A Preservation Plan for St. Louis
Part II:  Property Types

Period 1 - The Walking City (1820-1869)
Urban House Forms

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Town Houses

The most common Walking City house type in St. Louis is the town house. Unlike rural buildings of the time, town houses were built in close proximity to one another, and their front facades are generally taller than they are wide. This narrow front was appropriate for the shape of new urban lots, allowing a house of substantial size to be constructed on a lot with often no more than twenty-five feet of street frontage. Typically, a townhouse could be a combined with several others to create a row, or be entirely detached, separated from adjacent structures by narrow gangways or side yards. The town house type was popular in St. Louis until the early 20th century. To a great extent, the development of the City's residential buildings is illustrated in the evolution of the town house form through the 19th century.

The primary factor that influenced the town house plan was the social position of its occupant. Town houses sheltered people from all classes of society: working class town houses were usually multi-family tenements or flats; lower middle class people lived in attached row houses; while more prosperous families had detached town houses. Even the very wealthy built them, although they were of expansive size and lavish decoration.

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