Latina Town Houses
The town houses found in Latinian cities date back to the mid 19th century.
Old style (1850s)
After the increased urbanization of the 1850s, new planned streets were built, with rows of houses in the same style. Between house and street was a small garden around eight or ten meters wide. Usually two families lived in each house, although some houses were built as a "half" house for one family only. In some cases, one part of the house was a family home, while the other half was a shop, or the office of a doctor, lawyer or other professional. Many variants of these houses are still found today throughout Latina.
This type of houses is near related to the latinian "family-house", build in less denser urbanisated areas.
Middle style (1880s)
By the mid 1870s, buildings had become increasingly taller, with five or even six levels above the ground floor and long inward protrusions toward the middle of the block. In 1877 under President Ole Pedersen, authorities restricted building height to only four stories above the ground floor and limited protrusions toward the middle of the block to no more than 25 meters from the front of the house.
These rules preserved the inner part of the block as usable space for the residents. Often there would be flowerbeds, trees, grass for playing or a small water basin for the children. Other parts of the inner block were used as the working spaces for bakers, butchers, plumbers, printers, or other professions. In many cases, an investor would buy the ground floor of a whole or half-block, build his work space in the interior and houses facing the street.
During this period, the typical standard town house was built on an area of 20x20 or 25x25 meters. At the corners of the block were varying designs, but the other row houses were mainly erected following two types of pattern: "A" or "B".
Type "A" was a square (or nearly a square) of approximately 20 to 25 meters. At the right and the left small wings protruded deep into the block. At each level, the building contained two larger flats with an area of approximately 150 to 180 m². Two of the rooms would face the street and three rooms would face the backyard. The room marked "#5" in the graphic would typically be the the master bedroom, with rooms "#3" and "#4" for children, grandparents or guest rooms. Often people would rent some of these rooms to students, workers, or other boarders.
The flats in the ground floor were smaller due to the place for the vestibule, but in exchange these residents would enjoy a small private garden. Often one or both of the ground floor flats were used as shops, restaurants, pubs or even a local kindergarden.
Today, children's outdoor toys may be found in these vestibules, but not bicycles; those must be stored in the cellar. The vestibules are also the location for the mailboxes and the utility meters, so that the meter reader for the water company or Poder Latina need not enter each flat. Most houses have an electronic key for the main door, so that the postman or meter reader can enter the vestibule. If not, a conventional key may be used, or a doorbell.
Type "B" town houses were constructed with only one wing in the middle and three or four smaller flats at each level. Many investors built houses in Type "B" to attract less affluent renters, for which a flat of Type "A" was often too expensive. One variant of Type "B" had one flat in the rear, while the other variant had two such flats.
Because the flats inside the block had to have a door to the starcase, this level was situated 1/3 of a floor higher than the other flat facing the street. In flats with four units, the fourth would be built another 1/3 floor higher (1/3 below the next level). In later years many of the "#3" and "#4" flats (orange and blue) would be joined with a short stairway to form a larger two-level unit.
Both flats facing the street had a storage room with a window into the stairwell. Family members were allowed to live there, but it was (and still is) illegal to rent out this room to a boarder.
A prolongation of Type "A" was build around 1900 to serve people, who wish a repesentative home in the town. Some more rooms lay in direction of the inner block and with the other flat in the same floor in the middle was a shady patio. In Latina (Ciudad) most of this flats are found in the barrios 3 and 4 (Opera and Avenida del Norte). For this houses the rule of the 25 m was set out of use.
After some years it was clear, that such great flats are too expensive for most of the people. So only few of this type are erected after some years. Today often in this flats live gruops of students, is a small boarding-house or a medicien or lawyer has his office.
If houses in the row change from type "A" to "C", often the link is a mixed house - one side like type "A" and the other side as type "C".
(will be done later)