Tag Archives: brownstone

Well, after writing yesterday’s post, I realized that some of my visitors are not from the United States and might be puzzled by my reference to a “floor-through.” Many of the townhouses in New York were built during the same two or three decades towards the end of the nineteenth century. Frequently, the facades were covered with a brown sandstone, known as brownstone, although many were brick or limestone. Being town houses, they share a wall with an adjacent building. Brownstones, when they are single family homes, can be very spacious and elegant, however I almost never see them in that way except in movies. When I see them in movies, I have to laugh. If you want to buy one, expect to pay upwards of two million. So last night, I started making a model of a typical New York townhouse. The are many variations, but a surprisingly large number are laid out in a similar fashion.

A 3d computer model of a brownstone. The facade viewed from the street.

This is how the facade appears from the street. Many of the buildings have a large flight of front steps, or stoop. The height allows a second door to be put underneath. The lower floor has decent sized windows and is called the “ground” floor. There is typically a basement beneath it.

A view of one side of the model with the exerior side wall removed revealing the staircase.

The floor above the ground floor is called the parlor floor. Frequently, it has higher ceilings and more elaborate decorations than the rest of the house.

The model with the facade and the other of the two sides removed.

Here you can see the layout of the rooms. Each floor has a central room with no windows.

This view of the top floor with the roof removed gives you a good idea of the floor plan.

This view of the top floor with the roof removed gives you a good idea of the floor plan.

Most of these buildings are no longer single family home and have since been divided into apartments. There are many ways of doing that, but the most common way is to simply make each floor its own apartment. That is called a floor-through.

Pardon my model making skills. It’s the first time I’ve tried this and I’m not up to materials, textures and lighting yet.