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Death Of The McMansion
Posted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 11:36 pm
Couldn't come soon enough.....finally!!!!
Posted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 6:36 am
It;s an interesting article - buried in it is a hyperlink to another interesting article from waaaaaaay back in 2008
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/arc ... slum/6653/
Tho obviously written by an Upper West Sider or possible Chelsea-ite who is secretly envious of those with more than 600 sq ft of living space, it does have some interesting if not original ideas about the reverse doughnut theories that have been around for quite awhile now.
ps does anyone have any books or site links to stories or articles about why neighborhoods and cities decline? it is a topic i have become interested in lately - I am fascinated by Detroit and tho I am by no means a 'command and control' topsider I am interested in what is going on there to deal with their problems.
Hope the weekend is going well for everyone!
Posted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:28 am
Of course the question now is - if McMs truly 'disappear' - what replaces them. Unfortunately it will probably be a different version of the same thing - McCottages? McHuts? The real problem as I see it with McM isn't that they are large or even that the lots are small or even if they are poorly built - tho that is a huge problem - but that they look absurd. I've never fully grasped where postmodernism comes down on the McM issue. If PoMo architecture is comprised of something of a form of hodge-podge-ism - shutters b/c houses have shutters even if they don't work - dormers because it isnt a house unless it has a pointy roof and things up there. I guess that isn't really what PoMo architecture is but I wonder what its adherent's views on McMs is because McMs seem to ahve characteristics that would fall under the PoMo crowd's aegis.
Anyway, I think the problem is mainly one of taste and quality and value. The big question in teh book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was the issue of what is 'quality.' For me I think the new issue to work with is the issue of 'value.' People who like MCMs I think value form - they care about what things look like, form generates mood and a sensibility that they like. Some may like MCMs because it reminds them of a past [50's] that the grew up in and offers a sense of security. I grew up in the 70s but I still get that sense of wellbeing when I see things from the 50s. Maybe that was something transferred to me from my parents.
There is an interesting mixture of the conservative and the liberal with the MCM crowd - myself included - conservative: the 50's comfort and stability - the liberal: forward looking optimistic design.
anyway These are my thoughts this morning as I wait for the little lady to get back from Whole Foods where she is buying facial soap so we can go to brunch - have a great sunday
Posted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 12:06 pm
Well I noticed
Posted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 4:32 am
KB home built some homes in Eastvale (the ex dairy preserve north of Corona) and all the models were 1 STORY. You go to their website tho and it's not there-they probably sold out fast. And Shea Homes has their
'Spaces' series of homes, ONE and 2 story of modest sq. ft. that's kinda telling right there.
Posted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:19 am
I was sure someone would comment about this on LL-thanks!
Have you read any James Howard Kunstler?
His "Geography of Nowhere" does indeed reference the doughnut theory, and has been around awhile, but he has some really good insights. His writing is great, and he has a fine ironic sense of humor.
I've been wanting to read some of his fiction, but haven't gotten around to it.
Here's his website, with links to purchase from independent booksellers
I've been meaning to get around to this one, but haven't yet. Gets great reviews... "Suburban Nation" -Duany et al
http://architecture.about.com/od/produc ... sprawl.htm
Great topic-would love to hear what others have to say!
They might be partly correct
Posted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:10 pm
Re: Well I noticed
Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:45 am
Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:53 pm
KInda noticed that too. Seems they resort to the HD cliches-like too fancy doors that don't fit with the rest of the house, and that 'architectural foam' that they trim with-that once the stucco cracks and if it isn't fixed right away
deteriorates really fast. What looks great a big great room that Living/Dining
but is so big they don't provide floor electrical outlets so much of the room can't be furnished. And altho now they have to only have gas burning log fireplaces they make them optional and they use those wimpy ones that make it obvious they are 'fake', when they could use the ones that look more realistic. And yup after growing up in a home with an atrium (not an Eichler tho) I really like an atrium or courtyard.
Posted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:23 am
Posted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:53 am
Posted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:14 am
Posted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:31 am
Posted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:48 pm
I remember reading a story about a bunch of stuccoed foam covered houses/condos being attacked by woodpeckers. They think it's really cool that it's so easy to punch holes in.
as an aside
Posted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:18 pm
I work in a bldg (I noted on here) at 6th and Commonwealth in LA
It has letters at the top 'Superior Court' they are plastic backed by foam to give that raised look but on the 19th floor you can see the deterioration of the foam just from the exposure to the weather, they have to replace some, as eventually one of the letters will fall.
Re: as an aside
Posted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:07 pm
Posted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:12 am
Posted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:21 am
Posted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:31 pm
Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:11 am
Posted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:14 pm
The suburb is here to stay I feel. I think sometimes people confuse developed neighborhoods with the burbs. I grew up in a city where houses were clustered into neighborhood - no 'corner shops' or anything but you could be at work or school in 5 minutes or whatever.
I still think it boils down to people - if you lived in a McM-ville area and your neighbors were Jack Kerouac, Jackson Pollock, Gandhi, Dorothy Parker, Lou Reed, Andy Warhol, - so and so forth, you might be inclined to think that was a cool place to be - or a cool place to drink.
So I think it isn't just thatthe houses are awful I think what people imply when they say they hate the houses of McM-villes or the suburbs in general is that they actually hate the people there.
Posted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:09 pm
Posted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 5:43 pm
Given the way this thread developed, some of the folks involved would probably like to know that the documentary "Make No Little Plans - Daniel Burnham and the American City" is on PBS this week.
In my area, it's on Monday evening.
Posted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:30 am
I am bummed I missed that - it was on Mon here in Dallas - hopefully they will replay it or I can netflix it - thanks for the link.
Posted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:54 am
Reviving this thread to recommend a good article on Detroit's challenges and emerging solutions in the latest Time
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article ... 61,00.html
Posted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:28 pm
Posted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:39 pm
Posted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:30 pm
Perhaps I am a bit bitter, but it gets kind of tiring of everyone coming in spending a couple minutes in Detroit and thinking they know all there is about it.
I am not saying clarksdaleplace is such a person...it's more about the media.
There is a lot of good things that are happening here:
-We have been constructing a public riverfront that is home to great biking and walking..this includes access to Hart Plaza, Renaissance Center, a new port authority, and a connection to Belle Isle, one of the largest urban parks, an entire island in the Detroit River, designed by Olmstead.
-We are developing urban state parks (on the water front) and urban trails (The Dequindre Cut) .
-We have re-developed the Book Cadillac Hotel and the Fort Shelby hotel..two iconic buildings in Detroit
http://doubletree1.hilton.com/en_US/dt/ ... n/index.do
-We have the oldest and largest urban farmers--Eastern Market
-WE have developed Campus Martius, just named best urban park in the US.
-Mexicantown and Corktown are two neighborhoods growing in population.
-We have some great historic neighborhoods full of middle class households
-Downtown Detroit is actually safer than many other cities in Michigan..its crime rate is lower than the state average.
-Our suburbs also have plenty to offer
-We have light rail and commuter rail in the works too
The list goes on and on....
Origins of the Urban Crisis is a good read that explains much of the truth.
sorry for my rant. I am just sick of people (media and artists, and some planers) coming in for ruin porn and then saying look at crummy Detroit..they're idiots and can't get anything right.
Yeah we have some crazy stuff, just like any other city, but I am sick of people portraying the city and suburbs as a wasteland.
Ok I am off my soapbox now!
Posted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:28 am
Wasn't dissing Detroit - I wouldn't live somewhere that cold if I had the choice. I see all these yahoo articles about the best places to live and they all seem to be in the frozen northern tundra. To me those areas have a HUGE hurdle with the weather issue.
Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:41 am
I assumed you weren't trying to diss Detroit.
One could argue though that some of your comments could be taken as such:
-Reason number 232,342 to say it is time to leave
-It could be a test-case for all the uber liberal / green theories - sort em out and see if any of them work
As I said, I am a bit sensitive, since many people just generalize before they have ever visited the place or really read anything about, instead just repeating the sterotype.
I will agree with you though..It's too damn cold here! My wife and would love to move to a warmer locale, but our family is all here and we do have good jobs. Moving to our new MCM on the island has really increased my tolerance for winter though...I can actually enjoy the wintery scene from my warm home!
Interestingly enough, many northern European countries also have been labeld best laces to live.
I think it's because the cold, long, and winter makes us need to emphasize more communal activities. Additionally, northern environments have historically been more hospitable (before the prevalence of A.C.), hence adding to the history of development. People like history.
It seems like places that have histologically been developed longer usually are more livable places, no matter what region or climate is like.