Publication Date: March 26, 2024
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From the Haitian-style “shotgun” houses of the 19th century to the lavish high-rises of the 21st century, a walk through the streets of America’s neighborhoods that reveals the rich history—and future—of urban housing
The Philadelphia row house. The New York tenement. The Boston triple-decker. Every American city has its own iconic housing style, structures that have been home to generations of families and are symbols of identity and pride. Max Podemski, an urban planner for the city of Los Angeles and lifelong architecture buff, has spent his career in and around these buildings. Deftly combining his years of experience with extensive research, Podemski walks the reader through the history of our dwelling spaces—and offers a blueprint for how time-tested urban planning models can help us build the homes the United States so desperately needs.
In A Paradise of Small Houses, Podemski charts how these dwellings have evolved over the centuries according to the geography, climate, population, and culture of each city. He introduces the reader to styles like Chicago’s prefabricated workers cottages and LA’s car-friendly dingbats, illuminating the human stories behind each city’s iconic housing type. Through it all, Podemski interrogates the American values that have equated home ownership with success and led to the US housing crisis, asking, “How can we look to the past to build the homes, neighborhoods, and cities of the future that our communities deserve?”
Story Locale:Philadelphia, PA New York, NY New Orleans, LA Portland, OR Los Angeles, CA Vancouver, BC Boston, MA
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