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Old 07-09-2012, 11:47 PM
 
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What is an "upper duplex flat"? Terminology used in Milwaukie and Chicago, I think. I understand that in Chicago, a duplex is a two-story apartment? And a "flat" is an apartment that occupies the entire floor of a given building? Which would make a "two-flat" a two-story building with an apartment on each floor. So is an "upper duplex flat" an apartment on the second floor of the duplex?

BTW a duplex in other parts of the US refers to two houses that share one wall. The word "flat" isn't even used.
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Old 07-10-2012, 07:08 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3divina View Post
So is an "upper duplex flat" an apartment on the second floor of the duplex?
Bingo.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
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In New Orleans, "duplex" refers only to each unit having their own floor. A "double" is side-by-side units which can be 1 or 2 stories. Just different terminology in different areas.
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:36 PM
 
Location: East Side Milwaukee
710 posts, read 1,402,061 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3divina View Post
What is an "upper duplex flat"? Terminology used in Milwaukie and Chicago, I think. I understand that in Chicago, a duplex is a two-story apartment? And a "flat" is an apartment that occupies the entire floor of a given building? Which would make a "two-flat" a two-story building with an apartment on each floor. So is an "upper duplex flat" an apartment on the second floor of the duplex?

BTW a duplex in other parts of the US refers to two houses that share one wall. The word "flat" isn't even used.
I would assume you're talking about Milwaukie, Oregon & not Milwaukee, WI. No one in Milwaukee, WI uses the word flat in reference to an apartment, whether it's in a duplex or apartment building.

Flat is our description of Illinois.
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Lexington, SC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silliker View Post
Upper duplex flat is a flat located at the second floor or some floor upper than the first floor of a duplex house.
To Americanize, I would say:

An upper duplex flat is a rental apartment located on the second floor of a two family house.

I have rented apartments in NYC and flats in London.....same thing.
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Old 07-14-2012, 06:52 PM
 
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So the two-family house is two floors, with one family on each floor? Okay, I got it! Thanks.
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Old 08-29-2016, 01:11 PM
 
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Those types of structures are also called "Polish Flats" since there is a large population in Milwaukee who settled from Poland and lived in the units. It's a nice way to have the generations live together and be of help to each other while maintaining their independence. Upper flats in Milwaukee often have two doors in the front - one going to the bottom unit and the other with steps to the upper unit. Sometimes the stairs are in the back and the unit on the top is smaller and has a slanting roof. This probably started off as a single house, but people made them into "upper flats". I lived in an upper flat in Bayview on Rosedale, when I was first married, but it is since torn down. We entered from the side, had a full apartment above the people below and also had an attic, so I think this was an example of what was once a single dwelling converted to "an upper flat". The term "upper duplex flat" was never used by the family and friends I hung around with in the 50's and 60s, so if you're an author writing about this era, just use "upper flat" or possibly "they owned a flat on the Southside of Milwaukee." However, if the characters of your novel LIVED in a flat, it's best to say, "they lived in an upper flat," or "they lived in a lower flat". I'm sure there are various other ways of referring to these dwellings. This was just our family's way, as best that I can remember.
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Old 08-29-2016, 01:21 PM
 
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I grew up in Milwaukee on the lower east side in the 50s. Whenever I talk about an OLD Millwaukee structure that has an entire living space on one floor and another entire living space above it, I refer to the whole thing as "an Upper Flat". I would say the traditional Milwaukee flats are about 100 years old by now. So again, if I personally am talking about the upper part, it's an "upper flat". If I'm talking about the lower part, it's "a lower flat". But if, again, I'm referring to the whole building, to me, it's all "an upper flat" meaning that this building has an upper unit. (It might just be the way my child's mind interpreted the word or maybe we only knew people who lived in "UPPER" flats).

Those type of structures are also called "Polish Flats" since there is a large population in Milwaukee who settled from Poland and lived in the units. (The "Polish flat" pictured in this wikipedia link is much too fancy for Milwaukee's typical "Polish flat" structures https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_flat) You will find "Polish flats" often on the southside of Milwaukee.

"A flat" was a nice way to have the generations live together and be of help to each other while maintaining their independence. Upper flats in Milwaukee often have two doors in the front - one going to the bottom unit and the other with steps to the upper unit. Sometimes the stairs are in the back and the unit on the top is smaller and has a slanting roof. This probably started off as a single house, but people made them into "upper flats".

When I was first married in the 70s, we lived in an upper flat in Bayview on Rosedale, but it is since torn down. We entered from the side, had a full apartment above the people below and we also had an attic, so I think this was an example of what was once a single dwelling converted to "an upper flat".

The term "upper duplex flat" was never used by the family and friends I hung around with in the 50's and 60's. A "duplex" in my mind is a "newer" structure built probably around the '70s, not at '30s or earlier. So if you're an author writing about this era, just "flat" as in "They owned a flat on the southside of Milwaukee" meaning both the upper and lower part - the whole structure. You might also research if some people, like I do, refer to the whole thing as an "upper flat". If the characters of your novel LIVED in a flat, it's best to identify which part: "They lived in an upper flat," or "They lived in a lower flat". Again, the terminology that is familiar to me may not be what was used by every family in Milwaukee. It was just how people in our little circle referred to those structures "back in the day"

Last edited by Billie Kelpin; 08-29-2016 at 01:44 PM..
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