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  #41  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2018, 5:07 PM
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The Great Lakes have a certain look, yes.

New England has a certain look. The Mid-Atlantic cities have a certain look. Industrial cities in the Northeast have a certain look. When these places were built, travel and transport were slow and expensive, and so regional vernaculars proliferated much as they had in the Old World for thousands of years.

When you go South and West, the cities are generally less distinctive because they're newer, and were built after everything started to look like everything else.

Modern suburbs all look the same, whether they're in suburban Chicago, Atlanta or Dallas. Toll Brothers or KB Homes only have so many designs. There are exceptions of course, like Florida's thing for Spanish Revival architecture, but that's deliberate rather than the result of a local vernacular that developed organically.
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  #42  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2018, 5:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post
The US has it too but it goes by the more palatable description of 'colonial' rather than Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian, etc.
'Colonial' architecture is none of those things.

The closest equivalent to Georgian architecture in the US is the 'Federal' style (mixed later with what in Britain is called Regency-style architecture), which was prevalent just before and after independence from Britain.

The Victorian and Edwardian periods came long after America was a colony. America has lots of Victorian architecture, and it is referred to as such. By the Edwardian period American and British architecture had completely diverged, and American architects at the time were doing anything from Beaux-Arts to Prarie School to Arts & Crafts to Spanish Colonial Revival buildings. And of course, the first skyscrapers, which developed their own vernaculars.

Actual Colonial-style architecture was unique to the American colonies and based on the materials that were available (or not available), which meant wood rather than brick or stone, and in many cases very few and small windows (because glass had to be imported from England).

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  #43  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2018, 5:33 PM
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Originally Posted by TownGuy View Post
It's interesting how to the uninitiated or non-horticultural among us, the presence of sumac trees in he summer can give a pseudo-tropical feel to northern climes where you wouldn't expect it.

I have them in my backyard including around my swimming pool and they're pretty neat as background vegetation. (They're also gorgeous fire engine red in the autumn.)

Now if only they didn't try to take over the entire yard...
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  #44  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2018, 5:34 PM
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Any city largely built out before 1940 has a distinctive look.

That's why SF, despite being on the west coast, is nothing like a Sunbelt city.

What's not being discussed is how land was platted in the prewar era. The long, narrow lots is what allows cities like Chicago to have newer infill that still looks dinstinctive compared to 99% of what's being built in America.
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  #45  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2018, 6:06 PM
llamaorama llamaorama is offline
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Any city largely built out before 1940 has a distinctive look.

Also the Plains cities, which were reaching their stride exactly around 1940(IIRC, maybe I'm wrong).

They are also just smaller and there's more variation in prosperity and a lot of divergence based on their modern circumstances.

Fort Worth, Oklahoma City, Wichita, Amarillo, Lubbock, Tulsa, parts of Kansas City, Omaha, Des Moines, Denver, Abilene, Wichita Falls, Midland-Odessa. Albuquerque is a hybrid between this and a southwest/rocky mountain style. Saskatoon, Winnepeg, Calgary, and Edmonton may or may not qualify too. Also if you want to stretch things, Bakersfield, Sacramento, Modesto, Stockton, etc.

Shared attributes:

*A really booming resource based economy in the early and mid 20th century. You can feel through the buildings that there was this time of immense optimism and progressivism towards the future. Like vocational high schools that are palatial art deco masterpieces. Also an embrace of technologies of the era. For example some of the first modern airports, and Wichita still has some aviation industry.

*1930's-1950's high rises and civic buildings that blur the lines between late art deco and early contemporary buildings. More flw influence than mies. Oil money or big ag/banks is to thank for that.

*Endless neighborhoods of late 1950's ranch style houses which have a flow-y street grid pattern, usually close to the urban core.

*Huge grimy industrial zones. Not so much manufacturing or steel like out east and by the lakes, instead big spooky old grain elevators and feed mills and slaughterhouses and oil refineries and warehouses. Often a giant rail yard somewhere near downtown.

*Everything is a grid. Sometimes numbered streets and letter avenues persist into the new suburbs and extend way out beyond the metro edge into rural areas.

Last edited by llamaorama; Jan 27, 2018 at 6:24 PM.
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  #46  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2018, 6:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
It's interesting how to the uninitiated or non-horticultural among us, the presence of sumac trees in he summer can give a pseudo-tropical feel to northern climes where you wouldn't expect it.

I have them in my backyard including around my swimming pool and they're pretty neat as background vegetation. (They're also gorgeous fire engine red in the autumn.)

Now if only they didn't try to take over the entire yard...
"Your" backyard? I think we both know it's now THEIR backyard.
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  #47  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2018, 6:35 PM
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Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
"Your" backyard? I think we both know it's now THEIR backyard.
Do you mean by this the sumacs (vinaigriers), my kids and their friends, or someone else?

(I sure know who's backyard it is when it's time to do the maintenance...)
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  #48  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2018, 6:44 PM
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Some "Edwardian" housing in Toronto (Palmerston Blvd.)

https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.66034...7i13312!8i6656

What would Americans call this?
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  #49  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2018, 6:49 PM
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design follows function too. light colors in the sw, brick in the snowbelt for inclement weather, block construction in the south for high humidity, wide soffits of nw bungalows for rain. but i get what you are saying OP. design also follows trends.
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  #50  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2018, 7:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Quixote View Post
Atlanta is certainly not a "clone" of Dallas; the two look nothing alike.

LA is also unique and easily distinguishable, and it has nothing to do with size.
LA doesn't look like Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Vegas, Miami etc.
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  #51  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2018, 7:25 PM
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All Great Lakes cities look similarly "coastal"... simply because they are on a coast. And by physical nature of having that defined linear boundary of the lakshore (and usually relatively flat relief in close proximity to the shore) their urban layouts are generally going to be grid patterned.

I'd say that western Great Lakes cities look alike and eastern Great Lakes cities look alike. With eastern Great Lakes cities looking more northeastern and western Great Lakes cities looking more midwestern... primarily based on differences in regional topography... northeast being hilly and midwest being flat.
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  #52  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2018, 7:26 PM
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Originally Posted by The North One View Post
Downtown LA isn't really that distinguishable, it could easily fill in for Dallas or Houston besides for the hills. LA is the king of all sunbelt cities so it's a bit more filled in but it went through the same total core destruction all the others did. If they left the city alone it would still look like an inland San Francisco.
What. And LA's neighborhoods look much denser and older than the other sunbelt cities.
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  #53  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2018, 7:29 PM
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Originally Posted by LA21st View Post
LA doesn't look like Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Vegas, Miami etc.
Well, maybe they look like LA then.
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  #54  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2018, 7:29 PM
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f

Last edited by LA21st; Jan 27, 2018 at 8:19 PM.
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  #55  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2018, 7:35 PM
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Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
No, I didn't miss it at all. At the time of my visit though it felt disconnected from the west part of the CBD, where the big towers were. Really nice pre-war intact commercial artery, felt exotic because I did not see another white there that day and everything was unilingual in Spanish (mostly cheap stores, too). I am assuming in the decade since then it probably became a bit more multicultural, it has the bones to be a great (quality) shopping district for all Angelenos.

The handful of blocks LA has with skyscrapers on them were to me very reminiscent of Houston's, far more than any other city I know in fact.
That doesn't make downtown LA like downtown Houston.

Here's another street (that's not Broadway) in downtown.

http://https://www.google.ca/maps/@34.0419307,-118.2523218,3a,75y,66.06h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sv3uffsaBlOn2ayeYU2xmKQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192?hl=fr

Hill St
http://https://www.google.com/maps/@34.0461469,-118.2543426,3a,75y,94.09h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s21pkRGTQEmL9a_-S2LOh_A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Los Angeles St and 8th St

http://https://www.google.com/maps/@34.0419307,-118.2523218,3a,75y,54.95h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sv3uffsaBlOn2ayeYU2xmKQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

8th and Spring

http://https://www.google.com/maps/@34.0435715,-118.2544278,3a,75y,300.24h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sg811miNgH-TJmt5GT7KD3Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

1st St in Little Tokyo

http://https://www.google.com/maps/@34.0498265,-118.240073,3a,75y,317.45h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s9m1nJxikmZLJLO-o2lplTA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

What Sunbelt cities outside of LA have areas compared to LA's neighborhoods?
I don't see any resemblance at all, unless we're counting far flung valley neighborhoods or something. Even then......

Last edited by LA21st; Jan 28, 2018 at 5:34 AM.
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  #56  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 12:08 AM
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SF and LA are a little pre-Sun Belt, but I know most people lump them in together because of the warmer climate. But those two cities boomed before the proliferation of air conditioning, and their survival isn't really dependent on it like that of other Sun Belt metropolitans. Especially SF.
Yes. LA is the outlier among the Sun Belt metropoli because it has an early 20th century legacy (one that includes hosting the 1932 Summer Olympics) that the others don't, and it's visible in the bones of the built environment. As an overall urban agglomeration, LA's definitely post-war (I would argue the Bay Area is as well). But there's a difference between coming of age in the 1950s/1960s versus the postmodern 1980s/1990s and the new millennium. I'll acknowledge the large population gains of the 80s and that LA was still very much a young city in search of an identity at the time. But by the 1970 census, the five-county CSA already had a population equivalent to that of modern day Chicagoland. And for reference:

1910

Los Angeles -- 319,198 (17th)
Atlanta -- 154,839 (31st)
Dallas -- 92,104 (58th)
Houston -- 78,800 (68th)

1920

Los Angeles -- 576,673 (10th)*
Atlanta -- 200,616 (33rd)
Dallas -- 158,976 (42nd)
Houston -- 138,276 (45th)

1930

Los Angeles -- 1,238,048 (5th)
Houston -- 292,352 (26th)
Atlanta -- 270,366 (32nd)
Dallas -- 260,475 (33rd)

1940

Los Angeles -- 1,504,277 (5th)
Houston -- 384,514 (21st)
Atlanta -- 302,288 (28th)
Dallas -- 294,734 (31st)


*Already larger than San Francisco

Last edited by Quixote; Jan 28, 2018 at 12:22 AM.
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  #57  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 2:52 AM
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Originally Posted by LA21st View Post
LA doesn't look like Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Vegas, Miami etc.
LOL, right on cue.

How dare anyone compare LA to any less glamourus city?
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  #58  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 2:56 AM
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LA is right up there with Jacksonville.
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  #59  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 3:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Docere View Post
LA is right up there with Jacksonville.
Oooo, original, no one on this board has poked fun at my commentary on Jacksonville and Toronto.

That said, LA is not a clone or even fraternal twin of any Sun Belt city. It's too big and distinct despite any passing similarity, not even to a place like San Diego. I think we all can leave it at that.
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  #60  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2018, 3:11 AM
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Originally Posted by ThePhun1 View Post
...

That said, LA is not a clone or even fraternal twin of any Sun Belt city. It's too big and distinct despite any passing similarity, not even to a place like San Diego. I think we all can leave it at that.
So you backtracked and basically agree with me now.
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