Take a look at the picture below and try to guess where it was taken:
Though this home looks like it could be in some big, East Coast city, or possibly even from somewhere in Britain, it’s actually located in… south Provo.
The home is part of the row of buildings that houses Startup Candy Co. and other businesses. In fairness, it is not actually a home now and I don’t know the history of the structure. It’s also sandwiched between some warehouses, which are pretty cool themselves, so it’s hard to notice; I had been by this spot many times but didn’t realize it included a legitimate row house until this last weekend.
But in any case, this sure looks like a fantastic home. In fact, I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I’d live here in a heartbeat and I wish Provo had more buildings like this. If this building were housing it’d be charming, small enough to be affordable and close to public transit.
This is also what I’m talking about when I say Provo needs to densify and diversify its housing options. This building has virtually no set back, is nearly three stories tall, and is attached to neighboring structures. Those are the sorts of design principles Provo should be embracing, as this sort of housing can still be built.
It’s also worth mentioning here that I’m not calling for all buildings to look like old English row houses. Or, said another way, I oppose aesthetic regulation.
Instead, I’m merely saying that this is an efficient and appealing way to use space. The result can look antique, modern, or whatever. The point is just that this approach is often better than other types of housing, including the detached single family homes that dominate Provo right now.