More Townhouses / Townhomes Please.

Arlington

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In other metro areas, we see a strong share of new construction and Infill are townhomes.

Why don't we see more of this "perfect compromise" style in Boston? Clearly from 1800 to 1800 it was an essential part of "filling up" Boston, but somewhere around 1890, particularly with the advent of streetcar suburbs and steam heat, the 2-flat, 3-flat or "Philadelphia style" became the standard "attached" home--Boston stacks its units, rather than slotting them side-by-side. Why?

I'm wondering if that's because, in the age before air conditioning--and indeed before urban warming--the cross-breezes of a 3 flat were considered ideal, versus, say, the 'burbs of DC, where townhomes were standard and always airconditioned from 1960 onward?

But in the growing Burbs all across the South, the townhome is highly prized, and being actively built. In DC, townhomes serve as both "starter home" (your first "non-condo" is often just 2 stories), as a "walk to transit" style, and, as attached McMansion (often 4 stories).

Elsewhere, Transit oriented development is a very clear story: "atop" the station, you have something with an elavator. a block farther out, you have garden apartments. A block beyond that, townhomes (often really nice ones) are the last "walkable-to-transit" blocks, and then at about 3000' or 4000' walk to a rail transit station, you "revert" to single family

But Boson seems to do side-by-side duplexes or walk-up apartments and not townhomes. Why? I
 

bdurden

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In other metro areas, we see a strong share of new construction and Infill are townhomes.

Why don't we see more of this "perfect compromise" style in Boston? Clearly from 1800 to 1800 it was an essential part of "filling up" Boston, but somewhere around 1890, particularly with the advent of streetcar suburbs and steam heat, the 2-flat, 3-flat or "Philadelphia style" became the standard "attached" home--Boston stacks its units, rather than slotting them side-by-side. Why?

I'm wondering if that's because, in the age before air conditioning--and indeed before urban warming--the cross-breezes of a 3 flat were considered ideal, versus, say, the 'burbs of DC, where townhomes were standard and always airconditioned from 1960 onward?

But in the growing Burbs all across the South, the townhome is highly prized, and being actively built. In DC, townhomes serve as both "starter home" (your first "non-condo" is often just 2 stories), as a "walk to transit" style, and, as attached McMansion (often 4 stories).

Elsewhere, Transit oriented development is a very clear story: "atop" the station, you have something with an elavator. a block farther out, you have garden apartments. A block beyond that, townhomes (often really nice ones) are the last "walkable-to-transit" blocks, and then at about 3000' or 4000' walk to a rail transit station, you "revert" to single family

But Boson seems to do side-by-side duplexes or walk-up apartments and not townhomes. Why? I
DC metro area especially if you include Baltimore has a hundreds year history of rows whereas Boston doesn’t. That is likely the prevailing reason there is no precedent to build them in the Northeast - that and the extremely high price of land compared to the South where they can afford to build townhomes.
 

BronsonShore

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I'm wondering if that's because, in the age before air conditioning--and indeed before urban warming--the cross-breezes of a 3 flat were considered ideal, versus, say, the 'burbs of DC, where townhomes were standard and always airconditioned from 1960 onward?
This is it, I believe. Triple-deckers we’re viewed as more humane, thanks to increased light and airflow.
 

Arlington

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In the town of Arlington (MA), i see old 2.5 deckers being converted to side-by-side duplexes..and all new "R2" buildings are side-by-side (where they tear down a little house in an R2 zone). Building these, and particularly *coverting* 2 flats to side by side is something they wouldn't take the trouble to do if two townhomes weren't worth more than putting similar units one on top of another. So, I hear the market speaking: people want a front door and kitchen at ground level and bedrooms above--why havent we seen more row-homes (now that artificial light and air conditioning are considerably cheaper and better than they were, say, in 1960).
 

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