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Old 03-08-2013, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Monmouth County, NJ & Staten Island, NY
407 posts, read 408,013 times
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So in my many ridiculous "journeys" around the country in Google Maps, I've found an interesting residential area in Northeast Philadelphia....

Satellite View

Streetview

Looks like urban-style dense rowhomes/townhouses, set back with driveways in a more suburban street layout. I've never seen this type of combination of urban density with an auto-centric, downright suburban layout. Granted, this may as well be a suburb of the central city of Philadelphia, but an interesting find nonetheless. In addition to this style, this neighborhood actually has a huge variety of housing styles like semi-attached homes, single family and apartment buildings. It does still seem very auto-centric though, since there appears to be little meaningful retail or shopping to walk to, and centralizes around this shopping area.

I guess it shows that there are really a lot of varying neighborhood styles, densities and levels between transit/walkable and auto-centric, such as this. I'd imagine that this community is sort of a "happy medium" for people who like to be close to transit and the city itself, but want a slightly less dense environment such as something like this. Personally, I'd find this to be way too hellishly dense for me, and would prefer something further up north like this.
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
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Yep. Welcome to Philadelphia.

Those links from the Northeast show two things I dislike in residential living: Houses squished entirely too close together, and streets to nowhere.
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:21 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,109,839 times
Reputation: 3117
Quote:
Originally Posted by KeepRightPassLeft View Post
So in my many ridiculous "journeys" around the country in Google Maps, I've found an interesting residential area in Northeast Philadelphia....

Satellite View

Streetview

Looks like urban-style dense rowhomes/townhouses, set back with driveways in a more suburban street layout. I've never seen this type of combination of urban density with an auto-centric, downright suburban layout. Granted, this may as well be a suburb of the central city of Philadelphia, but an interesting find nonetheless. In addition to this style, this neighborhood actually has a huge variety of housing styles like semi-attached homes, single family and apartment buildings. It does still seem very auto-centric though, since there appears to be little meaningful retail or shopping to walk to, and centralizes around this shopping area.

I guess it shows that there are really a lot of varying neighborhood styles, densities and levels between transit/walkable and auto-centric, such as this. I'd imagine that this community is sort of a "happy medium" for people who like to be close to transit and the city itself, but want a slightly less dense environment such as something like this. Personally, I'd find this to be way too hellishly dense for me, and would prefer something further up north like this.
I'd imagine this community was built in the early 50s for minorities who were excluded from places like Levittown. Or, for lower-middle whites, who left for newer suburbs in the late 60s and 70s.
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,443 posts, read 11,944,656 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
I'd imagine this community was built in the early 50s for minorities who were excluded from places like Levittown.
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.
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:28 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
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There are some places like that in Baltimore:

baltimore md - Google Maps Idlewood

baltimore md - Google Maps Armistead Gardens
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Monmouth County, NJ & Staten Island, NY
407 posts, read 408,013 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
There are some places like that in Baltimore:

baltimore md - Google Maps Idlewood

baltimore md - Google Maps Armistead Gardens
Interesting, they almost remind me of a small section of my grandmother's neighborhood on Staten Island, surrounded by mostly single family homes.

Staten Island, NY - Google Maps

It's also probable that they were built by one developer nearby to the neighborhoods walkable "main street" core, which isn't anything like what it used to be.

Staten Island, NY - Google Maps

There actually used to be a streetcar which ran up and down this street as well, early TOD? It's been replaced by the MTA S61 bus.
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Monmouth County, NJ & Staten Island, NY
407 posts, read 408,013 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
Yep. Welcome to Philadelphia.

Those links from the Northeast show two things I dislike in residential living: Houses squished entirely too close together, and streets to nowhere.
Haha, true. I couldn't stand living in that kind of neighborhood....it'd drive me nuts, the parking alone (even with driveways). I live in a semi-detached home now, and the last 18 years of being here have driven me nuts being woken up by my neighbor and his wife screaming at each other inches away from my room lol. I don't mind living in a neighborhood that's not a strict grid, like the example I posted at the end that I liked. Somewhat of a subdivision layout, but with a larger grid of streets for easy alternate routes and quite a few points of entry/exit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
I'd imagine this community was built in the early 50s for minorities who were excluded from places like Levittown. Or, for lower-middle whites, who left for newer suburbs in the late 60s and 70s.
Could be a possibility, my thought was that this was just a continuation of building dense housing in this style while using the "new" street layout and auto-orientation of the era.
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:27 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,109,839 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeepRightPassLeft View Post
It's also probable that they were built by one developer nearby to the neighborhoods walkable "main street" core, which isn't anything like what it used to be.

Staten Island, NY - Google Maps

There actually used to be a streetcar which ran up and down this street as well, early TOD? It's been replaced by the MTA S61 bus.
Hehe, back when these were built, "TOD" was just "D."

I like those houses in your grandma's area.

Classic "main street" areas have a tough time competing if there is big box convenience, and residents with cars, nearby. Shops have to find their niche.
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:28 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,109,839 times
Reputation: 3117
Quote:
Originally Posted by KeepRightPassLeft View Post
Could be a possibility, my thought was that this was just a continuation of building dense housing in this style while using the "new" street layout and auto-orientation of the era.
I think it is, but I had just made an assumption about for whom it was built (incorrectly, as Eschoton pointed out).
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,396 posts, read 59,890,532 times
Reputation: 54045
Quote:
Originally Posted by KeepRightPassLeft View Post
I live in a semi-detached home now, and the last 18 years of being here have driven me nuts being woken up by my neighbor and his wife screaming at each other inches away from my room lol.
My house out in the Philly burbs is semi-detached as well, and I chose it mostly because it was on a large lot. I'd go nuts living on a 17-foot lot; mine is 39 feet, so while my one neighbor is attached, the other is about 20 feet away. The semi-detached homes around the corner are on 22 foot lots. It makes a huge difference -- no parking hassles, a little extra breathing room, too.

I'm also on a connected grid -- my preference because I walk outdoors for exercise -- and 2 blocks from a neighborhood commercial strip.

Neither of my neighbors scream, but they both recently got puppies.
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