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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Who lives in this house???

Listening to Andres Duany discuss the evolution of town centers and housing options over the last 50 years, one is amazed at how we have established our lifestyles around our housing choices. Often we look at neighborhoods of yesteryear and admire the large porches or the beautiful streetscapes. It seemed that each house was a unique structure and was often referred to by the name of the family that first lived there. The "McKinley house" or "Smith house." When you referred to the "Smith house," everyone knew exactly what house you were referring to. Over the years, we moved to the suburbs and houses started to look more and more alike. You can drive into some subdivisions and row after row of houses will look alike. Also, the garage started to appear on the front of the house. It certainly cost less if you did not have to build a driveway from the street to the back of the house. Alleys disappeared and fenced in back yards became popular. People would come home from work, enter the house and not leave again until the next day when they back out the car and headed off to work. You didn't really know your neighbors and they didn't know you. The only thing you knew for certain was that a car lived at that house because the garage was the largest feature of the front of the house.

Today, we are seeing an increasing demand for some of the "neighborhood" communities of yesteryear when people actually were neighbors. People want a home that has an inviting feel from the street. The garage is back where it belongs, in the back of the home. The house is designed to allow people to interact with the neighborhood when they want and to have privacy when they desire it. Homes in Brytan are designed to allow choices in how you live rather than in dictating how you must live. For instance, in traditional subdivision homes with the garage doors across most of the front, there is not a place to sit on the front porch, nor is there a beautiful street to look out upon. Start to look around at the different communities and see if you notice some of these design features.

1 comment:

  1. It is so nice to see a neighborhood where the homes do not look alike and the garage is the largest feature. I drove up from Orlando yesterday and some of the subdivisions were quite unattractive.