Monday, October 15, 2007

Confusing Claremont

The first street in this neighborhood to undergo "revitalization" was Claremont. Young couples were moving into new houses that were built in the style of old bungalows, with more size and amenities. Builders were working their way up and down the street a house at a time. The downside was the loss of affordable housing, the upside was the new houses had nice setbacks and yards and attempted to blend with the older tone. It was a little odd to see craftsman-style homes replacing homes that were built after WWII, and some in the early 60s, but teardowns-aside, respect for other values was in the right direction, something that has not been observed in many rebuilds.

Concern for original houses remained, though, whether the house next door would also bite the dust as the new neighborhood appeared. It's a size thing, you know; this row is now in play.

Then some other forces entered the mix. As the land rush continued, million-plus dollar homes began appearing. Three of three are still empty at this time. Note the unique blending of home styles as individual speculation continues.

And now, across the street from another perfectly unfitting 3 story river house, comes not one, but two new large builds. One is clearly intended to be a mansion. The other merely a very large house. Le Manse is being squeezed in between a new bungalow and beautifully kept older ranch. This one goes for another style, huge and genteel is the best I can come up with. It kinda dwarfs most of the other new houses.

This ranch is the vine-ripened tomato in a huge speculator all bun sandwich. Best I can tell, the only way they offended the gods of fate was to settle in and love their homestead. Surrounded on all sides and their view across the street obliterated, by what market rule do they get protection?

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