There was an incident

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A Scourge in the Suburbs

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These cookie cutter atrocity are appearing through out the nation. Why? They are ugly, pretensioius, and certainly won’t hold there value. These buildings are boils on the fair face of the American Dream, a cheap attempt to increase the owners social status by making it appear as though the owner had a great deal of money. Never mind the fact that they are not particularly well built. Our family’s neighborhood, which borders the ‘fatty house hubs’, has begun to attract these new constructions. I have seen the bellies of the beast, and they are plywood. They bring in a digger and a dirt pusher then, in a single day, destroy the mid-century house that had stood a faithful sentry all these years. PVC pipes go in, then a vast slab of concrete. Wooden beams begin to jut from the ground like a giant’s ribs. Then sheets of plywood are nailed to the outside. There the house stands, seemingly unchanging, for months. Finally, the final eyesore is added. Stonework and bricks, consistently mis-matched, are stuccoed to the front of the house, and an inexplicable gas lamp or two rigged to the door. The house is put on sale, and there it remains, waiting for some poor fool to be lured into it’s over priced clutches. Watching through it’s empty windows, and waiting.

The real question is, why on Earth would anyone buy such a house? These aren’t the cheap tract houses of suburbia- these are designed to look ‘custom.’ There is a family down the street with seven children, and, given their currant batting average, is quite likely to have one or two more. The oldest is currantly 12. And yet, they live quite contented in a 2400 sq. foot home with an average sized yard. The most recent move ins, to the 8000 sq. foot behemoths, were a family of 4.

Now, there are some exceptions to the decandence these homes normally smack of. For instance, the first of these homes built in our area was a large, grey, stucco building along Memorial, which has a rotating door of RVs, campers, trailers, and cars. The family who owns it is part of a much larger family- they are Roma, more commonly known as ‘gypsies.’ And if the family down the street were two sell there currant home and move into one of the new McMansions, no one would think poorly of them. In fact, most would think they had finally come to their senses.

While I personally am anxiously anticipating a revival of the Craftsman style bungalow, I fear this day may never come. After all, who would tear down a giant styrofoam-and-mortar mansion for a home that will actually accomodate the needs of a family of four?


Written by therewasanincident

September 3, 2008 at 8:45 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

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