« Retrofitting suburbia: the state of the art | Main | Enjoy your "Tax Freeze": Part 1 - A Country Without Libraries »

May 16, 2011


Scott Thinnes

Biff Tannen for Franklin Mayor!!



So John, would this be anything like the old Victorian mansions that we see in community's like Whitewater,Milwaukee, Dubuque, IA or any older city that had quality (founder built) homes that have been left to disrepair over time. Shows like This Old House love to feature their restoration but it seems like this is a reoccurring trend in any community. You see old houses with incredible hardwood woodwork and other features that even the current McMansions can't afford to replicate are left to rot. Aren't we doomed to this reoccurring problem again and again? Because people just want NEW in their cocoon!

John Michlig

I think what is happening (and what will happen increasingly) is that

A) The recent trend toward huge square footage at the expense of any kind of quality building materials and methods is making itself known as these cardboard McMansions begin to deteriorate, and;

B) People who "overbought" -- and even some who didn't -- are finding themselves unable to deal with repair and maintanance.

Already you can see people letting that semi annual paint job go an extra year. Soon, houses and lots left for sale over many months/years will begin to be overgrown.

At the same time, people are obstinately unwilling to see their tax rate go up to the extent necessary to maintain city services and rehabilitate a suburban landscape that is inhospitable to the growing number of carless people we will see very, very soon. Add that to our governor's generational mistake of gold-plating freeways rather than embracing rail and infrastructure (streets) improvements, and you have a recipe for sharp decline.

Jason Tinkey

Much like West Garfield Park in Chicago. A century ago, it was an upper-middle-class Jewish neighborhood. Those beautiful old greystone mansions were barely fifty years old when disinvestment and white flight set in. The irony is, even though a lot of those buildings have seen some hard times and years of neglect, many of them will probably still be standing after the ticky-tack McMansions outlive their life cycle.

Shop Fitters Queensland

Hi, I found your blog and read a couple of the posts here. I’ve to say that your blog post are very informative. Your blog have benefited me in many ways and I want to say thank you! I will be comming back often.

The comments to this entry are closed.