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Placebook: This Kind of Old, but Kind of Modern House

BobisTraveling Raleigh Modernist Home

Image Credit: Bobistraveling on Flickr

So what makes a house old? Does it become old when it becomes run down? Or is it old due to age. What age makes that house old?

Yesterday, I included a link to a home in a “historic” area of Raleigh, that was being built in a historic style, if you consider historic style the mid-century 20th modernism. Raleigh, thanks to the architecture school at NC State, was once a hotbed for several mid-century modern homes. North Carolina also has the third largest concentration of modernist homes in the country.

These homes, which may not have the symmetry and the elaboration of homes from earlier historical periods, possess in my opinion, more creativity and stability than many of the cookie-cutter, cheaply produced homes of the late 20th century. Yet, because many look odd and some are flat-out ugly, they are often at risk of going before the bulldozer. However, the folks at North Carolina Modernist Houses are doing their very best to keep the memory of some of and the studs of others alive.

I do want to mention that the folks in Raleigh  have valid concerns. When I was doing my undergrad at NC State, the neighborhoods north of campus began to see historic  matchbox homes of the postwar era be replaced by Tudors of the McMansion era, many which blocked sight vistas and triggered gentrification. At first I was appalled along with the neighbors. Yet, as Raleigh sprawls further and further out, I’d rather the folks with the big house build it close in, yet find a way to integrate with their neighbors not only in style, but in their own substance.

But I digress. Here’s today’s news.

News from North Carolina

We may have an operating agreement for the Tanger Center for the Performing Arts.

HomeGoods comes to Greensboro on March 9th.

Great to see the Little Free Libraries movement has come to the Triad. Would love to see them spread out though.

Has Greensboro’s housing market recovered? Homes.com seems to think we have made a full recovery.

Winston-Salem may raise city taxes.  Brunswick County will raise taxes.

No vote for cell towers in Forsyth County, but a new law on solar farms.

Wake County has changed their middle school math requirements.  How Asheville City Schools could handle the new tenure and pay mandate from the state.

DENR is testing fish in the Dan River, to see if they are edible.

A mobile grocer has stepped up to address the food desert in Southeast Raleigh.

Western Carolina University will demolish the fire-damaged former home of Subway and other smaller retailers.

The Charlotte City Council has voted for an Atlanta firm to handle airport valet services.

The Leland Town Council has banned gated communities.

Fayetteville’s city council has voted to extend the sewer system to several homes annexed with septic tanks. Also worth checking out, the Fayetteville Observer’s year-long series on solutions to crime in Fayetteville.

News and Lessons from Elsewhere

Europe is also dealing with issues surrounding abandoned homes and chronic homelessness.

Charleston has proof that public housing doesn’t have to be ugly or poorly kept.

Just because you get priced out of an area, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your passion for its history and architecture.

Meanwhile, friend of the blog Scott Doyon has the best breakdown of gentrification I’ve seen, as someone who is traditionally considered a gentrifier, yet recognizes the worst sin of gentrification is not the raising of home values, but the decline of respect of those who were there and may have built the value in the first place.

And finally, last week I included a link on how much one would have to make to buy a home in DC. Here’s how much it would take in several other cities nationwide (note, the NYC numbers seem a bit low).

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