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Old 12-22-2013, 02:50 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 24 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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There are only so many styles of houses, floor plans, etc that can be built. Bungalows are distributed throughout the midwest, west and west coast, for example. Two stories and ranches are everywhere.

Every now and then some fad comes along, like the gawd-awful (IMO) "raised ranches/bilevels" (depending on your part of the country). I think they look sawed off, and a friend who had one said you basically have two ranch houses, instead of there being any type of "flow". Some of the "contemporary" houses that were built in my neighborhood in the 80s are weird, too, with kitchens facing the street, very strange room arrangements, etc.

But I digress. To a point, yes, suburbs are going to look alike just like cities do. But, as pvande55 (among others) pointed out, there are various types of suburbs. Some other types that s/he did not mention are burbs that were once small towns (usually farm towns), and college towns near big cities (Boulder, CO comes to mind), and lots more.
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Old 12-22-2013, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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The main thing which can be said regarding the saminess of suburbs is while early suburbs (some of which, particularly in New England, have existed as independent places for centuries) showed regional distinctiveness, as time went on there were progressively less variations in terms of housing stock and road patterns. In modern construction, for example, there's broadly speaking a contemporary style with vinyl siding which is built across most of the country, and a neo-Spanish stucco style which is built mainly in California, the Southwest, and Florida. Still, this only effects the newest of suburbs, which are comprised of nothing but modern construction. Any somewhat established suburban area with decades of housing will have its own mixture and its own character.
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Old 12-22-2013, 05:54 PM
 
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Do these suburbs look the same to you?
http://goo.gl/maps/FXAQA
http://goo.gl/maps/u5asO
http://goo.gl/maps/LGjN0
http://goo.gl/maps/bu8co
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Old 12-22-2013, 06:01 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 24 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,663,662 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
The main thing which can be said regarding the saminess of suburbs is while early suburbs (some of which, particularly in New England, have existed as independent places for centuries) showed regional distinctiveness, as time went on there were progressively less variations in terms of housing stock and road patterns. In modern construction, for example, there's broadly speaking a contemporary style with vinyl siding which is built across most of the country, and a neo-Spanish stucco style which is built mainly in California, the Southwest, and Florida. Still, this only effects the newest of suburbs, which are comprised of nothing but modern construction. Any somewhat established suburban area with decades of housing will have its own mixture and its own character.
Oh, balderdash! Vinyl siding is not popular here in CO, even in starter homes.
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Old 12-22-2013, 06:31 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Oh, balderdash! Vinyl siding is not popular here in CO, even in starter homes.
It's the usual in most places around here.
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Old 12-22-2013, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
The first one links me to a picture of Thomas Edison's house. The second one a run-down commercial district, the third a strip mall, and the fourth a rural road. Of course they have nothing in common. But given they're all particular places within different suburbs, it's kind of a false comparison. The vast majority of land area of the U.S. is outside of cities, and you'll find representations of virtually everything there.

Basically, suburbs vary on three main spectra

1. Age of housing - everything from colonial all the way to built yesterday.
2. General desirability, which usually tracks closely with things like income level, public school quality, local demographics, and crime rates.
3. Region of the country, although this has lessened with time, as I stated above. Many cities had their own early suburban form in the 1920s, which tended to fade due to the development of national trends, things like standardization of windows and doors, and eventually builders with national reach.
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Old 12-22-2013, 06:36 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
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Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
well, no. Though one of your links appears to be preserved or completely undeveloped land.
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Old 12-22-2013, 06:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
well, no. Though one of your links appears to be preserved or completely undeveloped land.
The last link is a park (termed "reservation") containing a reservoir (no longer used for drinking water), yes.

Here's a nearby spot that's developed in a typical suburban style and shouldn't look much like any of the others.
http://goo.gl/maps/8V2vu
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Old 12-22-2013, 06:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
The first one links me to a picture of Thomas Edison's house. The second one a run-down commercial district, the third a strip mall, and the fourth a rural road. Of course they have nothing in common.
They have one thing in common. They're all the same suburb.
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Old 12-22-2013, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
They have one thing in common. They're all the same suburb.
Not to be pedantic, but the OP's question was if some people believe if every suburb was the same, not if every location in every suburb was the same. Obviously suburbs are not 100% comprised of homogeneous tract housing, and have a varied number of land uses within them.
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