Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tribune on Teardowns

The Chicago Tribune gnashes its teeth about teardowns in Winnetka, the slowing phenomena of removing one house to build another in areas where land values are high.

The preservationists howl a bit, a group or two concerned with coherent neighborhoods doesn't like the juxtaposition of faux tudor with faux georgian buildings. But the main issue is skipped, I think.

Houses being torn down are of lower value than the replacement house built in its place. If it isn't the developer loses money. There are some real eyesores, even in Winnetka, thrown up during the Depression to split a large lot and stave off bankruptcy. The issue becomes, when is it OK to interfere with your neighbors choice in housing. Most of the teardowns should be applauded. What comes in to replace them are generally high quality, if not exceptional architecture, close enough to it.

Any thoughts from North Shore Readers?


Publia said...

Try driving down, say, Willow, from Green Bay to Hibbard. There are so many houses for sale, there must be a great number of foreclosures. All of them look as if they had been destined for teardown. Winnetka has become so expensive, I can't see the difference whether a crummy house that is expensive is replaced by a nice house that is expensive. Unfortunately, the super costly homes are making changes to the type of people who are attracted to Winnetka, and I don't think it is all for the better.

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