Interior Courtyards

The interior courtyard is one of the gifts that makes city living enjoyable. There are many more such courtyards than meets the casual eye. I noticed, for instance, in the French Quarter of New Orleans, that most of the blocks had large interior courtyards that had been developed into gardens. Few of these were readily visible from the street, but they were there nonetheless, and a blessing for the residents of this steamy city.

There are two basic forms of interior courtyards: they can be gardens (usually the larger courtyards, and regrettably not well represented in this chapter), or they can be formal urban spaces (usually the smaller ones, although often still including some greenery).

One of the great advantages of these courtyards is the amount of light and air the bring into buildings - even surprisingly small courtyards can be effective in this way.

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