Buildings and Society: Essays on the Social Development of the Built Environment

A slightly interesting collection of random essays about buildings, obtained primarily for Robert Thorne’s essay Places of refreshment in the nineteenth-century city. Ladies, of course, were barred from going anywhere unaccompanied by a male escort, but there began to sprout up various tea rooms and pastry shops where their rumbling bellies could be fed. Restaurants popped up in London in the early 19th century though Paris had them since 1760s. Public houses (shortened to “pubs”) and taverns also served food, mostly to men, (the part of the pub called the tap room was where food brought in by customers could be cooked and eaten), and everyone was wild to keep the classes from intermingling. Compartments were rampant, either curtained boxes or in the case of the Goat in Boots public house (1889), bar compartments around a central serving area that gave a maximum of privacy for those ashamed to be drinking in public. Drinkers in one compartment were completely hidden from others.

Another decent essay was about the apartment house in urban America, with the rise of palatial apartments for the obscenely wealthy, luxury apartments for the affluent, and efficiency apartments for everyone else. In 1924 Mrs E.F. Hutton agreed to having her townhouse on 5th Avenue razed in order to construct a massive apartment building, provided that she get the top three floors build to an exact replica of the home that was destroyed (54 room apartment).