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Old 11-11-2014, 09:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
As I said before, Boston used more wood than brick or stone for residential construction.
Philly used a lot of brick; the story I've heard there is Penn was especially concerned about fire and so did not allow wood construction in much of the city. Lots of different types of rowhouses in Philadelphia of course.
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Old 11-11-2014, 10:08 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
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Well the city of Seattle burned to the ground in 1900, so the city required all residential buildings to have space between them.

But this law alone didn't result in no rowhouses in Seattle, since SF also burned to the ground around the same time as Seattle yet chose to not incorporate a spacing requirement. San Francisco's population was exploding and rowhouses were the quickest type of housing to mass produce while maximizing the profit from limited space. Seattle, on the other hand, was also limited in space but did not have that enormous level of demand.
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Old 11-11-2014, 10:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
As I said before, Boston used more wood than brick or stone for residential construction. As for hot climates, while I'm sure it's a factor but cities with similar climates out of the US build very differently. Here's the oldest part of Cordoba, Spain. Very similar climate to Merced, California especially by afternoon temperatures.
Cordoba had a 2000 year lead on the Sacramento Valley. Available materials made a difference: they didn't have balloon-framed housing or steam-powered lumber mills when Cordoba was first built, I'd assume during the Roman Empire or thereabouts.

Quote:
Newer parts of the city are different, but little of the city has detached housing; it's not common there. Note the white walls, which reflect sunlight. The narrow streets also block some sun from hitting the street. Hillside of Granada, similar temperature-wise to Sacramento
Thick, white walls have their own advantages--adobe homes, found farther into the Southwest, insulate via thermal mass, absorbing heat during the day and releasing it at night. This sort of southern European stone house with white walls functions much like whitewashed adobe. Adobes are rare in northern California, the rainy winters tend to melt them (Sacramento is hot, but it isn't a desert.)

Quote:
attached, again. Sure, these were built when walking was the main mode of transportation. Except going further out in both those cities, most later neighborhoods built when there was ample mass transit are as dense or denser.

But yes, I get your point. There's no benefit of attaching homes as opposed to say having a 5 foot gap in a hot climate.
Lumber was more abundant and available, and balloon framing made lumber more practical to use in northern California, not to mention less expensive. With wooden construction, detached row houses (to take advantage of breezes and tree cover) were a preferred strategy. Northern California's pioneers were a diverse lot, but the Americans who arrived in the greatest numbers were from the Northeast, which is why a lot of older Northern California towns have a certain touch of New England feel to them in their oldest parts. Southern California was bypassed by the Gold Rush, but migrants from the United States were more likely to be from the South, where city-building styles were more horizontal than the compact New England style.

Another effect of the Gold Rush was that the West Coast was colonized from west to east, going inland, rather than the general pattern of American colonization from east to west. Some colonists came overland, but many got off the boat in San Francisco via Cape Horn or the Isthmus of Panama. In effect, "westward" expansion skipped the Great Desert entirely. Once the Transcontinental Railroad was completed, migrants could go directly to California without bothering to stop in the great dry expanse in between. In addition, many of California's colonists arrived from the east--from China, and later India, Japan, and the Philippines, or via Hawaii, like many Portuguese immigrants who stopped in Hawaii before arriving in California.
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Old 11-11-2014, 10:23 PM
 
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Due to gold discovered relatively nearby, San Francisco had a population of 25,000 in 1850. Denver did not exist yet & Seattle got started in the 1850s I think but didn't grow much. In 1880 Seattle had 8,000.



Quote:
Originally Posted by P London View Post
Why are there Row houses in San Francisco but not in the rest of the Western USA?

I've always wondered why there Row houses in SF but not in say, Denver or Seattle.

Was SF settled very early, yet that doesn't make sense either because wasn't the US colonised first in the east then slowly westward?
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Old 11-11-2014, 10:30 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
Not necessarily. In the Philly area, there is a clear distinguish between a townhouse and a rowhouse.

These are rowhouses with garages but they are not considered townhouses.

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.9101...LSMCMBdlVg!2e0
We will let eHow solve this issue.
What is the Difference Between a Row House and a Town House? | eHow

Basically it all depends on who you talk to, but a rowhouse is a row of connected homes that are all identical. Townhouses are connected homes that can be identical or different from each other.
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Old 11-11-2014, 10:32 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Urban one is made for cars too. That's why they have garages and off-street parking. Difference is the urban ones don't have backyards (or in that case tiny patios) for the caretakers of the cars to do things in.
Sorry, I was just being general with that post, I should have said one was built with the garage in front and in more of a suburban style, while the other was built more for the front door to have access to the sidewalk without a driveway and in a more urban setting. (That doesn't mean the urban one can't have a garage in the back of it.)
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Old 11-12-2014, 12:27 AM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
We will let eHow solve this issue.
What is the Difference Between a Row House and a Town House? | eHow

Basically it all depends on who you talk to, but a rowhouse is a row of connected homes that are all identical. Townhouses are connected homes that can be identical or different from each other.
Well obviously someone from the West coast who lives in a city that doesn't have any rowhouses is going to have a different perspective than someone who lives in a city where rowhouses make up a majority of the housing stock. No offense but a Portlander trying to educate a Phildelphian on what rowhouses are is quite laughable. The opposite would be a Philadelphian trying to educate a Portlander on all things related to lumberjacking.

Last edited by gwillyfromphilly; 11-12-2014 at 12:41 AM..
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Old 11-12-2014, 01:25 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
Sorry, I was just being general with that post, I should have said one was built with the garage in front and in more of a suburban style, while the other was built more for the front door to have access to the sidewalk without a driveway and in a more urban setting. (That doesn't mean the urban one can't have a garage in the back of it.)
Or in the front.

https://www.google.com/maps/@37.7681...iVRQ!2e0?hl=en
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Old 11-12-2014, 01:28 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
Well obviously someone from the West coast who lives in a city that doesn't have any rowhouses is going to have a different perspective than someone who lives in a city where rowhouses make up a majority of the housing stock. No offense but a Portlander trying to educate a Phildelphian on what rowhouses are is quite laughable. The opposite would be a Philadelphian trying to educate a Portlander on all things related to lumberjacking.
How about those of us on the West Coast who do live (or at least frequent) places where there are rowhouses built for automobiles?
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Old 11-12-2014, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steeps View Post
I live in East Central PA. Small towns here have plenty of wood framed Row homes but also what I see as a variety of Row housing. They are 2 houses 1/2 and 1/2 called Half-Doubles. Does it to be called a row home, need 3 or more residences side by side attached only? Most of these Half-Doubles were not separately built units that were merely attached as they got built. But were built that way appearing as one home many times but seeing two doors on front you know it is 2 homes. Many rows and these half-doubles shared common attics or top floor rooms.
I believe on the intro to the old Sitcom ...All in the Family.... shows half-double examples? One older home I own is semi-attached to a neighboring building. There is just a few inches separation with the roofs attached and a narrow front separation covered. It is still classified as a single home. No one here calls older Rows up to the sidewalks or half-double, Townhouses.
I've always called semi-attached housing duplexes, but I know in some parts of the U.S. that is the term for a two-flat (e.g., something like this).

Pittsburgh duplexes come in several varieties. Earlier 19th century ones are basically traditionally styled townhouses. But later on they're simply smooshed-together foursquares, or bungalows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
As I said before, Boston used more wood than brick or stone for residential construction.
Pittsburgh has many wood rowhouses, although brick is slightly more dominant overall. Several city neighborhoods (Deutschtown, Spring Garden, Troy Hill, Bloomfield, and Upper Lawrenceville) are mostly wood rowhouses. Most of these have been horribly remuddled - the wood trim long since ripped off, the wood cladding replaced with siding, and mid-20th century odd-sized (usually horizontal) windows put in. But you can find pockets of intact/restored wood rowhouses. This is one of the best remaining stands.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Philly used a lot of brick; the story I've heard there is Penn was especially concerned about fire and so did not allow wood construction in much of the city. Lots of different types of rowhouses in Philadelphia of course.
My mother grew up in Philly, and said even in her childhood it was illegal to build a house out of anything but brick or stone. This might be apocryphal, but in general there's still a widely-held belief in some parts of Pennsylvania that wood houses are unsafe.
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