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Past, Present, and Future-Decker

In this exhibition, you may learn from and contribute to the unique stories and visions of home through the perspective of the iconic and beloved New England building type, the triple-decker.

Begin the story here!

Can you remember the first time you encountered a triple-decker? Maybe you saw them on Savin Hill Avenue in Dorchester while walking out of the train station, or noticed the ones in East Boston on your way to and from Logan Airport, or maybe you visited one, that of a close family member or friend. Whether you have lived in one or not, if you’re familiar with the Boston and New England area, you likely already have a personal connection with a triple-decker, or three-decker.

But first you may be wondering, Is it three-decker or triple-decker? The term three-decker came first, inspired by Civil War ships with three levels, and was used to describe anything with three floors, including boats and homes. Triple-decker, appeared decades later as an effort to rebrand the building type for new homeowners. As you navigate this exhibition, you will notice that both terms are used interchangeably.

For generations, triple-deckers have formed a thread not only between our streets, neighborhoods, and cities but between our individual stories, where moments of joy, sadness, and excitement, have in some way helped shape who we are today and where we hope to be.

Future-Decker Conversation Series

Join the Boston Society for Architecture for a virtual conversation series as a part of the upcoming exhibition, Future-Decker. The series will feature discussions with residents, architects, designers, and other practitioners as they share and learn from one other about the past, present, and future of the iconic building type: the three-decker.

Speakers and participants will build upon the architectural, economic, and ultimately social value of triple and future-deckers in the city of Boston and the region.

The FUTURE-DECKER exhibition is curated by Pat Falco, Boston Artist-in-Residence, and Wandy Pascoal, Housing Innovation Design Fellow at the Boston Society for Architecture and the City of Boston's Housing Innovation Lab. Both are focused on exploring new ideas and approaches in addressing Boston’s housing needs, including the need for middle-scale multifamily housing for all.


Egleston Square Branch of Boston Public Library