Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fraternal Twins

Note how the addition of a ventilation panel, left, has altered the decoration.

How often have you read that one thing that separates suburban development from the neighbourhoods in a city's core is the frequent repetition of home models in suburbia? It is jarring, and boring, all at the same time --- almost identical home all too often sit side by side. Not good, we are told.

The fact is, as Jon Blackwell of the Trentonian wrote: "No two styles were ever built side by side." Blackwell was writing about Levittown, Penn., but he could have been writing about any number of suburban developments right across North America.

The truth is that building side by side housing twins and triplets was often done in the past. It is not always as obvious today as was when the homes were newly built, changes made over the intervening years have hidden or removed some the striking similarities.

Today's photo features the upper floor bay window treatment featured on two London homes in the downtown core. I'd say these homes are fraternal twins. Note, the addition of a ventilation screen has slightly modified the appearance of the home on the left. There is a third home in this series but it is no longer clear whether or not it was once a match. The home now has siding and the decoration below the peak is covered or removed.

1 comment: said...

My parents house in old south is side by side twin. The difference there is that the houses were almost identical on the inside but very different on the outside in regards to the front and back porches.

The houses were built in 1921 and oddly enough they are the only 2 twin homes on the block.
Great post! Thank so much :)