Sunday, September 21, 2008

How is this NOT a capital offense?

This morning, I was walking around the neighborhood where I get my hair cut. There are some lovely examples of well-loved Craftsman homes there. And then there was this:

No, that shop is not in front of and overlapping that old Craftsman house . . .

. . . that shop is actually built onto the house, cutting it in two!

Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, how is this not a capital offense? Who would commit such an act of depravity upon an innocent house?

The blog, Casa Decrepit, has an excellent post called
Crimes Against Victorians. As you see above, the humble Craftsman bungalow is no less under attack than the stately Victorian.

On a leisurely stroll today alone, I observed:

Why? Why so much white paint? Why so much pointy fencing? Why so much stucco? Why so many satellite dishes? Why are Christmas lights still up? Why are there two white lions on the porch? (I couldn't get a good picture of the lions through all the fencing. But they're dutifully guarding the place.) Why? Why? Why?

Also on my walk today, I saw this nice house:

This is the kind of house that makes me want to invite myself in and get to know the people who live there.

And then there's this house, right next door:

The sad thing is, viewed side by side, they look like they may have started out as sister-houses:

It happens in so many families; one good girl, one shameless hussy.

The house on the left also displays not just one, but two fine sculptures like this:

I know, I should contain my cattiness a little. But was this really necessary?

Sometimes, a crime against a Craftsman can be as simple as the perceived need for a security door and bars on the windows:

Our house came with three security doors, one in the front and two in the back. As a special bonus, one of them came with a bullet hole. In its day, the bullet hole was the highlight of the tour. Alas, that door is gone now.

The opposite of protecting yourself with a steel door is surrounding yourself with glass:

I'm not sure why anyone would want to enclose their porch behind a big glass window. I don't even see any orchids, though they don't appear to have a green thumb anyway.

And speaking of green, closer to my own home (around the corner), I offer this:

Isn't there a rule about using three colors on a house exterior? Aside from the siding and trim, couldn't the stones on the pillars have been the third color? Did the stones have to be green as well?

Is there a house in your neighborhood that is more sinned against than sinning? Send me a photo along with any catty comments you'd like to include. I'd love to post a nationwide crime-spree. No prizes, just links - unless you want to get really catty and prefer to remain anonymous.

You can send the gory evidence to why.s999 at

8 comments: said...

There's been a big trend in Queens the last few years to tear down houses and build a house in it's place that's 10 times the size - dwarfing all the other houses on the block. They also tend to pave over the yard, use enormous white pillars, and all be this off peachy color etc.

A year or two ago we found a blog that was chronicaling the odd "movement". Then, even the New York Times noticed it and did a huge 2 page article. It boils down to a large influx of people from another country moving to the US and basically asserting what we would believe to be "bad taste" on our hood. To them, their homes are beautiful.

Here's the blog, I'll see if I can find the NYT article, it's really interesting reading. You have to scroll WAY DOWN before the blog actually starts w/ pics:

NV said...

WOW! Why, you've hit upon some very serious violations indeed. It's painful to see these things.

It's unbelievable what people do. I hope to soon feature some of our "Park District" homes, once of the to-be-envied set. Some still are. Others -- the interesting color choices on a few in particular -- not so much.

Why S? said...

Thanks, Upstate, for the Queens link. That's quite a collection of architectural abuse. It's bad enough when people of limited means desecrate homes. It's worse when it's done by the more-money-than-sense lot.

NV, painful, yes. I look forward to your tour of the Park District.

Jayne said...

That Craftsman/retail combo is horrible!! And very sad, too. I'm not sure there's any undoing of that. The rest are awful, too, but slightly lesser crimes. Still felonies, just lesser ones.

Jennifer said...


There's some pretty bad things around here, too... I'll have to go hunting with my camera!

Just A Girl And Her Craftsman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Just A Girl And Her Craftsman said...

I'm sitting in Echo Park right now giggling over my black coffee as I read all the crimes against Craftsmas and as I was scrolling down the page, I was just so SURE that at some point there would be a photo of my house too. I'm more on the border of Silverlake and Echo Park so you might not do your walks on my street?? I also have a home that came with bars on the windows and security doors on front and back door. I always say you'd have to have a can opener or a crowbar to get into our house. Someday we will take the "braces" off of our house so our house can have a great smile and start dating other houses and enter highschool as one of the popular kids but right now our little house is getting the paint off of her builtins! At least they opened a wine bar across the street so we can escape the dust. Thanks for finding me! We'll have to start a bungalow blogger club in Echo Park. Side note: I think I know where your house is from the photos you took of your view.

Why S? said...

Hey, Just a Craftsman Girl, I think you live on my street! The pictures were taken in Los Feliz where I get my hair cut. I, too, live on the border of EP & SL. Except, if the wine bar is across the street from you, you must be north of Sunset. I'm south. I'm near the doggie daycare. Do you take your dog there? Email me. My address is in the post.