Triple deckers feature a unique, stacked style of three apartments placed one on top of each other. While most triple deckers are typically flat-roofed, some later variants on the theme added a gabled roof to the typical decker style. But all decker styles feature porches in front (and often in back) as well as several less heralded details, including cornices, carvings, and columns. These features -- along with gracious floor plans and built-ins that often include stained glass windows, china cabinets, and gleaming hardwood floors -- emphasize the utilitarian nature of triple deckers. They were built for efficiency, as a means to maximize space for the large families who often banded together to purchase these homes, using one or two units for family, and the others for rental income to support the mortgage.
In the modern era, triples have continued to create new homeownership opportunities, in the traditional manner, and more recently, as small self-managed condominium properties.
Triple deckers are the reliable warhorse of Boston’s housing stock, changing with the times to accommodate new families and new styles of living. Yet, the beauty of the triple decker has often gone unnoticed. That changes now.
To see triple decker properties that have done some renovation and get some great design ideas for your own home improvment project, check out the 3D Gallery of Homes. Many Boston hardware stores are also offering 3D Members discounts on all sorts materials and supplies, and check out the 3D University for free workshops on home repairs.