- Railroad apartment
A railroad apartment, or railroad flat, is an apartment with a series of rooms connecting to each other in a line. [Cassidy, Frances Gomes. "Dictionary of American Regional English." Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1985. ISBN 0674008847] A hallway typically runs the length of the apartment or flat from the front door to the back door, outside each room.Sennett, Richard. "The Conscience of the Eye: The Design and Social Life of Cities." New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1992. ISBN 0393308782] This is similar in design to a railway car. This usage is most common in
New York City, San Franciscoand their surrounding areas. Railroad apartments are common in brownstoneapartment buildings.
Sometimes confused with a
shotgun house, which is just a series of rooms connected directly, with no hallway, railroad apartments do typically have hallways. However, rooms may also connect directly, such as with panel doors that connect the living room to the dining room.
Railroad apartments first made an appearance in New York City in the mid-1800s, and were designed to provide a solution to urban overcrowding.Eisner, Simon; Gallion, Arthur; and Eisner, Stanley. "The Urban Pattern." New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1993. ISBN 0471284289] Many early railroad apartments were extremely narrow (some only 20 feet wide), and most buildings were five or six stories high. Few early buildings had internal sanitation, and bathrooms emptied raw sewage into the back yard. In some cases, one family would take up residence in each room, with the hallway providing communal space.
List of house types
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