Before and…………..After!

When houses in a neighborhood are built by the same developer (and at roughly the same time), they tend to look a lot alike.  Some developers will make an effort to introduce a little variety, either by changing exterior colors or materials, or sometimes by using several different designs and alternating them.  That was the case on a tree-lined street in Philadelphia which was developed in the 1920’s.   This particular block includes numerous twin houses (also known as semi-detached houses) which came in three different styles.  The twins built on the four corners of this block exhibit a mix of Craftsman and Colonial Revival detailing.  The twins in-between are either (1) sort of Colonial or, (2) Prairie/Italian Renaissance Revival in their styling.  They all look like houses of the 1920’s.  Well, almost all of them.  One of them stands out.  It didn’t always stand out; it used to be a mirror image of its twin, a Prairie/Italian Renaissance Revival.

Thanks to Chad for sharing this place with us!  All images are courtesy Google Street View.

First, we’ll take a look at typical houses on the street:

 

These four houses, styled with a mix of Prairie and Italian Renaissance Revival influences, are flanked by twins which are vaguely Colonial Revivalish.

 

These twins are representative of how others like them were intended to look.  Now… scroll down to see what happened to a similar twin on the same block…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you not impressed?

 

Guess which house retains the least architectural integrity!  The house appears to be in drag, but dressed up as what?

 

6 Responses to Before and…………..After!

  1. finally someone dares to be different displaying a high degree of architectural sophistication at the same time. A breath of fresh air not weighted down by convention or good taste.

  2. A little good news, this neighborhood, the Girard Estate, is now one of the very few Philadelphia neighborhoods on the local register, which gives its remaining architectural integrity legal protection.

    • That is good news! Hopefully the neighborhood will be now be spared any future compromise of its character. At least this one remuddled house serves as a rather powerful object lesson for others as to why architectural integrity is important. Thanks again for sharing!

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