Tag Archives: townhouse

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.

A tall narrow nineteenth century townhouse sandwiched between two large twentieth century structures, an office building and a parking garage.After the theme, home, was posted on Friday, it seemed to me that I could go in a variety of ways about it. I do have my own photos of birds’ nests. I also had photos of a variety of other animals, including a chipmunk at the entrance to his burrow, and an old oak tree that was home to a wide variety of animals and later fell on the neighbor’s home. I decided not to put up a picture of my own home because I live in an apartment building which, although I love it, is a severe modernist building that doesn’t say “home” to most people. I’ve posted photos of it on the internet before because I think it’s a great building and inevitably I have people tell me how horrible it is.

So what would say “home” to people. Then I remembered a building about a mile or so away from where I live. It is a tall narrow nineteenth century town house. Much of the city of Baltimore is made up of townhouses from all eras of the city. Usually, they are built in groups and they share wall with their neighbors. The one that I thought of, however, was stuck between two hulking modern buildings. I wonder how this happened. Did the individual who lived there refuse to sell their home? So on Saturday, I went out to take a bunch of pictures of it.

For images of other people’s interpretation of the theme, go to the comments section of the Weekly Photo Challenge.