300 wide

mariana79

Senior Member
Turkish
Hi
I am reading the Magnificent Ambersons, there is a part where a land is being describe as very large, but it is 300 feet wide, 300 hundred feet is like a hundred meter and it is not big at all, is the width 300 the length is different? or am I making a mistake in turning feet to meter.

The Johnsons had originally owned a lot three hundred feet wide, but they had sold all of it except the meager frontage before the house itself, and five houses were now crowded into the space where one used to squire it so spaciously.
 
  • Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    First, The sentence tells you how wide the lot was, but not how deep it was. It might have been 300 by 1000 feet.

    Second (and it's been about 15 years since I read this book), I don't think Tarkington is trying to describe this particular plot as being especially large. The Ambersons had a giant estate, not the Johnsons. He is simply telling you that land was being subdivided into ever-smaller plots.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I think it has to be feet. On land-starved Long Island a quarter acre lot for a house was pretty standard, and some homes were built on much smaller lots. In order for "five houses" being "crowded into the space" I think it has to mean feet. That would leave lots of about 60 foot width, just wide enough for a shotgun house, but not for much wider homes.

    Here are a couple of shotgun houses "crowded into a space" shoulder to shoulder:

     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    On land-starved Long Island a quarter acre lot for a house was pretty standard, and some homes were built on much smaller lots.
    A quarter-acre lot that was square would be about 104 feet by 104 feet so the 300-foot-wide lot would be three quarter-acre lots wide. If the lot was square, it was big enough for nine nice houses so even after most of it was sold, there was still room for five small houses.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    A quarter-acre lot that was square would be about 104 feet by 104 feet so the 300-foot-wide lot would be three quarter-acre lots wide. If the lot was square, it was big enough for nine nice houses so even after most of it was sold, there was still room for five small houses.
    I assumed that the houses were all lined up in a row and the 300 feet meant the frontage. That would be 60 feet per home.

    In the semi-rural area I live in the zoning requires 50 feet between homes, so that could not be built where I live. In some areas of Long Island 20 feet between homes is allowed which would allow a home 20 feet wide, thus the shotgun homes shown.

    I suppose in other areas a smaller setback between homes is possible allowing a wider home.

    All those calculations go out the window if you don't assume that all the homes were shoulder to shoulder as I did.
     

    mariana79

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    A quarter-acre lot that was square would be about 104 feet by 104 feet so the 300-foot-wide lot would be three quarter-acre lots wide. If the lot was square, it was big enough for nine nice houses so even after most of it was sold, there was still room for five small houses.
    Thanks
     
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