The American Saltbox architectural design dates back to the colonial era. It was popular throughout the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries and its style was purely functional. The houses were built no higher than two floors with an attic and central chimney, and were small in area in order to conserve heat in the winter. The roof would slope down almost to the ground on the north side to serve as a windbreak, which created a shed-like structure where the kitchen would usually be located. The name “saltbox” comes from the asymmetrical shape of the house, which was said to resemble that of receptacles of the time period that were used to store salt. This house stood on the north side of Metropolitan Avenue at the corner of Pleasantview Street.
Once again, a relic of our community’s past was demolished in the name of progress. In 1986, a 49-unit condominium, which looks more like a prison with balconies, was erected in place of the saltbox house and some of its neighbors. This is one of the most extreme examples of over-development in Middle Village.