Clustered Housing: Cottages
Designs for clustered suburban housing with cottages.
¶ It will be observed that the arrangement presented on the elevation before us, as illustrated by the plan, has been devised with an eye to economy, not only of materials and workmanship, but of ground surface. It sometimes occurs that suburban or village lots are to be improved so as to accommodate the greatest number of occupants comfortably within the limit of a small expenditure, and at the same time it is desirable that such improvements should present a tasteful and agreeable appearance.
¶ Suppose a lot, square, or, in the form of a parallelogram, nearly square, the area of which is at best barely sufficient for a small garden to each of four houses proposed to be put on it; such lot could be advantageously improved by placing this cluster of houses in the center, and running the division walls or fences from one of the external angles of each of the projecting wings to the outer boundary, by which an equal division of the ground would be effected.
¶ The description of one-fourth of the cluster is of course equally applicable to the other portion. The first floor, shown by picture 159, has two rooms for each tenant, and a veranda 8 feet wide. The living room B is 12 by 14 feet; the sitting-room is 16 by 17 feet exclusive of the recessed window. From the living-room a flight of boxed winding stairs leads to the second floor, illustrated by picture 160, where two small yet comfortable bedrooms D and E are found, each provided with fireplaces and suitable closets.
¶ Economy being the leading principle in the erection of such a cluster, it is obvious that whatever materials could be found to answer the purpose, at moderate prices, would usually be preferred without much regard to the results which ultimately follow the use of an inferior article. Prudence dictates the use of solid materials, brick or stone for the walls, although wood is in good keeping with the style of building.
¶ With proper economy, this design can be erected, in the vicinity of Philadelphia, for about $3000 (1861 price). We have no doubt that in a well-timbered country it can be built of wood, with cellar walls of stone, for $500 less than the above.
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