In the alley south of Carlyle House stands an example of a “flounder house,” a simple row house with a shed roof sloping to one side, lacking windows on the higher side wall. Although local lore holds that the “flounder” was unique to Alexandria, it actually can be found in many urban areas throughout the northeast. Easy to construct, the house type was a result of Alexandria's early laws, which mandated that a lot had to be improved within two years or be forfeited. In many cases flounders became ells to larger houses erected in front. Most have disappeared, but the form was revived in the late twentieth century for both residential and commercial construction.
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