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Monday, September 14, 2015

Big boxy white houses

Interesting events happening in South Beach according to The Real Deal. The Miami Beach land use committee has proposed an ordinance that would put more restrictions on new homes being built. It seems that historic homes are being torn down and the property is being turned into zero lot line mega-mansions. Sound familiar? That seems to be the trend in the Grove these days, too. 

These white box shaped houses are going up and they are being built on the whole lot. I have told the story of years ago, how there was this beautiful mid century house on my street, they knocked it down to put up two zero lot line townhouses, which eventually became one large town house. Now I see it more and more lately, there are some going up on Tigertail and of course all over the village.

In Miami Beach they want to change the maximum size of the unit from 50% of the lot to 45% of the lot. 

I thought the days of McMansions were over; that it was a '90s thing. I do like the white box houses that seem to be in fashion these days, there isn't much character, but they are boxy and glassy. They are just way to big in some cases. 

Remember that lady that wanted to put in a Montessori school on South Bayshore Drive, sort of across from Mercy Hospital? Well, she ended up selling the land and few big, white boxy and glass houses were built, covering most of the property. In the past, the big house was to the very back of the lot, with a large lawn. Now it's all houses. They are pretty, but just so overpowering.  So we don't have the school, but we have the houses. Less traffic but also less character and greenery.

There is a nice house near where I live on South Bayshore Drive, it's a law office, it's in one of the original Brickell mansions. It's a nice big white Tara-syle house with a big green lawn. I shudder to think of what would happen if they sold it. That's the house in the photo here, the photo doesn't do the lawn justice, it's really long and wide in person. Very green.

There is an interesting story in the Sun Sentinel about mid century houses in the suburbs. The article states that in the "tri-county South Florida region, 35 percent of all living units were built in the 1960s and '70s, more than any other era." 

It also says, "Unlike the coastal villages of Coconut Grove or Coral Gables that tell the story of the state's 1920s land boom, or the Mid-Century Modern architecture intended to allow post-war migrants to live comfortably without air conditioning, the housing stock that stands as a monument to the region's most dramatic population boom gets little respect."

I'm not sure if they are saying that the Grove and Gables respect the mid century architecture and the other areas don't or vice versa. I feel that our neighborhood does not respect it. 

For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing - only through social media. Not copying and pasting.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That house is a law office? I would have never guessed. It's not my style, but still a good looking house with character.

September 14, 2015 7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People need to do their homework for this Dist. 2 election. The same people that brought us McMansions have been waiting to find an "activist" to do their bidding in this election. Follow the money. (Can't imagine that people have forgotten what went on when Winton was in office and how that helped put Sarnoff in office, but it seems that people in the Grove have very short memories that way.)

September 14, 2015 8:39 AM  
Blogger James said...

While the boxy houses might not be your cup of tea, they have their advantages. Most, thanks to better insulation and impact windows are much more energy efficient. Also, thanks to better engineering, codes and again the impact windows these structures are much safer in the event of a hurricane.

September 14, 2015 10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All Modern McMansions should display exquisite concrete blocks posing as park benches, like we now have on Reggata Park. It adds a green, sophisticated touch of "je ne sais quoi"

September 14, 2015 12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Architects trained with Legos, consequently we have Casa Lego!

September 14, 2015 1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The center grove is already 95% built out with this zero lot new construction. It's over Tom, it's been over.

September 14, 2015 4:19 PM  
Blogger Brant Hadaway said...

The zero lot-line houses are driven by market demand. People want to live closer to the city to avoid murderous commutes and to be closer to restaurants and culture. But they also want the kind of square footage one can buy in the southern and western suburbs, yet mid-century homes in the Grove tend to be in the 1,400 to 2,200 sq. ft. range.

That's just the reality.

September 18, 2015 5:47 PM  

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