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Old 11 December 2014, 01:44 AM
dfresh dfresh is offline
Join Date: 11 November 2005
Location: Oxford, PA
Posts: 4,390

Thank you for that info, Andrew. It is incredible all the stuff that the Romans built. Richard, unfortunately in the US, we build things for 50 years, and then never get around to replacing them (which is part of why the ASCE rates our infrastructure so poorly.)
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Old 11 December 2014, 06:45 PM
RichardM RichardM is offline
Join Date: 27 March 2004
Location: Las Cruces, NM
Posts: 4,648

And when it comes time to reduce the budget, the first thing that gets cut is maintenance.

Some of my fellow electrical engineers (although it could have been a contractor) don't seem to know the normal life of a piece of equipment. I am working on a project for re-modeling an office building. The first thing I looked at was the age of the main switchgear. When I saw it was over 40 years old, I said it had to be replaced. On the other hand, who ever did the building assesment, said the switchgear was okay to reuse. Not under my seal.
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Old 11 December 2014, 10:05 PM
dewey dewey is offline
Join Date: 12 October 2000
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 2,789

Originally Posted by RichardM View Post
Interesting list, Richard. My brother lives in a house in Havertown, PA that dates back to 1690. That part of the house is now the kitchen and has the type of oversized fireplace that you could do all you cooking in. Hard to imagine a family living in that one room. The rest of the house was built in the 1700s and 1800s. Not historically significant enough to make it to that list, though.

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Old 11 December 2014, 11:42 PM
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A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
Join Date: 21 June 2007
Location: Marietta, GA
Posts: 21,451

Dewey, until maybe 100 years ago or so, it was quite common in the American colonies (and later the US) to have two buildings (at least) for a home - the dwelling, dining and living space would be separate from the building for cooking. Cooking fires too often got out of control and burned the kitchen, so it made sense to keep them separate. Also, the fires would tend to make them hot, so they would be built much less weathertight than the dwellings. It could be that your brother's house incorporated what was only part of the former homestead. Of course, in the process of building a homestead, the kitchen was probably the first thing built, so maybe for a while that one room was the entire home.
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Old 12 December 2014, 12:38 AM
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thorny locust thorny locust is online now
Join Date: 27 April 2007
Location: Upstate NY
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ATNM, I would think that would have been a whole lot more likely to happen in the South. As far north as Massachusetts, having to potentially go outside in a blizzard to get back and forth from the kitchen to the rest of the house sounds pretty impractical; though I expect an auxiliary outdoor cooking area would have been useful in the summer.

This site says:

Among domestic buildings, there is less variation of floor plan in Massachusetts Bay Colony towns than in surrounding colonial settlements. The basic unit of construction throughout the period was the single cell, a single room of usually two structural bays, plus an end chimney bay in which the primary entrance and staircase were usually located in front of the chimney stack. The next most numerous house type was the double cell or “hall and parlor” ground floor plan separated by a central chimney bay with a front lobby entrance. One-room-plan houses include some of the earliest constructed, and they continued to be built well into the eighteenth century.
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