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Old 04-23-2013, 07:47 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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I always find the perspectives of other people on these things interesting. I'm going to post some neighborhood typologies from the Pittsburgh and ask people if they think they are urban, and if not, what they would classify them as:

High-Density, non-Residential:
Downtown: 1, 2, 3
Oakland:

High-Density Attached Brick:
Mexican War Streets
Manchester
South Side Flats
Central Lawrenceville

High Density Attached Frame (mostly):
Troy Hill
Polish Hill
Bloomfield
Upper Lawrenceville

I think most people would see the above examples as urban. Now for the more difficult ones:

Late 19th/Early 20th Century Detached (mostly poor, frame housing in hilly neighborhoods)
Esplen
Sheraden
Mount Washington
Allentown

Late 19th/Early 20th Century Detached Brick (mostly large Victorians)
Friendship
Shadyside
Highland Park

Interwar (post WW1-Pre WW2) detached/semi-attached housing:

Greenfield
Squirrel Hill
Morningside
Point Breeze

Post WW2 detached housing

Stanton Heights
Summer Hill

Recent infill, "urban renewed" and projects:
Northview Heights
Allegheny Center
Crawford Square
Oak Hill
Central Hill District

By my own definition, the attached 19th century stuff is urban. Everything from the detached frame to the pre WW2 stuff is mostly semi-urban (I consider the absence of street-facing garages to be the sign something is urban). Most blighted areas, even if given modern infill, don't end up feeling urban to me, because they use suburban typologies, although some good infill has been done in Pittsburgh.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,266 posts, read 26,242,183 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Late 19th/Early 20th Century Detached Brick (mostly large Victorians)
Friendship
Shadyside
Highland Park
I would consider this "soft" urban. At least that's what most people in Philadelphia would call it.

Germantown, Philadelphia, PA - Google Maps

If you tell someone from Overbrook you're from Germantown or Mt. Airy, they'll say you're from the suburbs.
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Old 04-24-2013, 11:28 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,003 posts, read 102,592,596 times
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Those "Interwar" houses look a lot like my parents' house in Beaver Falls, built in 1918. As WW I did not end until November of 1918, that's not an 'interwar' design. There were homes built in the 1920s, but then home building pretty much dried up until after the war. My grandfather was a carpenter, he never worked again after the depression hit.

Last edited by Katarina Witt; 04-24-2013 at 11:30 AM.. Reason: privacy concerns
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
My grandma's street! My great aunt lived across from the library.
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Old 04-25-2013, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
I would consider this "soft" urban. At least that's what most people in Philadelphia would call it.
Yeah. I grew up in Connecticut, but I spent a lot of time in New York growing up, so I came to understand it as what a city looks like. Detached-style housing within a city never looks fully urban to me, although I realize that it's not really suburban in structure either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Those "Interwar" houses look a lot like my parents' house in Beaver Falls, built in 1918. As WW I did not end until November of 1918, that's not an 'interwar' design. There were homes built in the 1920s, but then home building pretty much dried up until after the war. My grandfather was a carpenter, he never worked again after the depression hit.
It might not be a completely accurate term, but within the Pittsburgh area, there were a lot of pretty rapid changes to architecture which happened between 1910 and 1920, including:

1. Elimination of stone lintels and ornamental wood. Later brick buildings had everything done in brick, with ornamentation, if any, merely through turning the brick in different directions.
2. Building massing changed considerably, with squatter styles with shorter floors more the norm.
3. Roofs generally became pyramidal, and dormers were almost universally hipped.
4. Windows became much less tall and narrow, and more square in terms of their dimensions.
5. Rowhouses mostly fell out of style, with an increasing use of detached duplexes, or split-levels (which have seldom otherwise been done in Pittsburgh, either before or after.

The shift really was rapid. A lot of the houses from the earlier portion of that decade, minus a few architectural finishes, aren't too different from those built in the 1870s. But the houses by the end of the decade looked totally different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
My grandma's street! My great aunt lived across from the library.
It's my favorite street in our neighborhood, but it's gentrified to be far too expensive for us to buy a home there now (they often cost close to $300,000 now).
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Old 04-25-2013, 07:55 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
My grandma's street! My great aunt lived across from the library.
Gorgeous houses.
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
It's my favorite street in our neighborhood, but it's gentrified to be far too expensive for us to buy a home there now (they often cost close to $300,000 now).
It's hard to wrap my head around Gram's neighborhood being gentrified, LOL -- although it was never a "bad" neighborhood, always working class.

Are there ANY little old Polish ladies left?
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:56 AM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,442 posts, read 9,881,747 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
I would consider this "soft" urban. At least that's what most people in Philadelphia would call it.

Germantown, Philadelphia, PA - Google Maps

If you tell someone from Overbrook you're from Germantown or Mt. Airy, they'll say you're from the suburbs.
Where in Overbrook? Overbrook Farms is basically an extension of Merion/Wynnewood/Penn Wynne--no denser than Chestnut Hill. Most of Germantown seemed as dense as Overbrook Park, though I've only passed through on Germantown Ave.
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,419 posts, read 11,926,143 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
It's hard to wrap my head around Gram's neighborhood being gentrified, LOL -- although it was never a "bad" neighborhood, always working class.
Central Lawrenceville is the hottest part of the city since South Side Flats has topped out. The value of my house has close to tripled since I bought it in 2007. Check out the list of local businesses. Or the new townhouses being built at the end of my street.

There was a rough period, I hear, in the 1990s when there was a lot of petty crime (drugs and prostitution) in the neighborhood. But really, it has everything the SWPL contingent wound want now. A thriving business district full of bars, restaurants, and boutiques. Historic Victorian brick rowhouses galore (some of which haven't even been ruined). And a nice quick commute (albeit only by bus) into Downtown.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
Are there ANY little old Polish ladies left?
Absolutely. They're dying off at a fairly rapid rate though, and the ones who aren't are starting to cash out however.
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,266 posts, read 26,242,183 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavenWood View Post
Where in Overbrook? Overbrook Farms is basically an extension of Merion/Wynnewood/Penn Wynne--no denser than Chestnut Hill. Most of Germantown seemed as dense as Overbrook Park, though I've only passed through on Germantown Ave.
I'm talking about Overbrook off of Lansdowne Avenue. I think of Overbrook Farms as being a distinct neighborhood.

Overbrook, Philadelphia - Google Maps

Germantown in general, whether you're talking about Dogtown, Brickyard, Penn-Knox, etc. is a lot calmer than O'Brook and most of West Philly. West Philly also has a certain street cred that Germantown doesn't.

Last edited by BajanYankee; 04-25-2013 at 09:53 AM..
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