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The Baltimore Rowhouse [Paperback]

Mary Ellen Hayward , Hayward And Belfoure , Charles Belfoure

Price: £12.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Feb 2001
Perhaps no other American city is so defined by an indigenous architectural style as Baltimore is by the rowhouse, whose brick facades march up and down the gentle hills of the city. Why did the rowhouse thrive in Baltimore? How did it escape destruction here, unlike many other historic American cities? What were the forces that led to the citywide renovation of Baltimore's rowhouses? This is the 200-year story of the rowhouse. It chronicles the evolution of the rowhouse from its origins as speculative housing for immigrants, through its reclamation and renovation by young urban pioneers thanks to local government sponsorship, to its current occupation by a new cadre of wealthy professionals.

Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press (1 Feb 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568982836
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568982830
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.7 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,164,450 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Mary Ellen Hayward who directs the Maryland Trust's Alley House project, which studies this threatened architectural and cultural resource. Charles Belfoure is an architect who specializes in preservation and teaches in Goucher College's preservation progr Mary Ellen Hayward who directs the Maryland Trust's Alley House project, which studies this threatened architectural and cultural resource. Charles Belfoure is an architect who specializes in preservation and teaches in Goucher College's preservation progr

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
IN MAY 1846 Traugoth Singewald, a twenty-year-old who had arrived in Baltimore from Germany only the year before, bought the first of many rowhouses in which generations of his family would live and work. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-written treatment of a highly specialized topic 12 Dec 2002
By saskatoonguy - Published on
The rowhouse is far more common in Baltimore than other US cities, and these authors have documented its history and development up to the present day. Every nuance of design change is thoroughly discussed, and the amount of detail allows a street-by-street discussion at times. We're told about the various developers who, parcel by parcel, converted old elite estates into street grids covered with rowhouses of varying quality. The book ends as an advertisement for new urbanism, in which dilapidated old rowhouses are renovated and run-down neighborhoods undergo renewal.
The quality of writing is particularly high. There are approximately 140 b&w photos, which for the most part are grouped together so they can be printed on high-gloss paper. This is an awkward arrangement that requires the reader to flip back and forth to the glossy photo pages. There are approximately ten cross-sections and floor plans. There are very few maps, and a detailed knowledge of Baltimore geography is assumed. Because of the highly specialized nature of this book, it is unlikely to appeal to anyone outside Baltimore, but it would probably be a delight to architectural enthusiasts within the city.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They say, "Timing is everything.." 18 May 2001
By Nellie M. Burkhamer - Published on
...and the time to read 'The Baltimore Rowhouse' is now! I'm telling you'se- this book has it all. ; )
You not only get the expected descriptions of the architectural styles of rowhouses, and a historical review of the development of this style of housing, but the author weaves in the chronological social climb of an immigrant family throughout the book. Following the family's real estate history gives the book a story-like, biographical feel; unusual for non-fiction of this nature. It is in a sense, a well documented account of one way the "American Dream" has been realized.
From a social/cultural perspective, the 'Baltimore Rowhouse' is a social commentary on Baltimorean (and American) housing development past, present and future from visionary authors who love the City of Baltimore.
I received the book as a Christmas gift and read it in about 3 days. I couldn't put it down and was a little saddened that it had to end. I say this rarely- IT IS A MUST READ.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Baltimore Rowhouse 23 Mar 2000
By Paul Cooper - Published on
The Baltimore Rowhouse provides an insightful retrospective of the growth of Baltimore City over a 200+ year period by analyzing the houses which its residents built and occupied. It chronicles the birth of a city and describes its growing pains in accomodating its increasing population. Being a lifelong resident of Baltimore and having a personal knowledge of the neighborhoods described in the book, it was especially fascinating to me. I was able to match my own knowledge with the historical background provided by the authors. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wishes to understand the growth and evolution of a typical American City from the perspective of its townhomes.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The history of the city as told by its houses 3 Feb 2003
By misterbeets - Published on
I enjoyed the pictures of these houses, and thought the book was especially well written. It's impossible to separate the evolution of these houses from the changes in the city itself, so some history is inevitable; there is also a great amount of detail involving the lives of the owners and developers. If you are not overwhelmed by all this, you will uncover some interesting bits: the ads for Formstone, the fact that basements were hand-dug by a crew of nine in two days, the tales of the "night soil" removers. Really concentrates on the local history, though, so it may not of interest to others.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully written story of the interplay between building types, urban form, and changing real estate development methods 21 Jan 2006
By Amy E. Menzer - Published on
It's true, those from cities with rowhouses will find this book most interesting, but so will all interested in the history and geography of urban development and how land development, new building technologies, and individuals' working and family lives are interwoven with this development. By referring back to a single family and its trajectory within the city throughout the book, the author makes some of these larger-scale trends much more personal, and by following the paths of a few major developers within the city, you get a sense both of how the city and its hot neighborhoods shift over time, and of how literally a very small group of people can shape the physical space in which thousands live and work. Students of rowhouses or of Baltimore will be better able to see the continuities and the changes in rowhouses-- such as how the technology to make larger panes of glass changed the front facade, and how a simple setback from the sidewalk of 10 feet or so alters the feel of the buildings and the neighborhood by adding a little green. Formstone is also explained (to the extent that's possible...). Specialized, yes, but exceptionally well crafted. Architectural, urban, and social history and their intermingled best.
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