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Old Posted Jul 10, 2018, 1:15 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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"Prewar" apartment neighborhoods in U.S. outside NYC...

As a spinoff of another thread, I wondered what neighborhoods people can think of outside of NYC where apartment houses (as opposed to single family homes or rowhouses) dominate the urban fabric.

Note, I am not asking about number of units - in virtually every mixed-use neighborhood a couple of big apartment buildings can result in the majority of units being multifamily. I'm talking about when you walk down the street, you see nothing but apartment buildings for blocks and blocks.

For the sake of brevity, let's exclude neighborhoods dominated by very small multifamily, like Boston triple-deckers and Chicago six-flats. Only buildings which are (or appear to be) seven units or more.

One example I can think of is Fenway-Kenmore in Boston. Much of the southern portion of the neighborhood is institutional, taken up by hospitals and universities. But the residential streets are dominated by walkups which take up the entire block face.

Last edited by eschaton; Jul 10, 2018 at 2:05 PM.
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Old Posted Jul 10, 2018, 1:54 PM
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Boston also has the North End: https://goo.gl/maps/SdpYTcW1t5t

And then of course there's the Tenderloin in San Francisco: https://goo.gl/maps/ttF7BVU19Ar

Otherwise, it was just never really a common building typology in North America. Here's a surprising exception though - Holyoke, MA:
https://goo.gl/maps/SKBDCNBkqKM2
https://goo.gl/maps/xau1CQAgoR22
https://goo.gl/maps/SQixn1trrM82
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  #3  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2018, 1:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I'm talking about when you walk down the street, you see nothing but apartment buildings for miles and miles.
if you're discounting flats/plexes/triple-deckers/etc., i can't think of any US city other than NYC with neighborhoods that have absolutely nothing but large apartment buildings for miles and miles.

even your posted example of fenway/kenmore woefully fails the "miles and miles" test, and is pock-marked by surface parking lots to boot.

all of the responses you're going to get are going to be LOADED with caveats.

i think this thread is over before it even started.
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Old Posted Jul 10, 2018, 2:05 PM
Obadno Obadno is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
As a spinoff of another thread, I wondered what neighborhoods people can think of outside of NYC where apartment houses (as opposed to single family homes or rowhouses) dominate the urban fabric.

Note, I am not asking about number of units - in virtually every mixed-use neighborhood a couple of big apartment buildings can result in the majority of units being multifamily. I'm talking about when you walk down the street, you see nothing but apartment buildings for miles and miles.

For the sake of brevity, let's exclude neighborhoods dominated by very small multifamily, like Boston triple-deckers and Chicago six-flats. Only buildings which are (or appear to be) seven units or more.

One example I can think of is Fenway-Kenmore in Boston. Much of the southern portion of the neighborhood is institutional, taken up by hospitals and universities. But the residential streets are dominated by walkups which take up the entire block face.
Pretty much will only exists in the old industrial cities of the North/east and maybe Seattle and San Francisco

Small town living was pretty much the American norm until the last several decades. I think a lot of people forget just how much North America has changed in the last century
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Old Posted Jul 10, 2018, 2:06 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
if you're discounting flats/plexes/triple-deckers/etc., i can't think of any US city other than NYC with neighborhoods that have absolutely nothing but large apartment buildings for miles and miles.

even your posted example of fenway/kenmore woefully fails the "miles and miles" test, and is pock-marked by surface parking lots to boot.

all of the responses you're going to get are going to be LOADED with caveats.

i think this thread is over before it even started.

That was a typo on my part. Fixed to blocks and blocks.
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Old Posted Jul 10, 2018, 2:12 PM
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The neighborhoods west of Downtown Los Angeles have quite a few blocks that consist mostly of prewar apartment buildings. The best known one is probably Normandie between 7th and 8th (Google street view), a very popular filming location for movies set somewhere further east.
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Old Posted Jul 10, 2018, 2:14 PM
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Are we talking only larger apartment buildings, like those common to Upper Manhattan and the Bronx? And entire neighborhoods? I'd say nowhere.

There are, of course, corridors with such buildings in places like St. Louis, Cleveland, etc. but a block away will look very different.

And there are apartment-dominated micro-neighborhoods, like East Lakeview in Chicago, but with different housing typologies.
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Old Posted Jul 10, 2018, 2:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muji View Post
The neighborhoods west of Downtown Los Angeles have quite a few blocks that consist mostly of prewar apartment buildings. The best known one is probably Normandie between 7th and 8th (Google street view), a very popular filming location for movies set somewhere further east.
There's also a small section of the Fairfax District that is uniformly quadplex (I know, seven units or more) across a 9x2 block area bounded by Rosewood, Gardner, Beverly, and Hayworth.

https://www.google.com/maps/@34.0788...7i13312!8i6656
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Old Posted Jul 10, 2018, 2:17 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
Are we talking larger apartment buildings, like those common to Upper Manhattan and the Bronx? And entire neighborhoods? I would say nowhere.

There are, of course, corridors with such buildings in places like St. Louis, Cleveland, etc. but a block away will look very different.
I realize that "elevator buildings" aren't common anywhere outside of NYC. I figured I'd include anything which looked like a medium-to-large purpose-built apartment building (e.g., three stories or more, common entrance, more units than a Chicago six-flat).

Last edited by eschaton; Jul 10, 2018 at 2:53 PM.
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Old Posted Jul 10, 2018, 2:28 PM
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Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I realize that "elevator buildings" aren't common anywhere outside of NYC. I figured I'd include anything which looked like a medium-to-large purpose-built apartment building (e.g., three stories or more, common entrance, more units than a Chicago six-flat.
How about Chicago's Northside lakefront?

If you go up Sheridan Rd. from East Lakeview to Rogers Park, it's dominated by large apartment buildings most of the stretch (probably moreso than anywhere else in U.S./Canada outside NYC?)

This is the typical streetscape in East Lakeview, probably the densest area in Chicago:

https://www.google.com/maps/@41.9362...7i13312!8i6656

But then way the hell uptown, it's still dominated by big apartment buildings (though a block away will be very different):

https://www.google.com/maps/@41.9940...7i13312!8i6656
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Old Posted Jul 10, 2018, 2:32 PM
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Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
That was a typo on my part. Fixed to blocks and blocks.
oh, if that's the case, then pretty much anywhere on northside chicago lakefront would come close to qualifying, though there will almost invariably be some 6-flats or old hold-out mansions sprinkled about.

chicago doesn't do anything uniformly, until you get out into the bungalow belt, and then the uniformity out there can be almost mind-numbing.
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Old Posted Jul 10, 2018, 2:34 PM
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Rogers Park, South Shore in Chicago also have areas where there are blocks of medium-large (bigger than 6 flats) apartment buildings.

Milwaukee has some areas in its north lakefront where there are blocks and blocks of large apartment buildings as well, kind of reminds you of a smaller version of Chicago's N. Sheridan Rd
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Old Posted Jul 10, 2018, 2:48 PM
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Palmer Park in Detroit - though not sure if setback, garden-style apartments were what you had in mind: https://goo.gl/maps/qTK8Aubo4fQ2

Midtown Detroit probably would have had a bunch in the past, but not too much remains now:
https://goo.gl/maps/ziNcf56n9dL2
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Old Posted Jul 10, 2018, 2:48 PM
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Hyde Park, Chicago has a lot of courtyard apartments as well as taller buildings... interspersed with SFH.
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Old Posted Jul 10, 2018, 2:55 PM
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The Tenderloin in SF. Blocks and blocks of apartments.
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Old Posted Jul 10, 2018, 3:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
chicago doesn't do anything uniformly, until you get out into the bungalow belt, and then the uniformity out there can be almost mind-numbing.
I think this is gonna be the case in most cities. Continuous, uniform urbanism for anything other than single-family homes is very rare in the US. At most, you might get an unbroken block like that block of Normandie in LA. But in most other cities, you will have vestigial houses, schools, churches, and low-rise commercial breaking up the streetscape, and each of these will have its own parking lot as well as any new housing developments built since WW2 and city zoning codes mandating parking. Even if neighborhoods did look something out of NYC at one point, they haven't remained in stasis.

The parking lot thing is especially pernicious... usually those blocks of apartment houses were built by a single developer and built in the 1920s or 30s with little or no parking, assuming tenants would ride the streetcar/bus. After WW2, the single developer-landlord had a very tough time renting out apartments without parking, or getting permits for renovations without meeting the city's parking requirements. So often they tear down one or several of the buildings to build dedicated tenant parking. The only exceptions to this would be in cities that maintained a strong transit system (very few) or possibly near college campuses where demand remains strong for low-parking apartments.

With those caveats, Portland's NW Side seems to have a lot of pre-war apartment buildings. Same for Capitol Hill in Denver. In many cities the norm for middle-class apartment living totally faded away so these areas often have a seedy reputation and a history of SROs and other housing for a transient population.
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Last edited by ardecila; Jul 10, 2018 at 3:23 PM.
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Old Posted Jul 10, 2018, 3:14 PM
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The inland portion of South Beach is made up almost entirely of 10-20 unit apartments covering a large area ranging from 1920s to 1940s (some 50s as well) but they do not take up the entire block face.
More like block after block of this:
https://www.google.com/maps/@25.7788...7i13312!8i6656
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  #18  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2018, 3:17 PM
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Oh, but I forgot the prewar part. Sheridan Rd. in Chicago is overwhelmingly postwar.
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  #19  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2018, 3:26 PM
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Much of the San Francisco core would qualify.

Someone mentioned Seattle. But really even our most apartmenty areas of that era were pretty sparse...either among downtown-type uses, among lowrise commercial, or among houses. If you look at Capitol Hill, First Hill, or the south face of Queen Anne today, they're a mix of pre-war, post-war, and modern-day apartments.
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Old Posted Jul 10, 2018, 3:26 PM
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Originally Posted by MonkeyRonin View Post
Palmer Park in Detroit - though not sure if setback, garden-style apartments were what you had in mind: https://goo.gl/maps/qTK8Aubo4fQ2
Wow, those Art Deco ones are super cool.
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