Monday, July 13, 2015

Braddock's Surviving 19th Century Working Class Housing


One of my favorite buildings in Braddock, this 1880s double house on Washington Avenue, is remarkable for a few reasons. It is in an excellent state of preservation, with original clapboard siding and decorative millwork. Also, it survives in a neighborhood that has been largely decimated by demolitions of its historic, but vacant and deteriorating, housing stock. That neighborhood is the industrial "Bottoms" district of Braddock, which was largely built up in the 1860s and 1870s and settled by European immigrants who worked in the mills. Finally, the building is also remarkable as a surviving example of Victorian era, working class, and urban housing. Smaller historic houses are often overlooked, but are just as important to our heritage as grand homes. Sadly, many smaller homes continue to be demolished in depressed urban areas, in spite of the growing trend of microhousing.

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