19 September 2009

Now that All the Nice Old Farm Houses Have Been Torn Down, the McMansion Era Is Over in New Canaan

For people who like any kind of aesthetically-pleasing domestic architecture, not just modern, this excerpt about New Canaan from the real estate section of tomorrow's Times should be good news:

“McMansions? The market for $4 million to $6 million houses is very quiet,” said Jill K. Wippern, a broker at Brotherhood and Higley Real Estate. “We have a number of them sitting empty, and as far as I know, there are very few builders that are planning to build big spec homes.”

While expressing optimism going into the fall, Prudence Parris, a veteran agent in New Canaan, said selling prices at the high end had fallen 28 percent over the last year. As for the decade-old trend of shoe-horning giant mansions into small downtown lots, “we are on the verge of another change,” she said. “The nouveaux riches, the young people who are making enough to buy houses, may now want smaller houses” — which here means just four bedrooms and three baths.

The problem is that it's too late. Oenoke Ridge Road, South Avenue and Old White Oak Shade Road, to name just three, have been all but destroyed, in my opinion, by badly designed temples of wealth, all of which have circular drives in front, on which the man of the house can show off his big red sports car.

We learned though that the guy who owns the video store on Main Street is charging sixty bucks a pop to drive people around town and show them New Canaan's modern houses, from the road, of course.

"We could do that," I said to Gina, when she read me that excerpt.

"True, but it would mean you'd have to talk," she said. It would also mean people would have to crowd into my 1997 Subaru.

Speaking of architecture, I used to play football with my classmates from Blessed Sacrament School on the field behind this place, which was designed to resemble a Norman castle. And later on in life I lived a mile up the road from this place, in Keene, although I can't picture it unless it was the group of roadside cabins near the Elm Tree Inn (aka Purdy's or Monty's), which I learned the other day is out of business. -- ta


Ben RN said...

The old Shaefer Property on White Oak Shade (right on the curve) appears to be undergoing huge changes, but not being torn down, per se.

donna said...

People who sell the service of tours of these modern houses should be careful...... They are private property.... The New Canaan Historical Society arranges some very thoughtfully planned tours..... where they get permission from homeowners, etc.... Then the proceeds go to preservation and awareness efforts for the modern houses......this is a good cause.

What next??? movie star maps being sold on street corners?