Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
In architecture and city planning, a terrace, rowhouse, or townhouse (though the latter term can also refer to patio houses) is a style of housing in use since the late 18th century, where identical individual houses are cojoined into rows. A terrace is also the term used to refer to paved, unroofed areas that open out from a building, usually in residences at upper floor levels.
The term terrace was borrowed from garden terraces by English architects of the late Georgian period to describe streets of houses whose uniform fronts and uniform height created an ensemble that was more stylish than a "row". The "row", as in the 16th-century Yarmouth Rows in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk , was a designation for a narrow street where the building fronts uniformly ran right to the property line.
By the early Victorian period, a terrace had come to designate any style of housing where individual houses repeating one design are conjoined into rows either long or short. The style was used for workers' housing during the great industrial boom following the industrial revolution, particularly in the textile industry. The Terrace style spread widely in the UK, and was the usual form of high density residential housing up to World War II.
In New York City, a large apartment building occupying a full city block, London Terrace , finished in 1930/1931 capitalized on the earlier, more stylish connotation. Terrace housing in American usage generally continued to be called rowhouses in the Eastern U.S., with a distinctive type in New York City called a brownstone; west of the Mississippi, the term townhouse is preferred.
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