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Old 07-10-2014, 09:08 PM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
9,432 posts, read 18,331,107 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
I think most condo buildings in Toronto and Vancouver do have balconies, and usually retail at grade too. The ground floor/podium can be pretty plain though.

I'd say this is a typical example:
https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.64039...808aK7PzZw!2e0
Many of these glass boxes in Downtown Miami could use much better street level integration with more ground floor vibrancy and street interaction.

https://www.google.com/maps/@25.7851...5XXkAP7oQw!2e0

https://www.google.com/maps/@25.7686...VZ5fKzhflA!2e0

https://www.google.com/maps/@25.7709...0WqS_UF5aA!2e0
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:32 PM
 
1,709 posts, read 1,674,850 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
I just think the architecture is very monotonous and duplicated. Lack of a yard to distract from that magnifies the situation since the clones are so much closer together with no visual break, it just makes it more obvious.
Like eschaton said, they're not always similar. In fact, they usually aren't. When they are, it's often because they were built as a single unit, rather than individual units like classic rowhomes. When rowhomes are totally identical, their facade is usually seamlessly attached between all of them, and it's hard to distinguish them as individual row houses as opposed to an apartment complex with no indoor commons area and all entrances on the outisde. Either that, or they actually are one entire unit.

But I totally understand your opinion, identical architecture can get really monotonous. I particularly hate modern rowhomes. They usually either are made in contemporary, deconstructivist(ish) kind of a style, or are made to imitate older rowhomes, in which case they are most often trying to emulate Philadelphia colonial rowhomes or NYC brownstones.

The modern-styled ones are built as one unit, and look like this. They're commonly found in infill areas, usually the sunbelt, but can also be found in rust belt cities with reviving areas like Pittsburgh, Chicago, or Cleveland. These modern ones make a very valuable contribution to street life and to the urban atmosphere as a whole, but I just despise that architecture! Plus, when you have multiple units of 4-5 of these, but in slightly different arrangements and colors, it looks like a blocky mess, as if someone's kid went wild with the Legos. It doesn't look good at all.

The imitation ones are also built as one unit, but are often made to look like they're separate, which usually is what makes them look so awful. They often look like this. When the developer is at least visually honest and tries to make a single unit look like a single unit, I don't have much of a problem. But when a developer tries to mimic a set of individual rowhouses without actually bothering to build individual rowhouses, it just looks bad. It looks too mass-produced and characterless to be charming and unique like a true rowhome implies. The effect is x10 worse when vinyl siding is used anywhere but the back of the home.

I hate both of these kinds of rowhomes. I really don't understand why it's so difficult to build rowhomes one at a time. After all, that would make more sense, right? Wouldn't that be a more flexible response to demand fluctuations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert_SW_77 View Post
Many of these glass boxes in Downtown Miami could use much better street level integration with more ground floor vibrancy and street interaction.

https://www.google.com/maps/@25.7851...5XXkAP7oQw!2e0

https://www.google.com/maps/@25.7686...VZ5fKzhflA!2e0

https://www.google.com/maps/@25.7709...0WqS_UF5aA!2e0
It really doesn't look like it would be hard to connect those to the street. Especially for the first one, all they need to do is expand to front sidewalk. Why is this such a difficult concept for developers to understand?
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,419 posts, read 11,926,143 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
The modern-styled ones are built as one unit, and look like this. They're commonly found in infill areas, usually the sunbelt, but can also be found in rust belt cities with reviving areas like Pittsburgh, Chicago, or Cleveland. These modern ones make a very valuable contribution to street life and to the urban atmosphere as a whole, but I just despise that architecture! Plus, when you have multiple units of 4-5 of these, but in slightly different arrangements and colors, it looks like a blocky mess, as if someone's kid went wild with the Legos. It doesn't look good at all.
Some Pittsburgh examples:

Lawrenceville: My neighborhood. Relatively little in terms of larger scale new construction yet, because the gentrification only kicked into high gear within the last ten years. Most of the infill is on isolated lots, which tends to be modern in style, but is mostly so new that Google Street View hasn't recorded it.
Pseudo-traditional
Modernist (odd row because it's on a triangular lot)

South Side: About ten years further along in gentrification, so a large number of formerly industrial parcels near the water have been converted into new construction townhouse areas"
Pseudo-Traditional
Modernist
Modernist
Modernist

Hill District: A low-income African-American part of town which was traditionally a rowhouse neighborhood before massive demolitions. The new (HUD-assisted) construction is trying to be more contextual to what was there before. It's neither particularly modernist nor extremely traditional overall
Semi-Modernist
Pseudo-Traditional

North Side: The largest contiguous collection of rowhouses in the city. Much of the area is covered by historic districts, and there has been more of an attempt over the last 20 years or so to make the rowhouse infill look somewhat contextual.
Traditional (cannot tell they are infill from the front, except for the clean look of the brick/foundation)
Semi-Traditional (older, from 1980s/1990s)
Semi-Traditional
Semi-Traditional
Semi-Traditional
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:50 AM
 
2,824 posts, read 3,350,485 times
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The Denver 26th street project is almost certainly a condominium. Urbanists tend to ignore the undesirable legal structure associated with many of these urban housing forms. The architecture isn't the only thing unattractive about this project.
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,419 posts, read 11,926,143 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
The Denver 26th street project is almost certainly a condominium. Urbanists tend to ignore the undesirable legal structure associated with many of these urban housing forms. The architecture isn't the only thing unattractive about this project.
What do you mean "undesirable legal structure?" Do you mean how in traditional rowhouses, where each neighbor is in total control of their unit, they can ruin the row's contiguity by remuddling and there's nothing you can do about it?

FWIW, most rows of identical houses built during the Victorian era were either meant as rentals, or constructed with the houses owned by the residents, but the property owned by a landlord. Individual ownership only happened much later.
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:03 AM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
What do you mean "undesirable legal structure?" Do you mean how in traditional rowhouses, where each neighbor is in total control of their unit, they can ruin the row's contiguity by remuddling and there's nothing you can do about it?
He would probably consider that a positive, because he prefers individual property rights over an organization limiting choices. I doubt he values the contiguity of rows or row homes, either. I'm not sure I'd be bothered by a row losing contiguity. It may be a improvement as it reduce monotony, other than some historic preservation laws, that legal structure sounds fine. The rows you posted weren't identical nor contiguous.
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Old 07-11-2014, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Bothell, Washington
2,701 posts, read 4,671,006 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post

Image from Wikipedia. Pictures are worth a thousand words. People swoon over row houses to no end. Personally, I think they're ugly.
I agree, most I have seen are so ugly- just like the image you posted! Not to mention having neighbors on two sides, and almost no outdoor space- yuck! Then a person might as well just live in an apartment/condo.
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Old 07-11-2014, 04:42 PM
 
1,709 posts, read 1,674,850 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm31828 View Post
I agree, most I have seen are so ugly- just like the image you posted! Not to mention having neighbors on two sides, and almost no outdoor space- yuck! Then a person might as well just live in an apartment/condo.
Well, most row homes are de facto condos, but with separate street-fronted entrances and personal backyards. They're not full-blown homes, I don't know why you would expect them to be. They're something unique, between a condo/apartment building or a duplex and a single family home. That's why people like them so much, they're a separate and relatively rare type of housing. If you don't like it, that's totally cool, that's your opinion. I personally think the appeal of a rowhome depends on the architecture and the interaction with the street; not all rowhomes are created equal.
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:36 AM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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So with row homes you don't own the land, just the home? That's what makes condos condos. I think most row homes in Toronto you do own the land. There are new construction townhouses where you don't own the land though (so they're condos).
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Old 07-12-2014, 06:08 AM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,610 posts, read 3,761,847 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert_SW_77 View Post
Many of these glass boxes in Downtown Miami could use much better street level integration with more ground floor vibrancy and street interaction.

https://www.google.com/maps/@25.7851...5XXkAP7oQw!2e0

https://www.google.com/maps/@25.7686...VZ5fKzhflA!2e0

https://www.google.com/maps/@25.7709...0WqS_UF5aA!2e0
You wouldn't see that in Downtown Toronto of Downtown Vancouver. At most it would be something like this with no ground floor retail on side streets.
https://www.google.ca/maps/place/Cha...1b1efc9964b114

Sometimes you'll see that kind of stuff in the suburbs, mainly in areas that have relatively little pedestrian traffic. This building is actually called Casa too (like in the first Miami link)...
https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.85106...FcNFNKPDBQ!2e0

But even in the suburbs you'll get more urban ground floors too.
https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.58856...GjOroKx9mA!2e0

In North York (former interurban suburb) there's retail on the main street (Yonge) and usually more of a setback and no retail on other streets.
https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.76566...3GC_xI76BQ!2e0
https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.772,-...sYCWTjwEQQ!2e0
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