|Key Features Of Urban Cottages
Individualized street facades
The homes in the urban cottage concept are based on national folk houses of the host railroad era, specifically those dating
from 1900 to 1920. These homes feature simple forms, but are made unique by differing siding, trim, baluster, eaves, and
other ornamentation details including paint schemes. The initial homes are only the starting point of an evolutionary process
comprised of individual contributions and modifications over the course of years and decades.
No unclaimed spaces
Ideally, every space in the neighborhood will be claimed by an individual residence. Great care is taken to create unified
exterior spaces of sufficient size and proportion to be usable as front yards, courtyard, and driveways. Spaces that are too
small to be useful (as when property lines running between houses divide the space into two unusable areas), are combined
and designated for the use of one of the bounding homes. In this way, every space has a use and every space has an owner.
The street as important public space
In historically urban environments the street becomes an important pedestrian space which is utilized for many practical and
social activities. “When the street is narrow, closely bordered by homes on either side, and when the population density is
sufficient to provide an almost constant presence of individuals on the street, sidewalks, yards and porches, the street is
claimed by the community and becomes an important amenity for the neighborhood and it citizens.” The Urban cottage
concept seeks to recreate this uniquely urban environment by closely duplicating the physical properties which have
historically produced it. The relationship to the existing street grid distinguishes Urban Cottages from Cottage Courts (cottage
courts are pocket neighborhoods based around a common a common greenspace)
No parking lots
Another important distinction between an Urban Cottage neighborhood and a Cottage Court neighborhood is the elimination
of parking lots. These unsightly no-man’s-land areas are inconvenient for the occupants and a haven for personal and
vehicular crime. Urban Cottages eliminate the need for parking lots by condensing the traditional home & driveway
streetscape to its densest possible format and maintaining a direct connection to the street.
Driveways as a Design Element
Driveways in urban cottage developments will be primarily strip driveways landscaped on either side with grass or ground
cover in between strips. In the style commonly seen in historic Charleston these driveways will be treated as potential
courtyards, multiuse spaces, and prominent design features in the front of homes.
The urban cottage concept provides a true walking environment and is fully integrated into the public transportation and
street network. It envisions a time when multiple automobiles per home may not be necessary, but meets the needs of
current urban dwellers by providing ample parking between the individual homes, and additional street parking to allow for
gatherings. Prominence is given to the home, yard, and pedestrian.
In keeping with the careful use of exterior spaces, the location of trash cans, utilities and heating units are planned in
advance and regulated by the HOA to ensure that the streetscape is kept uncluttered and unmarred by unsightly objects.