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LJinPA

What type of architecture or style is this?

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I'll see if I can get some better specimins this week. The W-B/Scranton area seems to have a distinct signature architecture throughout most of the old, working class neighborhoods that is dictinct from the rest of PA and even the rest of the Anthracite region. Most of the houses are white paneled, 2-3 stories, single family or double block, and A-frame roofs (with a few rather hideous barn roofs thrown in here and there). They also tend to be very close together. Go south of 1-80 and the architecture immediately turns to the more typical PA style row-houses reminiscent of Philly, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Pottsville...That "rest of PA" where you find the row houses is the part settled more by the Quaker/Palatine German/Scotch-Irish element. The accent and dialect also changes (esp among the older generation) south of that line just as well as the architecture. Greater Hazleton seems to be on the cusp with a mix of both styles. This link is to a map showing and explaining that cultural line:

http://www.evolpub.com/Americandialects/PennaDialMap.html

Now this architecture and urban layout I described in my area shown in the pictures I have also seen in parts of Queens, in Waterbury, Connecticut especially, and also to a lesser extent in Michigan and Northern Indiana. The pattern is these seem to be the places where Connecticut Yankees historically migrated. (An exception is that Norfolk, VA has a few neighborhoods with this architecture and had little puritan influence.

The coal companies built many of the homes in my area- not all... But this niche or style still fits this larger pattern.

Does anyone know the name of this architecture??? Could this be the balloon housing that Yankees were known to invent? It was Yankees from Connecticut that not only settled W-B and Scranton but also layed out the cities complete with density and town squares everywhere. They formed many other institutions in the area. Welsh coal miners were also part of this establishment to a lesser extent.

Heres DT Scranton but look more in back of the skyline at the houses:

Scranton1.jpg

And here's another everyday scene near Wilkes-Barre but you cant make out the pattern of housing styles as well as at street level. I'll have to get a street level shot sometime.

Hudson1.jpg

Now to contrast, here's looking south of 1-80 at the more typical PA look of the Lehigh Valley:

Allentown5.jpg

Better yet in the PA forum if one looks at the threads for Harrisburg and York that someone posted it shows the typical PA look even better.

One interesting thing I've noticed with these typical W-B/Scranton homes, is that many times at street level these homes look rather plain, dull, and cold looking (some are nicer than others though most are well-maintained). At the same time you look at a large, dense cluster of these houses densely nestled amonst our hilly terrain from a distance, it looks a lot more warm and inviting and rather quaint!

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Nice pictures. I still think that downtown Scranton would look a lot better if they hadn't destroyed the Hotel Casey. I know there's a Hilton Garden Inn there now, but losing the Casey was a shame.

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You need to show us a closer view to able to deterine better the housing style in W-B/Scranton

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Much of the housing in Providence, RI is like that too, 2-3 story multi-family detached homes with pitched roofs, really close together. Fall River, MA also has this along with many other New England cities.

Washington Park neighborhood, Providence:

washpark.jpg

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Much of the housing in Providence, RI is like that too, 2-3 story multi-family detached homes with pitched roofs, really close together. Fall River, MA also has this along with many other New England cities.

Washington Park neighborhood, Providence:

washpark.jpg

Those are craftsmen homes, they are very common where I live, in Lansing, MI. They are kit home of various arcitectural styles. They were usually built by the family that would occupy them, with some help, many people added there own touches to them, hence the name. I know that Sears was one of the biggest supplyer of these kit homes, they sold all the basic building materials and plans needed to build a house. I'm not sure if those are what the origional poster was asking about or not.

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OK I took a few pics in W-B yesterday but there was a lot of traffic so I took what I can get. It's kind of awkward photographing ordinary neighborhoods since you can get a lot of suspicious looks.

Here are a few. Most of them are like the 2 in the middle (A-Frame) and many double blocks and some are 3 stories plus the roof and very close together:

WBHouses1.jpg

As you can see in the next we do have a lot of barn roofs (theres a more proper name for them, something "gable". I guess they have more attic space yet handle snow better than a flat roof. Nevertheless I always thought they looked tacky and out of place for a tall, skinny, 3 story house:

WBHouses2.jpg

Here's an overview of part of the Heights section. It's kind of blurry since I had to stop in the middle of a street to get this but it shows how universal this design is and how dense the area is being a metro that was once double it's size. Notice how most of the houses are white:

WBHouses3.jpg

As I pointed out before, the neighborhoods with this design are like "Monet paintings"... Charming when you look at the big picture, yet up close theyre clean, well-maintained, but nothing that special (unless the owners remodled the house over the years).

As for the Detroit pics, those are very similar but the porches are different here. Also we have a lot of red stone walls with steps leading to an upper sidewalk in the hillier areas here.

So is this a distinctly Yankee or Western New England design?

My other pics of the area are on the Pennsylvania forum:

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=19424

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OK I took a few pics in W-B yesterday but there was a lot of traffic so I took what I can get. It's kind of awkward photographing ordinary neighborhoods since you can get a lot of suspicious looks.

Here are a few. Most of them are like the 2 in the middle (A-Frame) and many double blocks and some are 3 stories plus the roof and very close together:

WBHouses1.jpg

As you can see in the next we do have a lot of barn roofs (theres a more proper name for them, something "gable". I guess they have more attic space yet handle snow better than a flat roof. Nevertheless I always thought they looked tacky and out of place for a tall, skinny, 3 story house:

WBHouses2.jpg

Here's an overview of part of the Heights section. It's kind of blurry since I had to stop in the middle of a street to get this but it shows how universal this design is and how dense the area is being a metro that was once double it's size. Notice how most of the houses are white:

WBHouses3.jpg

As I pointed out before, the neighborhoods with this design are like "Monet paintings"... Charming when you look at the big picture, yet up close theyre clean, well-maintained, but nothing that special (unless the owners remodled the house over the years).

As for the Detroit pics, those are very similar but the porches are different here. Also we have a lot of red stone walls with steps leading to an upper sidewalk in the hillier areas here.

So is this a distinctly Yankee or Western New England design?

My other pics of the area are on the Pennsylvania forum:

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=19424

I like the "barn" roofs myself. I actually lived in a house like that in southwest Detroit a few years ago.

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The proper name for those "barn" roofs is a "gambrel roof."

As for the style of house in question, you see those in many of the 19th century industrial centres of the Northeast. The style originated as housing for mill workers, quick and inexpensive to build.

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Now to contrast, here's looking south of 1-80 at the more typical PA look of the Lehigh Valley:

Allentown5.jpg

Better yet in the PA forum if one looks at the threads for Harrisburg and York that someone posted it shows the typical PA look even better.

Speaking of the "typiclal" Pa. look, Not only does the midwest have very similar houses to eastern states like Pa. for example, but also similar rowhouses. Detroit for example might not be dominated by rows, but it has more than some think. Heres a pic for example that Allen posted. IMG_5613.jpg This is a rowhouse in Detroits Corktown neighborhood, one of many on the cities southwest side. Once I get a new scanner, I'll post some Southwest Detroit pics I took when I lived there several years ago.

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Perhaps climate was also a factor. I would imagine that in a colder climate one can build homes a lot closer together and perhaps a taller, thinner home with a steeper pitched roof would allow the snow to slide off better w less chance of a cave in.

Another theory could be that these homes were large and easy to divide up into apartments. A lot of people who came to the industrial centers were poor to working class Catholic immigrants with large families. Frequently extended families were all housed under one roof. Some even took in borders to make ends meet. Those multi story homes may have provided more privacy for a larger family than a ranch.

As for Michigan, the Great Lakes, being settled later than the East Coast, had a lot of influence from other regions. The New England settlers who moved west (as I stated above) influenced much of the northern half of the US. However, west of Upstate NY that influence was mixed with Mid-Atlantic settlement and later on a few Southerners and Appalachian people moved to the Great Lakes looking for industrial work.

Check out this very interesting map (in motion) and the explaination below about "Greater Yankeeland" and it will explain some of the pattern I'm trying to point out.

http://www.rootsandroutes.net/body.htm?htt...s.net/roots.htm

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Perhaps climate was also a factor. I would imagine that in a colder climate one can build homes a lot closer together and perhaps a taller, thinner home with a steeper pitched roof would allow the snow to slide off better w less chance of a cave in.

Another theory could be that these homes were large and easy to divide up into apartments. A lot of people who came to the industrial centers were poor to working class Catholic immigrants with large families. Frequently extended families were all housed under one roof. Some even took in borders to make ends meet. Those multi story homes may have provided more privacy for a larger family than a ranch.

As for Michigan, the Great Lakes, being settled later than the East Coast, had a lot of influence from other regions. The New England settlers who moved west (as I stated above) influenced much of the northern half of the US. However, west of Upstate NY that influence was mixed with Mid-Atlantic settlement and later on a few Southerners and Appalachian people moved to the Great Lakes looking for industrial work.

Check out this very interesting map (in motion) and the explaination below about "Greater Yankeeland" and it will explain some of the pattern I'm trying to point out.

http://www.rootsandroutes.net/body.htm?htt...s.net/roots.htm

Thats pretty interesting. It is also interesting that Mobile was mentioned, because Mobile was founded not only by the French like Detroit, but within a couple of years, and in many ways reminds me of Detroit. Pretty cool info, thanks for posting that.

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It's hard to judge the buildings in the pictures with the gambrel roof because most of the identifying details have been removed or covered it the aluminum siding. My best guess is colonial revival, which started in the late 1890s and was popular through the 1930s. The style used the details of the original colonial homes of the 18th century but used tham in a much more loose and fanciful way. These homes could have been simplified, working-class forms of these houses.

As for the gambrel roof, it allows for the most amount of interior space. The steep sections of the roof are more efficient substitutes for walls as they are usually thicker and can thus hold more insulation.

Here are some examples of colonial revival houses with their original detailing and gambrel roofs.

One with the gable on the side. A larger house with more space between its neighbors

Another with the side gable. Much more detailed and probably for a more afluent family.

One more like the houses in Scranton, but only two floors and on a large lot.

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