Houses are Disappearing in Newton, MA.

04
Oct 2011

I took a walk the other night. It was cool and crisp with just a hint of fall.  I was gone for perhaps 20 minutes.  How much ground can a human cover in that amount of time-I would think under 2 miles. All I did was make a big circle.  I was shocked to see that 4 houses were missing-yes POOF! completely gone into thin air!!  

 2ufo af patty 3ufo valentine 4ufo suzie

On second thought, maybe this is just another invasion of the McMansions.  I’ve seen it happen before, 4 great Mid-Century Moderns, within a stones throw from each other, disappeared during the time frame of my last renovation project.  People are tired of seeing for sale signs on perfectly good, but rundown houses, and then one day the house vanishes to be replaced by a huge hole in the ground! Everyone knows what coming next, and its usually an oversized box without a lot of character, occupying the largest % of green space the city permitting will allow. I realize there are some houses out there where demolition is the only alternative, but many of these properties have good bones, and just haven’t been updated.

5ufo Temple
Here is victim #5 I saw on my walk.  I can tell because of the tri-pod on the corner of the property. {upper left hand corner} It indicates they are  getting ready to demo the house and this will provide the electricity once the house is gone.  I don’t want to sound preachy, but tearing down these houses and sending all that material to landfill, just doesn’t sit right with me. Yes its harder to make a profit and get it back on the market if you renovate and work with the existing structure but it just isn’t that hard to make the space work for a modern family. After all-isn’t the greenest house the one that’s already there?
How do you feel about the changing character of our neighborhoods?  I’ll be sure to keep you posted with before and afters when the houses are complete.