Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Sad Addition

I've decided to do a little series I'm going to call "buildings I notice on my way to work." Some of them I really like, some not so much. This is only my taste. If you don't agree, that's fine. But I can't see this one winning any awards.

This particular one I will call a "sad addition." Here we have a circa 1920 or so building with a gigantic cinder block addition slapped on top of it.
It's set back a bit, but clearly visible from the street or even the sidewalk across the street. For this project they really cheaped out and used only 2 windows for this huge addition.

Sometimes I think these types of projects reflect a certain trend. The trend is that people only care about what their homes are like inside (and that they have huge master suites and closets for more stuff, etc...etc...). This same trend would include not picking up litter in front of the property.

While the original building has some lovely features such as columns and a nice 2nd story porch all made from brick, the addition is made with inferior construction materials and little attempt was made to integrate the addition with the original building. To me, this says to the community at large, "we don't care that you have to look at this ugly monstrosity, we got some primo space for ourselves."

I wrote a similar series a few years back called The Good , The Bad , and The Ugly and The Beautiful. Just something to pass the time in between projects.


Sandy said...

It also screams -- we didn't restore the inside, we gutted it of all the cool original woodwork, etc. and made it modern!

John said...

Scarlet and I collect pictures of old homes too. We have albums full of all sorts of buildings which have caught our fancy. Things got really out of control when we lived in Savannah, Georgia. Sure, the addition is sad but it could be worse. When I first read that, I thought it was going to be sad because they tore it down. We have an album of photos like that too.

Jocelyn said...

You're right John. It is better this than a teardown. Good way to look at it actually.

Green Fairy said...

Oh, that just frustrates me when I see those kinds of "upgrades" or additions--and I'm seeing more and more of them in Rogers Park, Edgewater, and Uptown as the areas "gentrify". Beautiful, classic six-flats are being gutted on the inside and marred on the outside with the addition of a fourth level in order to squeeze in two extra condo units.

I peeked into the lobby of one and saw that they had replaced the entryway stairs--which must have been marble and wood--with an open grate, black power-coated steel monstrosity. Ugh. Many buyers only seem to care about the granite kitchens and Brazilian cherry wood floors without ever thinking about the exterior at all.

Allison1888 said...

Agreed. That was a horrible addition. A lot of people have trouble with the whole blending the old with the new concept. Then there are the ones who buy an old house and create a stark stainless steel kitchen without any character.

jef said...

That is pretty bad. I look forward to future photos, but i think you need to name them, like a fine French cuisine. "I call this one Sadé Addiciøn" etc.