What is a street number is a question that all people have an answer to, but not many know the history behind it. Yet, a house or a building without an exact street name and a street number cannot be imagined. Streets and their numbers became an inevitable part of our lives.
Some streets became popular during history, and some of them are known worldwide and even became part of World Inheritance. The monuments around the world have memorable street names and numbers.
Street numbers are defined differently around the world. The defining process is sometimes part of the tradition, adding odd and even numbers to the left and right side of the street.
However, the newly designed building must suit the street name and location to avoid an awkward look instead of the desired image.
What Is a Street Number, and Why Do We Need It?
A street number is usually a precise location of a particular building or a house in the street. It will tell you the exact place where you need to go or send some packages.
Sometimes numbers refer to the exact number of the street, which is common in the USA, where there are, for example, The 5th Avenue. But, the most common is information about the precise location.
The street name and its number are often necessary when you are giving out information to people who need to find your exact location. Architects will know the correct address where the building will be built. Sometimes you need to give detailed information if you expect delivery or even call an ambulance. They need specific information to reach you fast.
The History Behind the Street Number
The street number is a special kind of system where each building gets its own number in the street. The primary purpose of numbering these buildings is to locate them easier.
The numbering depends on location, especially in big cities. Sometimes, in rural areas, houses do not get the house number, just the name of the street.
However, the reforms of the street numbers happened many times, suiting the needs of the country and municipalities. The street names and numbers are changed continuously as the structure of the cites, and the countries change throughout history.
Watch this video to see the compilation of street photographs through history:
How Did It Start?
The first numbering scheme was presented in 1512, in Pont Notre Dame, in Paris. The primary reason for assigning the numbers is for dividing the property. Today, numbering is used for organization purposes, but long ago, it was just used to define ownership.
Later, in the 18th century, the numbering system became used for mail-delivering purposes. However, each country had differences when it comes to assigning the number to a specific location. But, surely, it needed to become a necessary part of society.
How Is the Street Number Defined?
Defining numbers varies throughout the world. It may differ even from municipality to municipality, thanks to their individual choices. But, the thing they all have in common that they use numbers and additional letters.
In Europe, the most common numbering rule is to assign odd numbers to one side of the street, starting with number one. The other side of the road would have even numbers, starting with two, and sometimes even zero.
The Numbering System in North America
The numbering system is similar in North America, too. They usually assign odd numbers to the left side of the road, and the even numbers go to the right side of the street. However, they have three standard rules for assigning street numbers.
- Numbering buildings in a row, sequentially adding one number after another. If it happens that a new building is built, that location gets a fraction number or a letter to define its position.
- Street numbering starts from an intersection, continuing from each next junction with the number of 100 or 200.
- Streets can have numbers according to a distance. A mathematical formula helps to assign the numbers, calculating the distance, and assigning the number of the specific location.
They even have two different ordering systems. The first one starts counting numbers at the start of the street. Some other places prefer numbering from some important checkpoint or an intersection, increasing the numbers as they go further the starting point.
Watch this video to see how did New York streets got their names:
Street Number With a Letter
Sometimes the street has already assigned street numbers. But, due to newly designed buildings, there may be several new locations to add to the map. To avoid changing all the following numbers of the street, the address may have an additional letter to its number.
If a preceding building has a number 15, and the following has a number 17, the buildings between these two already assigned street numbers have to get a different number. They would get 15a, 15b and 15c and even more letters given. The location gets its street number without changing any other.
What Is an Address?
Street numbers are only a part of the full address where some building or a house is located. The full address contains much more information that is vital for finding the desired location. The address gives out specific and detailed geographical data about some residence.
The complete address contains information about the country, province, city, street, street number, and postal code. If you live in a building, you also have more details about the floor, apartment number. This information is necessary for many official and ordinary purposes of daily life.
Watch this video to see the difference between streets, roads, and avenues:
What Are the Parts of the Address?
If you are searching for a location, or think about its position, somethings that instantly come to your mind. You may go down from the most crucial geographical information to the slightest detail of your address. From the country name to the apartment number.
It is essential to provide the full name of your country when giving detailed information about your address. This is especially important if you are waiting for a package from abroad or you need to send something that has to reach some faraway country.
Once the package reaches the country, the postman will only look for more detailed information to forward the parcel. The postmen know a lot about specified locations just by looking at it, and because of this system, is why the postal service is usually highly efficient.
Each country has its own way of dividing the country into provinces. They are named individually, and they can differ from country to country. Some call them areas, some lands, and some call them regions. Nevertheless, the name of it will be enough to specify the exact province you are aiming to.
Sometimes, the province is not needed, especially in small countries where regions are usually recognized by the name of the city. But, just in case, if you are not sure, better to write it than to miss it.
The city name must be included to narrow down the location. From the city name, it becomes easier to locate the exact address you are looking for. If the city is enormous, they may even be some specific areas that help pinpoint the address faster.
Sometimes, there are the same names of the cities in the world, but in different locations. For example, London in the United Kingdom, in Europe and London in Canada, in North America. Though these two are hard to confuse, be sure to specify other address parts besides the name of the city.
The exact name of the street is significant. Sometimes the slight errors in naming the street may make your way into quite the opposite direction. So, to avoid yours or anyone else's confusion, pay attention to spelling out the street name correctly.
The street names can be confused if you are not familiar with the numbering of the street. Sometimes, quite unexpectedly, the name of the road can change, and the number will continue.
So, make sure to know the exact street besides its number, because some of them have only numbers with names only at the intersections.
The street number takes you right to your desired location. It is essential to give the right number, because even the slightest error in the street number may take you in the wrong direction.
Nevertheless, once you are in the street, it can be easier to locate some business buildings by their signs or asking people for directions.
If you are looking for a specific street number, make sure how the street is numbered. Sometimes the numbers are added sequentially, and sometimes there are only odd numbers on one side and even on the other.
Postal codes are not always necessary, but it could be helpful to postmen who may not read the handwriting well. Still, they will see the postal code and decipher the exact location where the package needs to go. This is especially vital if you are sending a parcel abroad in a foreign country.
This is also important to locate the nearest post office to your home. They can receive your parcel if the mailman could not find you at your address. You can reach it without chasing your package across the city. You will know where to look it for.
There we are, on the exact location, but you found yourself in front of the 15 stories building with at least 4 apartments on each floor. How to find the precise level? Well, you see why it is vital to know this information. It will help you reach the elevator and just hit the floor number.
Of course, if the building has its own reception, they would not allow you in if you do not know who do you look for and at what floor number and apartment number. It will make the lives easier if they need to reach someone for you.
In large buildings, it is quite evident that many people do not know their immediate neighbors. It could be inconvenient to disturb people with questions about some people they even do not know.
It is much easier to remember adding the apartment number to pinpoint the exact doors you need to knock at.
The buildings also have interphones with the assigned apartment number. If you are looking for someone, and if you know the assigned apartment number, with only one press of the button, you will reach the person you are looking for.
Watch this video to see how to address a letter:
How Does Street Number Affect the House Design?
Visual effects of a street will make the architectural designs memorable. Many streets are required to follow the agreed plan. Therefore, houses may differ only by their street number.
Otherwise, the houses are more or less the same, differing only in changeable details that do not affect the overall look.
Sometimes some old facades and architectural designs require even the careful restoration of the existing buildings. The different architectural styles can pull the border between modern compositions and historical part of the city.
Nevertheless, architects always try to add distinctive features that will make a new design stand out.
How to Design the Street Number to Fit the Newly Designed Building?
In the process of creating an appealing display of a newly designed house or a building, the overall look must be followed by a carefully planned look of the street number. Although there are ready-made plates, there are many creative ways to show off a street number attached to the house.
The house number display can be simplified but to look astonishing to anyone passing by or visiting. Carefully considered material, color, and even lightning can make a massive difference in the finished building design.
Watch this video to see the examples of the house numbers around the world:
The street numbers have a long history that amazes us during their perspective history. From the first use to divide properties, or times when they used it to charge people for taxes, the street numbers are kept the more or less the same. The numbering may change, but the value of them is precious.
When you are traveling the world, you will remember some fantastic architectural designs by the street names and its numbers.
Sometimes, the exciting building design with a number plate stays engraved in our memory, reminding us of an adventure we went to.
Nevertheless, the practical or sentimental importance of street number persists in the world around us.