Garden City Housing Typologies

A couple of excellent 1920’s suburban “cluster” housing in Bronxville, NY, courtesy of F.O.U. and Planner Patrick Hewes.  We suspect that these were originally middle class rental housing in a very upscale village. The subordination of the expression of the individual unit to the larger “unit” is an increasingly rare strategy for making multi-family properties blend into single family-environs, particularly in our era of home ownership and condo-ization.  These seem to succeed because the individual units are not particularly large, although they currently command $1M on the market. The middle units are only 17’ wide.

One especially interesting find is the Bolton Gardens example, where each unit has its own slice of real estate in front and behind the building. Front lawns are semi-privatized, and the parking occurs very efficiently against a linear, landscaped traffic median, separated from the pedestrian friendly edge and allowing for private entries to be visible from the street.  Lesson learned from our own Blakemore project and reinforced by this example (and most urban public streets): parallel parking is more efficient and makes for better urbanism than standard double-loaded two-way back up aisle arrangements.  Selling parallel parking to suburban residents, accustomed to ample off-street parking lots, is another matter…

-Matthew

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