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.
Avon, CT (pop. 17,000) in the Farmington River Valley (up towards The Barrister's neck of the woods), was a quaint, semi-rural semi-distant Hartford suburb until the highways came and the prosperous moved further from downtown Hartford.
Avon's schools rank #1 in CT, largely because of its homogeneous middle-upper and upper-middle class population (a town's school "performance" correlates exactly with parental education and income, rendering school comparisons meaningless). Wiki notes that Avon was listed as one of the preppiest places in the United States in the 1980s best-seller The Official Preppy Handbook. A guy can still wear plaid pants or Nantucket Red in Avon without getting stared at, or shot.
With growing prosperity and suburban sprawl, towns like Avon have lost their cornfields and woodlands and chicken farms and dairy pastures. At the risk of sounding like an obnoxious snob, those cornfields have been replaced by graceless architectural abominations - with no relationship or sensitivity to place, proportion, local history, or taste - like these below (many more here and here), currently priced in the $800,000-4,000,000 range, and usually on about 1-acre lots:
I would not be surprised if the construction quality were equivalent to the architectural quality of these visual pollutants. My eyes would prefer cornfields, but I guess I am a snob, because homeless people would love these things, and I am sure they are quite comfortable and spacious inside, with central vacuum, humidity control, industrial ovens, intercoms, etc.
But this is my idea of an Avon home - or of any real Connecticut home, for that matter. This one was built in 1800. $450,000, but it could use a real front door and a couple of fireplaces:
Ick. What is it that is so awful about those houses? Their designers were clearly trying to maintain a conservative look through using traditional forms and materials, but something is just uncomfortably wrong with all of them.
Is it the fake stone facades? I don't think much looks worse than imitation stone from Home Depot glued to the front of a house here and there. You aren't fooling anyone, so why even bother? Maybe it's the poor use of windows - check out the glaringly out-of-place Palladian window on the blue house. Or just the overall massing of the houses, which is overwhelming and oppressive, while still managing to feel cheap and tacky. They feel less like "houses" than cut-and-paste exercises using various cheap components out of a design book, all slapped together in a semi-random fashion.
(IMO, the best is the brick house. There has been a genuine attempt to create some architectural interest with materials, dormers, overhangs and custom window designs).
I never ever thought I"d agree with a "fruitcake", but D , you are right. Them is ugly houses, I hope the B man doesn't live in one of those. Glad you arrived home safe !Now you can OD on all the Skippy you want. Oh by the way did you take any pictures in Italia to SHARE WITH US? or were you to busy eating PBand J sandwiches.
At least you picked out two of the best-looking ones, BD! I like the ones where the front is busy, like these, but the side of the house has no windows, or one or two placed in odd locations (probably for "furniture placement." You can't blame Toll Brothers for all of these, either; there's a small army of people, dressed in black and odd-Euro eyeware, just itching to enact a studio fantasy from A-school. The brick one could have gone Arts and Crafts (too large), but as D says, it has some nice points. My least favorite is the one below it with the faux porch - how in hell can you sit and pcik on that one without knocking your gee-tar against the house of the rail? Forget about a fiddle player. Not even enough room to rock back and put your feet up on the rail. Sheesh!
The first one that's lit up looks the best. I can't stand the trend of multiple peaks...it's just way too busy and screams of trying too hard.
Homes like these seem to lack a designer/artitect with taste and artistic sense.
We have many of these types at various price points around Atlanta. There does seem to be a trend at the high-end back to more asthetic design with craftsman and colonial cues. It will be nice to see that push down into middle income design and people start trading size for quality.
Um, have you been in the last house? Its actually priced at $265K and needs a full renovation. Not just a front door and fireplace. It needs major structural and mechanical help. Once you spend all the money to upgrade and repair it, you would be left w/ a very small 500K house