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Old 03-13-2013, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeepRightPassLeft View Post
The second link above is downright tenement-feeling to me
Some of Philadelphia's most desirable neighborhoods are downright tenement-feeling to me. I'm looking at $300,000 row houses in Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill, and the back "yards" are concrete alleys and garbage cans and rickety looking decks.

No thank you!
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:07 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Northeast Philadelphia was pretty much lily-white until recently, so I doubt it.

A lot has to do with the historical momentum of Philly. Rowhouses were absolutely omnipresent, and what a lot of people wanted. Construction of them continued well past the 1920s, which is about the period they died out in favor of detached and semi-detached in most of the rest of the country.

Zoning may have played a role as well. I know it was illegal to build a frame house in Philadelphia at least through the 1950s, and it may have been in this section of Philly detached housing was not allowed.
It does show a lack of imagination for Philly housing styles, though. With the opportunity to expand into the countryside, what do Philly builders do? Construct ...MORE ROWHOUSES!!

How about a little space to breathe in?
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,414 posts, read 11,913,851 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MassVt View Post
It does show a lack of imagination for Philly housing styles, though. With the opportunity to expand into the countryside, what do Philly builders do? Construct ...MORE ROWHOUSES!!

How about a little space to breathe in?
It may have been what people wanted too. I know I've heard that people in urban areas of Philly have been fighting city hall efforts to add street trees because "trees are dirty" due to dropping leaves in the fall.

This may be why postwar suburbia was often so treeless decades after trees could have grown in, come to think of it. If people come from an environment where they think trees are bad, they are going to (initially) import it into the suburbs.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:17 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,096,962 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
It may have been what people wanted too. I know I've heard that people in urban areas of Philly have been fighting city hall efforts to add street trees because "trees are dirty" due to dropping leaves in the fall.
Baltimore too, luckily not where I live.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeepRightPassLeft View Post
Thanks for the information! My guess would be that they were just used to that more traditional urban building model, and were trying to adapt it to the "new" (at the time) design trend of building more so for the convenience of the automobile, while still maintaining an urban feel.

While I do find that their construction is probably pretty durable compared to some early Levittown-type tract homes, the density and blandness do give off a bleak and uneasy feeling to me, just looking at them. I couldn't imagine living there, reminds me of some of the more suburban and newer looking townhouse developments in my hometown of Staten Island..

Example - Carlyle Green

Example - Aspen Knolls

The second link above is downright tenement-feeling to me, I've run many deliveries in that maze, gotten lost and cannot believe the ridiculous density of units in the little enclaves or whatever they are. It was originally built to house US Navy families in the '90s, however that plan fell through when our Navy homeport was closed down in 1994.
I d have to agree with your sentiments about the second link, esp with many of the models having no side windows. I don't think that these models will age well, and I wouldn't want to live in them, either..
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:34 AM
 
7,592 posts, read 9,444,553 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
Some of Philadelphia's most desirable neighborhoods are downright tenement-feeling to me. I'm looking at $300,000 row houses in Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill, and the back "yards" are concrete alleys and garbage cans and rickety looking decks.

No thank you!
I agree here, too. Much of what I've seen in both Philly and Baltimore have a tenement-feeling to it, and it's definitely not for me ( even Boston/Cambridge is too crowded for me). You don't need a Ponderosa-style spread by any means, but having some grass and trees certainly makes for a more pleasing ambience...
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:46 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MassVt View Post
You don't need a Ponderosa-style spread by any means, but having some grass and trees certainly makes for a more pleasing ambience...

Many of Baltimore's rowhouse neighborhoods are actually quite green, lots of old trees and shade. I've got gardens in front, and in back, and a park in my backyard so I'm not really missing out (and I don't have to pay for its maintainence, except a measly amount of property tax). Rowhouses also are very inexpensive to heat, unless you're on the end.

Bigger yard: More to mow
Bigger house: More to heat, clean, fill, etc.

It's all a matter of what you like. I don't think I'd spend $300,000 on a row house unless it was really top of the line.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:51 AM
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 eschaton View Post
It may have been what people wanted too. I know I've heard that people in urban areas of Philly have been fighting city hall efforts to add street trees because "trees are dirty" due to dropping leaves in the fall.

This may be why postwar suburbia was often so treeless decades after trees could have grown in, come to think of it. If people come from an environment where they think trees are bad, they are going to (initially) import it into the suburbs.
Another ass*umption. Postwar suburbia was treeless? Really? Where?
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,364 posts, read 59,796,813 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
This may be why postwar suburbia was often so treeless decades after trees could have grown in, come to think of it.
Come to think of it, a few of the trees in my mom's postwar suburb have started to come down ... because they're starting to die of old age ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
Many of Baltimore's rowhouse neighborhoods are actually quite green, lots of old trees and shade. I've got gardens in front, and in back, and a park in my backyard so I'm not really missing out
Of course, not all row houses are created equal, just as not all suburbs are created equal. Certainly many of Philly's row house neighborhoods have attractive front and (not as often) back yards. It just blew my mind to be paying $300,000 for a view of my neighbor's concrete driveway and garbage cans, in what is considered a desirable neighborhood. That's not the kind of back yard I desire, thanks ...
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:17 AM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,983 posts, read 41,929,314 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MassVt View Post
It does show a lack of imagination for Philly housing styles, though. With the opportunity to expand into the countryside, what do Philly builders do? Construct ...MORE ROWHOUSES!!

How about a little space to breathe in?
There also plenty of Philly suburbs that aren't row houses. Those Philly examples by the OP aren't very appealing looking, but I don't object to the lack of space, or think it as an obvious plus, just a personal preference.
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