3.22.2015

Livin' Large

Meadowhood
   After a long sustained pause, forced by unforeseeable circumstances, the real source of trepidation arose. Deep-seated hatred towards vinyl siding and shoddy architecture drew out repressed feelings of anger and betrayal. It is not buyer's remorse, but an internal conflict. Over the last two decades I have railed against McMansions and America's dumb obsession with super-sized homes, and this position has now resulted in my current ethical dilemma.
   We arrived in the Cleveland high on optimism and the promise of better real estate value. We soon found that the online listings grossly misrepresented the condition of countless neglected properties. Within a very short week we knew that we were combing through the dregs of last years' offerings.
   Asbestos, skunks, rotting windows, and broken slabs. Once vital, artsy structures were now a liability to their remaining heirs. I am not naive, I recognize the maintenance arc that most properties commonly follow. As the resident ages, so does the home. Less energy and strength coupled with poor eyesight leads to a Miss Havisham-esque habitation. If caught early enough, the fix is simple, if left for decades, the problems domino and the value plummets.
   Our only choice was to leap decades forward and look to homes that we would have never previously considered. Yes, I am talking about the vinyl clad, infill blight of the McMansion. Not only is the architecture generally mundane, and the heating bills inordinately high, any efficiencies are merely coincidental. With few other options left, I chose hypocrisy over personal beliefs. 
   I recently read that the McMansion building trend died somewhere during the last recession, but this does not mean these homes are going anywhere. In reality, a lot of these homes are going to need serious updates as  they approach midlife. This is just the beginning of a new saga, another test of my abilities. Can the Manic Maker tame one of these beasts into a relevant, dare I say modern structure? Let me lead as I have done before, and demonstrate that it can be executed with thoughtful design and finesse.

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