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Old 01-20-2013, 10:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlite View Post
I'm really confused. Streetcar suburbs have different housing, urban form, commercial use, and transportation characteristics (and probably some others I'm not thinking of) from post World War 2 automobile based suburbs. Is there any dispute about that?
In many cases, the operative word is "had"; a lot of street car and rail lines are gone, and a lot of highways have gone in. Distinguishing one of the very earliest suburbs -- Llewellyn Park -- from a modern gated McMansion community without considering its age would be a difficult exercise. It's easy to distinguish suburbs built from farmland beyond the limit of any real development (including small towns), but anything else gets messy as various developments overlap each other, and uses change over the years.

 
Old 01-20-2013, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddyline View Post
In Denver, Five Points, Highlands, West Highlands, Baker, Congress Park, South Pearl and South Gaylord are all considered "Streetcar suburbs" and all are located within the city limits of Denver.

And I agree with Carlite & Komeht that there is a huge difference in the built envirnoment between streetcar suburbs, typically built from 1880s to the 1930s, and postwar suburbs. Not sure what is even debatable about that observation.
Toronto has a bunch of areas that only had bus service and were built around 1920-1950 (so both prewar and postwar) that are almost identical to the streetcar and interurban suburbs of 1910-1930.
This area is pre-WWII but afaik never had a streetcar. http://goo.gl/maps/SqCBv
Eglinton Avenue in Toronto looks similar (between Laird Dr and Weston Rd) and didn't have a streetcar

Ditto for Montreal where the 1945-1965 areas are filled with rows of 2-3 storey multi family with small setbacks, mixed use multi storey retail buildings with little to no setback from the street and population densities comparable to pretty much anywhere in North America but Central City Philly, SF's Tenderloin and New York.
Post WWII, the area was built up around 1950: http://goo.gl/maps/axxjd
This area's from the early 60s: http://goo.gl/maps/GqmmN

See page 34 of this history of Montreal's Saint-Michel neighbourhood, you can see it was almost entirely urbanized after 1945.
http://ville.montreal.qc.ca/pls/port...int_Michel.pdf

Isn't the transition between pre-WWII and 1945-1960 neighbourhoods pretty gradual in most cities?

Last edited by memph; 01-20-2013 at 11:40 AM..
 
Old 01-20-2013, 12:04 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,011 posts, read 102,621,396 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddyline View Post
In Denver, Five Points, Highlands, West Highlands, Baker, Congress Park, South Pearl and South Gaylord are all considered "Streetcar suburbs" and all are located within the city limits of Denver.

And I agree with Carlite & Komeht that there is a huge difference in the built envirnoment between streetcar suburbs, typically built from 1880s to the 1930s, and postwar suburbs. Not sure what is even debatable about that observation.
I lived in Sloan's Lake (just south of W. Highlands) 30 years ago. 30 years ago no one was calling it the suburbs. No one calls it that today. The area was annexed in 1896, before even the City and County of Denver was formed. The "hipsters" that live there would be appalled at that appellation. Do you consider North High, one of the lowest performing high schools in Denver, a "suburban" school b/c it is located there? And there was, and still is, no difference in built form between that area and the areas of Edgewater, and Wheat Ridge to the west. Still a lot of bungalow-y houses, mid-rise apt. buildings (perhaps even more in Wheat Ridge), etc.

http://denverinfill.com/blog/2008/09...highlands.html

Last edited by Katarina Witt; 01-20-2013 at 12:31 PM..
 
Old 01-20-2013, 12:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
Isn't the transition between pre-WWII and 1945-1960 neighbourhoods pretty gradual in most cities?
Not in the US. Homebuilding largely stopped during the war (and in many areas before it, courtesy the Great Depression), and when it started back up after the war it was different. In my area you see a lot of 1920s homes and a lot of late 1950s homes but very little in between. The obvious external distinction between them is the attached garage; much more common on the 1950s homes, but the internal layouts are usually different as well.
 
Old 01-20-2013, 12:33 PM
 
2,493 posts, read 2,194,850 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I lived in Sloan's Lake (part of W. Highlands) 30 years ago. 30 years ago no one was calling it the suburbs. No one calls it that today. The "hipsters" that live there would be appalled at that appellation. Do you consider North High, one of the lowest performing high schools in Denver, a "suburban" school b/c it is located there? And there was, and still is, no difference in built form between that area and the areas of Edgewater, and Wheat Ridge to the west. Still a lot of bungalow-y houses, mid-rise apt. buildings (perhaps even more in Wheat Ridge), etc.

Your confusing several terms and time frames:

West Highlands was built as a "streetcar suburb".
That does not make it a "suburb" today, almost one hundred years later.
Cities evolve, what was once a suburb (Potters Higland) is now downtown.
What was once a totally separate city (Arvada) becomes a suburb.

North High is part of the Denver Public School System as it is within the city limits of Denver.

And as mentioned may times on this forum, the built environment does not necessarily change because of a political boundry. Much of Edgewater was built in the same time period as West Highlands and therefore has a similar built form. The areas of Wheat Ridge closest to Denver have a similar form because they developed about the same time. But further north and west in Wheat Ridge is more "suburban" in form because it developed in the 50s - 70s.
 
Old 01-20-2013, 12:37 PM
 
1,015 posts, read 1,542,360 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
In many cases, the operative word is "had"; a lot of street car and rail lines are gone, and a lot of highways have gone in. Distinguishing one of the very earliest suburbs -- Llewellyn Park -- from a modern gated McMansion community without considering its age would be a difficult exercise. It's easy to distinguish suburbs built from farmland beyond the limit of any real development (including small towns), but anything else gets messy as various developments overlap each other, and uses change over the years.
As the National Park Service publication indicates, streetcar suburbs is a term about the origin of these communities, developed around a streetcar. It's absolutely true that most of the streetcar tracks in the United States are gone, usually, but not always, replaced by bus lines. And it's also true that in a great many of these communities highways were widened, auto access increased.

But nonetheless, streetcar suburbs remain distinguishable from auto origin suburbs. What I'm going to list now are typical characteristics, not every one will necessarily be true in every single case. But streetcar suburbs generally are more densely populated, have smaller house lots, have more neighborhood-serving commercial, and often continue to have more transit use. Improving transit in the streetcar suburbs tends to generate more ridership than doing so in auto-based suburbs.

In my area, the streetcar suburbs of North Oakland-Berkeley-Albany are clearly different from auto-based suburbs such as Castro Valley, Hayward, and Union City.

Llewellyn Park in West Orange, New Jersey was actually a commuter rail based suburb. The commuter rail based suburbs were often older than the streetcar suburbs, which didn't really get going until the 1880's. The commuter rail suburbs were more expensive and elite than streetcar suburbs. The development based on the streetcar network made suburban homeownership more accessible to more middle class people.
 
Old 01-20-2013, 12:48 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,011 posts, read 102,621,396 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddyline View Post
Your confusing several terms and time frames:

West Highlands was built as a "streetcar suburb".
That does not make it a "suburb" today, almost one hundred years later.
Cities evolve, what was once a suburb (Potters Higland) is now downtown.
What was once a totally separate city (Arvada) becomes a suburb.

North High is part of the Denver Public School System as it is within the city limits of Denver.

And as mentioned may times on this forum, the built environment does not necessarily change because of a political boundry. Much of Edgewater was built in the same time period as West Highlands and therefore has a similar built form. The areas of Wheat Ridge closest to Denver have a similar form because they developed about the same time. But further north and west in Wheat Ridge is more "suburban" in form because it developed in the 50s - 70s.
Actually, I knew that Highlands was once a suburb. Big Whoop! Shocking isn't it, that Denver annexed a bunch of suburbs? Cities grow by annexing and developing land. This has happened since the beginning of this country, and probably in Europe before that. There seems to be some idea among New Urbanists (I'm sorry if anyone is offended by this term, but I can't seem to come up with anything to describe people who prefer urban living that someone doesn't take offense at) that "the city", e.g. their city, just sprang up out of the ground fully developed and exactly the way it is now. The houses were always as old as they are now, too.

Yes, I know North High is part of the DPS. I was trying to make a point. Thanks for helping me out. People here defend the use of the term "suburb" to describe certain neighborhoods in the city, but there is absolutely no consistency with this use. North High is a part of DPS why? You said it, "it is within the city limits of Denver". The neighborhood it serves is also part of the city of Denver because "it is within the city limits of Denver". It's not a suburb. It was, 117 years ago, and yes, it was served by the streetcar, and it looks just like Edgewater across Sheridan Blvd. But hey, this is 2013. It's in Denver.
 
Old 01-20-2013, 01:00 PM
 
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I wanted to do this as a mini-matrix, but City Data wouldn't let me. So try to visualize that:

Across the top there are two urban form cells--Streetcar suburb urban form and auto suburb urban form. Along the side there are two metropolitan location cells--In metropolitan central city, not in metropolitan central city. So four cells.

Cell 1--Streetcar suburb, in central city--Sunset District of San Francisco
Cell 2--Auto-based suburb, in central city--Almaden Valley, San Jose
Cell 3--Streetcar suburb, not in central city--Albany, Alameda County
Cell 4--Auto-based suburb, not in central city--Newark, California (Alameda County)
 
Old 01-20-2013, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,610 posts, read 3,762,451 times
Reputation: 1616
Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Not in the US. Homebuilding largely stopped during the war (and in many areas before it, courtesy the Great Depression), and when it started back up after the war it was different. In my area you see a lot of 1920s homes and a lot of late 1950s homes but very little in between. The obvious external distinction between them is the attached garage; much more common on the 1950s homes, but the internal layouts are usually different as well.
There aren't any late 40s or early 50s homes?

This area of Toronto dates from the late 40s: Clairlea, Toronto, ON - Google Maps
A little further out, probably more like early 50s: Clairlea, Toronto, ON - Google Maps

There's not much of a difference from this area that dates to around 1930: Clairlea, Toronto, ON - Google Maps

You can go through miles of 1950s neighbourhoods with no attached garages in the former suburb of Scarborough, generally on a street grid, although the retail transitions to strip malls and the lots get wider. These are 4 miles further out and look more modern, but still no attached garages.
Clairlea, Toronto, ON - Google Maps

These are distinctly suburban, but attached garages is still not very common, some homes have them, many others just have a driveway, and some a carport.
Clairlea, Toronto, ON to Sylla Ave - Google Maps

Still no attached garages... this is almost 10 miles from the pre-WWII city.
Clairlea, Toronto, ON to Sylla Ave - Google Maps

The neighbourhoods that were late to get garages were mostly blue collar suburbs in Scarborough, North York and Etobicoke South of Bloor up to the streetcar suburbs near the lake. More white collar suburbs in Central Etobicoke for instance got them earlier.

In Toronto, you had a transition period from maybe around 1910/1920 to 1970 with the changes happening more or less in this order
-detached homes become dominant, including among more working class areas
-bungalows become more common than 2 storey homes
-bigger side setbacks (maybe around 5-10 feet instead of less than 5 feet)
-WWII
-many stores have a single row of parking in front: Kipling and Albion, Etobicoke - Google Maps
-bigger side setbacks and wider lots
-strip malls, often with other (I think office) uses on a second floor: Kipling and Albion, Etobicoke - Google Maps
-curvy linear streets
-even bigger side setbacks and wider lots, at this point, the house is wider than it is deep
-shopping malls

Last edited by memph; 01-20-2013 at 02:51 PM..
 
Old 01-20-2013, 02:28 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
10,238 posts, read 18,752,019 times
Reputation: 10164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post

"Streetcar suburbs" have become a mantra here, a sort of legitimate excuse for living in a suburb.
Funny that people think they need excuses.
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