Can old fourplexes inspire new buildings?

This 1914, mint-green Lincoln Heights apartment building, which recently went up for sale, serves as a well preserved example of a fourplex. The fourplex, along with its sisters, the duplex and triplex, emerged as a popular form of multifamily construction  in Eastside neighborhoods  during the early part of the 20th century.  The “plexes” allowed owners to squeeze more housing – and income – out of building lots but their size, height and style often blended in with neighboring single-family homes.  A draft of a 2003 Preservation Plan Workbook produced by the city said these old  fourplexes might still serve as useful  models to follow in building new,  low-density projects in historic districts:

“These multi-family structures were usually developed with the same setbacks, height, and often the same roof-forms as their neighbors. In some cases, individual entryways were concealed in a foyer or lobby beyond a common entrydoor, rendering these structures indistinguishable from single family residences in the same neighborhood. In historic residential neighborhoods composed primarily of two-story single family structures, this architectural style may be a useful model for low-density multi-family development.”

Photo from Crisnet/Redfin

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