cities in Eastern Pennsylvania.
UK homes are just as diverse in material, in 2019, as that of the US. Brick, siding, stucco, stone.

Look past the building materials, and there is a lot more to the comparison if we are talking broader areas. The hills, forestation, winding and stone laced roads, modest Christian churches, coastline.
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