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Old 02-03-2014, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Yes, I agree, and in the Richmond picture, too, the houses all have landscaping and such, and don't look quite so much alike.

@eschaton-My point was that "cookie cutter" ism isn't new.
It's not new at all.

Here's the wikipedia article on cookie cutter:
Terraced house - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It originated as a rather pretentious style of architecture that sought to stand out from the hodgepodge of contemporary buildings. Now it's kind of swung back the other way as trends tend to do if given enough time. Cookie cutter never bothered me personally. It's more about the architectural style itself. I rather like Beaux Arts, which is very structured in design such to achieve a uniform, cookie-cutter, appearance. Heck, most people WANT cookie cutter, look at the controversy of say Dancing House. It really doesn't fit in with the cookie-cutter environs at all, and people hate it for that.
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Old 02-03-2014, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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I think cookie cutter development is going to be common in cities that experience very rapid growth, and yeah, they'll become divergent with time. New York, Philadelphia and Chicago all experienced very rapid growth at one point. And I would say it's not so much about % growth but how much the urban fringe expands by.

Ex you have two urban areas, both at 5000 ppsm, but one has 50,000 people (10 sq mi) and the other 5,000,000 people (1000 sq mi), and they're both perfectly circular expanding concentrically away from the centre with all growth being outward.

If they both grow by 10%

Big city's distance from centre to fringe goes from 17.84 to 18.72 miles, an increase of 0.88 miles.
Small city's distance from centre to fringe goes from 1.78 to 1.87 miles, an increase of 0.09 miles.

So I would it's basically a combination of size and growth rate that influence how likely it is to have large scale developments on the fringe, which explains why Phoenix, Houston and Toronto all have a lot of large scale developments on the periphery, and might also explain why New York, Chicago and Philadelphia's older neighbourhoods look like they were built on a large scale compared to Pittsburg and Toronto where the pre-WWII neighbourhoods mostly look like they were built lot by lot.

@eschaton: the 1910-1930 neighbourhoods of Toronto are often not very homogeneous, which I attribute to it being a smaller city at that time. Maybe around the 1920s you started to have half a block of houses that were homogeneous, and then another half block that were different.
Probably 00s http://goo.gl/maps/Fvx4E
Probably 10s http://goo.gl/maps/SCkUt
Probably 20s http://goo.gl/maps/pkuoY with tons of modifications, plus mid century stuff mixed in
Probably late 40s http://goo.gl/maps/NwnDm
Probably early 50s http://goo.gl/maps/hrkpo
Probably mid-late 50s http://goo.gl/maps/KHROJ
Probably 60s http://goo.gl/maps/3RBb8
Probably 70s http://goo.gl/maps/FWZOV
Probably 80s http://goo.gl/maps/VvMCc
Probably 90s http://goo.gl/maps/aVPm2
Probably 00s http://goo.gl/maps/GDNLF
10s: http://goo.gl/maps/FxmdZ

You started to see homogeneity increasing around the 20s, up until the 50s, then in the 80/90s you had started to have more different models of homes. Still, the way most greenfield developments are planned out seems homogeneous, even if there's a few different models. Or at least not organic.

Last edited by memph; 02-03-2014 at 03:39 PM..
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Old 02-03-2014, 03:18 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
While I can see calling Philly a "cookie cutter" urban environment (as whole blocks and neighborhoods were built to one plan), Pittsburgh is not for the most part. Sure, it has a lot of rowhouses, but these were generally built as singletons or in small groups of 2-6. It's very rare you'd see single row take up an entire block even back in the day, and with modern demolitions, there are probably less than ten such blocks left in the entire region.
Some of the ones from the Pittsburgh link don't look cookie cutter at all, many of the houses have indivualized exterior styling. Or, as you said in blocks of 2-6. Some of them are cookie-cutter, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Yes, I agree, and in the Richmond picture, too, the houses all have landscaping and such, and don't look quite so much alike.
The Richmond ones appear more alike to me, and the landscaping looks like just lawn with a few scattered trees. Perhaps we pick on cookie-cutter more for housing we find less appealing?
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Old 02-03-2014, 03:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
It's not new at all.

Here's the wikipedia article on cookie cutter:
Terraced house - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It originated as a rather pretentious style of architecture that sought to stand out from the hodgepodge of contemporary buildings. Now it's kind of swung back the other way as trends tend to do if given enough time.
I don't know about other examples but the section about Baltimore is just WRONG. Yes rowhouses were built with the houses in a block long row being all the same. Each builder had unique touches that identified his blocks from other bulders blocks. The Gingerbread trim or the finials(?) along the eaves or ridgeline were common ones. but all the houses in the block would have identical trim, doorways steps, etc. Oh the 'formstone' was a fad in the late 50s and 60s to 'modernise' the aging houses. Some had originally been stucco which would eventually start breaking off and if not repaired right would only deteriorate faster. the common upgrades were formstone, fake brick, or Aluminum siding. All of which could hide a multitude of sins.

Some areas like Dundalk would have different styles on different streets. That was because the area was built as a company town by Bethlehem Steel with some streets meant for foreman, some for small working families, etc. But the whole area was sold off when it was built. Then during WWII the whole Middle River area was built as wartime housing for the Martin Aircraft factory. (The names of the streets give that away :-)) I worked for a surveyor in the '70s and we had a bunch of work in the area. As the Senior member of the firm said "Somewhere one each property is a little 900 sq ft bungalow that has been added to several times over the years. sometimes they worried about staying the proper distance from teh property lines and sometimes they didn't. And because of the wartime shortage of iron pipe you won't find corner markers on 3/4 of the properties" He could find corner markers out there pretty well He seemed to know the pattern of which house on the block would have corner markers that would tie into the others and provide the basis for a couple streets (I accused him of doing the original plats and he would only smile) But if you stood back and looked you could see the same basic plan on every house once you mentaly removed the additions, porches, second stories, etc. That Richmond neighborhood looks similar (probably a postwar subdivision) You can see the same basic rancher on each lot. Some have additions, other better landscaping but you can see the initial 'sameness' of the houses.

Later cookie cutter neighborhoods revised the plan using 2, 3 , or 4 styles intermixed with vairying degrees of randomness to break up the repetitiveness of the neighborhood.
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Old 02-03-2014, 03:26 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,057 posts, read 16,066,811 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
The Richmond ones appear more alike to me, and the landscaping looks like just lawn with a few scattered trees. Perhaps we pick on cookie-cutter more for housing we find less appealing?
That's very common. It's a derogatory term, so people probably don't applying it honestly. Also, what you're used to seeing an everyday basis is just... well not noteworthy. I don't walk around rows of identical row houses so they're much more remarkable than the post-war autoburbs I see every day. They're equally cookie cutter, but the latter just doesn't draw my attention. I see it every day.
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Old 02-03-2014, 03:43 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,983 posts, read 41,929,314 times
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Some London ones:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=londo...67.66,,0,-7.11

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Harle...30.09,,0,-8.12

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Wembl...51.06,,0,-1.09

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Wembl...47.84,,0,-2.01

Actually hard to find truly cookie-cutter houses in most places, there's usually some variation.
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Old 02-03-2014, 03:43 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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Reputation: 14804
Manhattan:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Inwoo...6.29,,0,-14.13
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Old 02-03-2014, 03:44 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,057 posts, read 16,066,811 times
Reputation: 12630
Quote:
Originally Posted by MidValleyDad View Post
I don't know about other examples but the section about Baltimore is just WRONG. Yes rowhouses were built with the houses in a block long row being all the same. Each builder had unique touches that identified his blocks from other bulders blocks. The Gingerbread trim or the finials(?) along the eaves or ridgeline were common ones. but all the houses in the block would have identical trim, doorways steps, etc. Oh the 'formstone' was a fad in the late 50s and 60s to 'modernise' the aging houses. Some had originally been stucco which would eventually start breaking off and if not repaired right would only deteriorate faster. the common upgrades were formstone, fake brick, or Aluminum siding. All of which could hide a multitude of sins.

Some areas like Dundalk would have different styles on different streets. That was because the area was built as a company town by Bethlehem Steel with some streets meant for foreman, some for small working families, etc. But the whole area was sold off when it was built. Then during WWII the whole Middle River area was built as wartime housing for the Martin Aircraft factory. (The names of the streets give that away :-)) I worked for a surveyor in the '70s and we had a bunch of work in the area. As the Senior member of the firm said "Somewhere one each property is a little 900 sq ft bungalow that has been added to several times over the years. sometimes they worried about staying the proper distance from teh property lines and sometimes they didn't. And because of the wartime shortage of iron pipe you won't find corner markers on 3/4 of the properties" He could find corner markers out there pretty well He seemed to know the pattern of which house on the block would have corner markers that would tie into the others and provide the basis for a couple streets (I accused him of doing the original plats and he would only smile) But if you stood back and looked you could see the same basic plan on every house once you mentaly removed the additions, porches, second stories, etc. That Richmond neighborhood looks similar (probably a postwar subdivision) You can see the same basic rancher on each lot. Some have additions, other better landscaping but you can see the initial 'sameness' of the houses.

Later cookie cutter neighborhoods revised the plan using 2, 3 , or 4 styles intermixed with vairying degrees of randomness to break up the repetitiveness of the neighborhood.
Yes, I agree that by using 4 styles with random degrees that newer neighborhoods are often less cookie cutter than the cooke cutters you'll find it Baltimore which often have one style.

For example we have four basic designs in my subdivision that are mirrored meaning there's now eight. We also have two different options for the roof. The front of the house either has two large windows or four smaller windows. There were two options for roofline over the entry way as well as the amount of overhang out front to create various size "porches." Then you had the facade choices, those unique bits as you call them. You could have brick or stone accents in a few different styles. You also had the choice of wood fronting with stucco on the side and rear or all stucco.

A few streets were also left open for custom and spec houses. There are two additional floor plans available on those streets (again mirrored) with additional options available rooflines and window configurations on the standard four designs. Plus there's a few completely custom houses on those streets. All of them are spec houses, but aside from the few custom houses, it's still definitely cookie cutter. Doing Mr. Potato Head on the windows here, the roof here, some brick accent there doesn't really change much.
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Old 02-03-2014, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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Toronto's version of cookie cutter (if you can call it that?).


The Clever Pup: Ticky Tacky - Everything's Relative

Brampton

What is your city's raison d'Ítre? - Page 3 - SkyscraperPage Forum

Springdale in Brampton. Brampton has four other areas growing like this, one to the East, one to the SW, one to the NW.

The Best And Worst of Canada - Canada - WorldNomads.com

Milton, ON

Fileerry and Thompson.JPG - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Markham, ON

File:Markham-suburbs aerial-edit2.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A bit less recent (90s?) in Markham (supposedly)

http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/as...xauto-1282.jpg

Mississauga

Toronto sprawl aerial shots
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Old 02-03-2014, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,610 posts, read 3,759,792 times
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I think one of the things that might make housing feel cookie cutter is if there's a lot of uniformity throughout the region. Going from one development to the next in the GTA, each development might have a several different models, but they look very similar to the models in all the other subdivisions going up at that time. Plus the layout of streets, retail, schools and parks is very similar from one subdivision to the next. That it's happening on a very large scale and the trees haven't grown up yet and the homes haven't been customized adds to the cookie cutter feel.

Still, you can tell that these are from the GTA. Even within Ontario, the other metro areas will have subtle differences (except maybe Barrie, Oshawa and Hamilton which would be considered part of the same CSA anyways). And even then, Oshawa tends to have more vinyl, Hamilton more bungalows. Elsewhere in Ontario, there's more vinyl and more bungalows. Quebec and Maritimes have larger lots. Prairies and BC have rather different architecture (mountains style vs neo-Victorian-ish).
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