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November 24, 2017, 08:33:05 am
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Author Topic: A simple and probably stupid urban planning question  (Read 1652 times)
tulsabug
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« on: January 12, 2013, 05:23:53 pm »

Honestly I looked everywhere online for an answer to this but never really came up with much.

Is there a specific name for a group of small commercial buildings that all have zero-lot-lines and don't have large retail anchors? They aren't a strip mall or strip center as they are all unique buildings that many times were built in different styles at different times, however they sometimes share a parking lot but technically each building owns the spaces in front of it. They aren't really shopping centers outside of a vague use of the term since they weren't planned together and many times they would incorporate everything from drugstores to bars to clothing stores to law offices and so on. The other item is that these were normally built between 1900s-1940s before they idea of shopping centers really existed. Is there really a name for these configurations? The problem is when I mention them to people they always refer to them as strip centers which is completely incorrect and really a bit insulting to these neat older buildings.

Hope this makes sense.... 
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Red Arrow
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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2013, 06:17:20 pm »

Honestly I looked everywhere online for an answer to this but never really came up with much.

Is there a specific name for a group of small commercial buildings that all have zero-lot-lines and don't have large retail anchors? They aren't a strip mall or strip center as they are all unique buildings that many times were built in different styles at different times, however they sometimes share a parking lot but technically each building owns the spaces in front of it. They aren't really shopping centers outside of a vague use of the term since they weren't planned together and many times they would incorporate everything from drugstores to bars to clothing stores to law offices and so on. The other item is that these were normally built between 1900s-1940s before they idea of shopping centers really existed. Is there really a name for these configurations? The problem is when I mention them to people they always refer to them as strip centers which is completely incorrect and really a bit insulting to these neat older buildings.

Hope this makes sense.... 

Kind of like this?

http://goo.gl/maps/XdDaK

I don't know what to call it but it was just around the corner from where I grew up.

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tulsabug
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« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2013, 11:23:45 pm »

Yea - kinda like that. Another good example is the buildings on the corner of 11th and Yale - even though they all are now painted the same color there are four different buildings there if I remember right. The smattering of buildings on the south side of 11th between Urbana and Vandalia is an even better example as they're all still their original different brick colors. There are four buildings there that I'm pretty sure were built at three different times. It seems butting-up the buildings to each other was common up to the 50's and they served as small shopping centers for the neighborhood. I guess a "retail cluster" might be a term for them?

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TheArtist
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« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2013, 10:08:14 am »

Don't know if there is an official term for that.  It was just the normal/usual pattern of development all over the world for thousands of years.  How about "Classical or Traditional urban development"?  

However in "Urban-Rural Transect" terms what your describing would be a T-4 to T-5 urban transect.  

http://www.transect.org/transect.html


When a small town or village center would start, or an urban street expands what you would typically see is shops and businesses building one next to the other so that people could easily walk to your business, or home.  Often there would be another business above or even living above.  Behind this row you would typically find small apartment buildings, then behind that more single residential type homes.  The core street would evolve by becoming more dense, elongated and branched.  One and two story buildings on the main street would get taller, the apartment buildings behind would become taller and more numerous, sometimes with some of those streets beginning to have ground floor retail and so on.  More population in the area would support more pedestrian friendly businesses that would extend the streets further and so on.  Notice no mention of parking garages lol.  The area grows on it's own as an urban area and mass transit begins to come into play to cater to those coming from areas farther away.  http://www.transect.org/cities_img.html  (look at the high resolution image for the city of Fayetteville)  


You can see good examples of the start of this T-4 transect on Cherry street.  Shops, businesses, etc. on the main strip.  Right behind in many areas are small, older apartment buildings, then behind that the single family homes.   If the "car culture" fad thing had not intervened, and the "traditional/historic" way of developing not been made illegal in Tulsa this area could have eventually evolved into an even denser T-5 urban transect.    Our downtown core is a T-6, then, once upon a time, you would have seen streets branching out from that being T-5's and T-4's (not parking lots), and so on.    
« Last Edit: January 13, 2013, 10:12:38 am by TheArtist » Logged

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tulsabug
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« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2013, 06:33:23 pm »

That's great information to know! Many thanks!

It's a shame there isn't some catchy name for these older retail developments, something to identify them so people wouldn't look at them as just some old buildings. They certainly look a lot better than strip centers where stores get lost among the homogeneity, not to mention fire takes them out en masse quite easily.
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BKDotCom
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« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2013, 06:40:57 pm »

I don't have the answer to the original question... but in trying to Google for it, I came across this

http://www.oregon.gov/lcd/docs/publications/commmixedusecode.pdf
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tulsabug
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« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2013, 04:25:28 am »

Thanks for the link! I'll have to read that over - looks to be some interesting info in there just from doing a quick scan of it. You know - maybe tulsanow needs to start a literature section that is just a collection of planning documents and so on for easy reference....
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