We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I saw some so nasty (but costly) that Sipp would be tempted to burn them down if he could afford a match. But, to be charitable, shelter is important in the north, and it's love and not design that makes a place a home.
..and the #2 reason is no sense of taste, except in their mouths. I have seen my share of fugly houses up here along the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee. No character. Sterile. Just boxes with vinyl siding and no thought to aesthetics, inside or out. What's worse is that many of these fugly houses cost millions, which goes to show that even people with money have get it wrong.
Bad design is almost always a reflection of the relationship between and architect, one who was probably at the bottom of her/his class and thus lowest priced, and the developer paying them. If you want to know why so may "bad designs" are showing up in your neighborhood -- look to the developer first, and then to your local university--check out the rankings, credential, and work of the department/school of architecture.
In my case, bad design resulted from me getting the builder to make some changes I thought would improve a design I had seen and admired in town. He tried to tell me, but of course, I knew far more than he did. That was 40 years ago, and I still don't like it. But it's long since paid for.
If you're interested in the wasteland that is contemporary residential architecture, and the simple ways that it could be improved, I highly recommend this book:
Get Your House Right: Architectural Elements to Use & Avoid
The book contains side-by-side drawing of dos and don'ts when it comes to common architectural elements. We used it as one of the main references when we were designing our house on Tybee Island. It was a big help!
Single family homes are or can be some of the most beautiful architecture. A cape Cod, a Dutch colonial, a bungalow and classic colonials are beautiful homes. I often will take my camera and walk some of the nicer neighborhoods just to capture the beauty and craftsmanship in these homes. I am also stunned when I see a large and ungainly house or one that simply doesn't look attractive. Why is that? The architect didn't care or the builder was unable to translate the architects plans into a thing of beauty? It would be different too if the design failure was due to an emphasis on efficient design and function of the livable portion of the home but this doesn't seem to be the case. I don't know, perhaps it's incompetence or cost cutting but I am seeing more of these eyesores sprouting up everywhere.
Those are some ugly ducklings but Wilton does have some pre-war, revolutionary that is, gems.
an interesting aside. July 5, 1776 after the Declaration of Independence was read in NYC, the Sons of Liberty, that evening broke apart and took the lead statue of George the III by boat to Norwalk where it was transferred to wagons for the trip to the Litchfield forge to be make into bullets. They stopped at the inn in Wilton where several hundred pounds were taken and hidden by tory sympathizers.
Parts have been turning up ever since in wills and basements. In fact in 1972 the town historian searched for some on a hunch and found a part of a torch George was holding of 20 lbs. He sold it to the Brooklyn museum but the land owner, Fred Friendly, objected and sued. It went to the Supreme court and Friendly prevailed and collected the nearly 6 grand from the museum from the piece.
Someone has done the math and since the original weight was known and the number of bullets made were also recorded, 2100 lbs or 42088 musket balls and the found pieces of 420 lbs, means 1400 lbs are still missing. Almost certainly still in Wilton.
In 1972 the 20 lbs went for $5500.
So if buy the property with the old Davis swamp, start digging.
My favorite "bad design" story is from my NE hometown. The owner of a house construction firm decided to build his own home. To make his own home extra special, he added a solar greenhouse to get some solar heating. He put the solar greenhouse on the north side of the house, which in the northern hemisphere isn't going to get much sun in the winter.
I grew up in a house that was built in three stages: ~ Revolutionary War or before, Victorian, and 1930s. My father tore down the Victorian gingerbread.
In the last and penultimate designs, I don't like the top floor windows jutting out from the roof. That will contribute to heat loss. Better to have the house designed so that the top floor begins below the roof. Then place windows on the top floor below the roof, which will reduce heat loss. In NE, heat loss is a big issue.
Where we live in a STL suburb, the latest thing for a builder is to add as many different angles to the roof as possible, different building products like stone, brick, plus another kind of stone on the front. Turrets anyone? What an ugly collection of homes have been built in our area over the past five years. All almost a million dollars or more for a house that will shows it's age because of the lousy design.
They won't show their age for very long- the problem with most modern housing is the core is weak- all glitzy features over crap construction. I doubt very much if any of them will be standing in a hundred years.