Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Crime of the Week

$308,900 will get you this Montecito Heights remodel, originally built in 1922 and since hideously disfigured, perhaps more than once. The listing is (or was) here.

2721 Commodore, Montecito Heights

There are so many things wrong with this disaster that not even extended Photoshopping would help. The awkward, styleless, and completely unrelated two-story addition was evidently built without recourse to an architect, substituting instead a cash-and-carry plan from The Home Depot.

But lack of access to trained architects has been the norm throughout most of history; builders—local workers, just like the guys who probably built this—have constructed most human habitations, such as these:

Why is this example of contemporary vernacular architecture so visually and spiritually impoverished when compared with the vernacular architecture of our collective European and American past?


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