FLATLANDER

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Row House Mansions

This from my Design Within Reach newsletter:

"The homes in this neighborhood are lucky to have been designated historical landmarks. They are protected to a large degree by the local government. Many modern structures are not so fortunate. It is probably unrealistic to expect local or national governing bodies to create legislation to protect private residences and many public structures—aesthetics and value are so subjective. However, the private sector can have a significant impact in our communities, and there are many active and passionate organizations around the country that work to preserve our architectural heritage."

for the images of the homes

Always ready with the wrecking ball, we Americans. These homes are considered a blight because many of the modern style homes were under 1800 square feet. By todays standards that is a garden shed. McMansions are replacing these gems of unique thought and living. Rows upon rows of garage doors that make the neighborhood feel more like a storage facility rather than the dwelling place of individuals and human beings. Fargo has its enclaves of these little Modern beauties. Built in the late 50's and early 60's, they survive here, not because of their popularity, but because the focus of the McMansion juggernaut has set it's huge burning eye to the south and west of the city. Some of these homes will be "modernized" as the original building materials need replacing - I've seen it already. Modernism is tolerated in Fargo, but garage doors, steel siding and high pitched roofs rule the landscape here. Rediculously large homes with outlandish price tags are the norm. I'd love to build an "old fashioned" neigborhood in the Usonian style of Frank Lloyd Wright, where every home is unique and built FOR the family that lives inside. The home should conform to the family, not vice-versa. Sensible square footage, hidden garages and big backyards. The American dream.

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