And, They All Look The Same…Part One…

15 03 2012

Malvina Reynolds – Little Boxes

...And, they all look the same...

Little boxes on the hillside, Little boxes made of ticky tacky
Little boxes on the hillside, little boxes all the same
There’s a green one and a pink one and a blue one and a yellow one…


As we all know, musical lyrics ofttimes reflects our culture. The preceding lyrics are a great example…

The other day, a facebook friend used the term ticky tacky to describe a photograph, that he had posted, of a local, typical, modern American subdivision. And, I thought, hmmmmmmm…

…The post reminds me of previous blogs in which I ranted about the out-of-control size of the current American residential boxes (and no, I don’t consider most of these homes), its proliferation in crowded subdivisions, and the resultant destruction of precious green-spaces…

…The post also reminds me of my previous discussions about the beauty, quality, character, and value of many of the wonderful, older homes of some of the great American neighborhoods of our past…

That same evening, I had a conversation, with a real estate agent, regarding the subject and, well, hmmmmmmm…

…We both agreed that most American subdivisions are a travesty and that there is beauty in many of the older neighborhoods…

…But, she said…many families, looking at the older homes, find it difficult to deal with small closets, not enough room for larger furniture, out-dated mechanical and electrical systems, etc…

All of a sudden, I felt a blog subject coming on.

…First though, I must digress…I had to look up the lyrics to the song and refresh my memory of what caused that recall. I was fascinated to discover (thank you Wikipedia) that the song was actually written, by Malvina Richards, in 1962 as … a political satire about the development of suburbia and associated conformist middle-class attitudes…   I, of course, knew this was not a  profound revelation;  the issue of urban sprawl, destruction of the environment, the degeneration of the American Home has been haunting us for decades. But, what a great, classic reincarnation from the age of real activism…

Now I was convinced. I knew that I must, once again, weigh in on the subject. But, I felt the need for a new angle…

…I’ve already written a pretty nice three-part series regarding the out-of-control sizes of the modern American house and its impact on our environment, economy, and culture…

…And, what I really want to talk more about the treasures of some of the wonderful, older homes that are still out there…

So here we go, this entry begins a multi-part series looking into the state of  American neighborhoods and homes. I plan to talk with a few of my contemporaries in design, construction, and real estate about the pros (that I’ve previously shared) and the cons of the these Old Homes that I am seem to be so attached. I also want to attempt to bring a little historic and cultural perspective to the subject. Lastly, and as always, i will try to balance the philosophical romanticized side with the pragmatic.

Stay tuned and, enjoy…



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One response

6 06 2012
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This blog site has a lot of really helpful information on it! Cheers for informing me!

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