Townhouse Center is one year old today, the anniversary of the first post! Looking ahead, I'm trying a new blog layout. Looking back at the first few posts, one was about townhouse "ghosts", when a townhouse is demolished and the outlines of slabs and stairs remain on the wall shared with a remaining townhouse. That post was inspired by the writing of Libbie Hawes, preservationist and rowhouse enthusiast, who sent this special birthday guest post: "I still notice these rowhouse ghost images, a bittersweet byproduct of demolition. I love it when interior finishes and fixtures -- all those personal practical and decorative choices -- are left on the wall, hinting at the stories of the lives lived inside, the hidden city. In dense urban rowhouse neighborhoods there are so many lives close together. Historic rowhouse neighborhoods, resused for centuries, fostered a sense of community by their proximity to local commercial and industrial pursuits, public transit, and green spaces.
"I hate to see new rowhouses designed without porches or built atop first-floor garages that raise facades so far above the street, removing that relationship between home and society. Are we abstracting the rowhouse so much that we've forgotten that part of good design and urban living and requires community to retain quality of life? When developers build new rowhouses, as brand-new neighborhoods or infill, it is important to ensure these designs fit not just the dimensions of the space, but also the character of the neighborhood, both aesthetically and socially." If you like insights like these, please tell your contacts about Townhouse Center! (Photo credit: Sabra Smith.)