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Old 03-02-2011, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Detroit's eastside, downtown Detroit in near future!
2,055 posts, read 3,701,222 times
Reputation: 646

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I've always been a fan of Historic Homes. My favorite neighborhood, as I said before, is Indian Village. I love cobblestone especially. Lately I've been watching a lot of HGTV. It seems a lot of people like new construction. I've never been a fan of new construction. A lot of it looks really cookie-cutter and lacks character IMO. BUT I will say that I do kind of like some of the newer homes in the city. Corktown, for instance, has nice new construction. I think I like them because they often mimic the original construction of the area. You really can't tell what homes were built in 1900s or 2000s.

What I want to know is, which do you perfer? name certain neighborhoods and posts pictures as well
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:55 PM
Status: "My eyes are rolled back so far I can see my brain." (set 12 days ago)
 
Location: Here.
13,387 posts, read 11,879,321 times
Reputation: 15721
Finally something we can agree on, detroitlove. lol, not smh! I would love to live in Palmer Woods, Indian Village, Boston-Edison, etc. if I could afford to. Modern reproductions rarely approach the craftsmanship of the old homes. The drawbacks of old homes: higher repair/maintenance costs, poorly insulated, and they often acquire an unpleasant odor to my over-sensitive nose. But none of that stops me from diverting through these neighborhoods every chance I get!
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:08 AM
 
Location: Downtown Detroit
1,497 posts, read 3,021,577 times
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I'm definitely a fan of the older architecture, although some of the new stuff is nice. Since I'm more of a highrise kind of guy, I typically like the grandeur and detailed intricacy of older design and architecture. The biggest difference between old and new IMO is that older architecture, especially in pre-war architecture, is the existence of non-function related details. There was a philosophy back then that buildings were to be more than just functional structures, but were to make a statement. The art deco skyscrapers in Detroit were intended to be powerful, foreboding, and intimidating because of the business magnates they were built for. Many architects like Kahn drew inspiration from medieval castles to capture that cogent awe factor. Nowadays, there is very little detail unrelated to function, so, too often modern buildings seem generic and sterile. That said, I sometimes admire the simplicity of ultra modern buildings when they're done right. Clean lines, sleek surfaces, cool & calm textures and color palates make a building seem very crisp and cutting edge. However, this type of design can easily fall out of vogue and look retro, whereas true quality architecture should stand the test of time. Detroit really is an architectural treasure trove.

Louis Sullivan said this about skyscrapers in 1989:

"It is lofty. It must be tall. The force and power of altitude must be in it, the glory and pride of exaltation must be in it. It must be every inch a proud and soaring thing, rising in sheer exaltation that from bottom to top it is a unit without a single dissenting line."
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:21 AM
Status: "My eyes are rolled back so far I can see my brain." (set 12 days ago)
 
Location: Here.
13,387 posts, read 11,879,321 times
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I only like skyscrapers from a distance or from the top floors of the highest ones overlooking all the others. I don't care to be at street level among them or to look out the window and see nothing but the exterior of other skyscrapers. Makes me feel like I'm in a deep crevice in the earth. I like to see the sky and horizon.
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:24 AM
 
Location: Grosse Pointe Park, MI
90 posts, read 176,101 times
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Historic homes -- looking to buy one in Grosse Pointe Park! Detroit has some amazing buildings and architectural history. There are some Kahn homes in GPs, and the Detroit Golf Club's clubhouse is a Kahn designed building, just beautiful. The Fisher Theater has some very interesting details - love the ceiling outside the entry to the theater.

We've started our house hunt and have seem some great tudors and French colonials; some renovated, some not.

A few friends have told me about the East English Village house tour, sounds great. There is a GP house tour I think in the spring as well (there's a kitchen tour, and maybe a holiday tour?).

On the East Coast, many of these homes would have been torn down to build McMansions -- I appreciate and respect the fact that hasn't happened here and that people have taken the time to restore many of these homes.

And don't forget the Pewabic tile! The stained glass windows! And then you find the homes with the secret rooms leftover from bootlegging days! I've seen a few interesting things in basements thus far lol...

Last edited by hockeywidow; 03-03-2011 at 07:38 AM..
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
24,718 posts, read 59,615,271 times
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New Construction.

I love shoddily built homes with cheap understrength materials, bland designs with lots of fake architectural elements and inappropriate mixtures of incompatible artchitectural styles. I want everything designed to minimize cost and maximize square footage with no concern for quality, balance ,or architectural significance. I especially like the look of McMansions with multiple roof peaks that are tacked on for abosultely no reason at all. However I only like it when they cut down all the trees and level out any geographical features and build a field of essentially identical homes a few feet apart (or use only three or four different plans and mix them in at random). It is ok if they plant some little lollipop trees, but they need to cut them down and plant new lollipops when they start to fill out. I do not want any house built to last more than 30 years. I want my house to fall apart by the time my morgage is paid off so I can buy a new one. I certainly do not want my kids to live in our family home. How boring! Never never give me a home with a real front porch or a seperate rear garage and lots of windows. I hate all that light. Oh and be certain to seal my house up like a tomb so that all of the vapor that we exhale remains inside and grows some pretty mold. Also, my kitcehn must look exactly like everyone else's with granite and stainless steel everywhere (or whatever is the fad of the decade) and make sure you include a stove that costs more than it woudl cost for me to eat out for the rest of my life so I cna boil water on it.

Love new construction!

Last edited by Coldjensens; 03-03-2011 at 07:56 AM..
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
24,718 posts, read 59,615,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hockeywidow View Post
We've started our house hunt and have seem some great tudors and French colonials; some renovated, some not.


On the East Coast, many of these homes would have been torn down to build McMansions -- I appreciate and respect the fact that hasn't happened here and that people have taken the time to restore many of these homes.
Go for properly renovated. You pay a fortune to renovate and you get not much of any return on the cost when you sell the house. Thus, you cna buy someone elses fortune worth of renovations at little cost. However good luck finding one that was done right. Too much "updating (aka remuddling) will cost you mor than restoring the house from a dilapidated condition. Granite counters in a 1930s kitchen? Pshaw! Often every element of charm is removed and the owners proudly say how much they spent gutting the house down to studs and rebuilding the interior like a modern house. Why would anyone want that?

Many places the older homes were preserved simply because people did nto have money to tear them down and rebuild at times that they were considered just junky old buildings, and later the historic charm was recognized. That happened in large extent to Charleston SC. Parts of it were never "modernized" because they did not have the money. Detroit is desperately trying to catch up with other "modern" cities in the destruction of historic charm. Fortunately, there is a lot here and there are a signficant number of people who recognize its value (unfortunately, they do not appear to be memers of the City council).
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:11 AM
Status: "My eyes are rolled back so far I can see my brain." (set 12 days ago)
 
Location: Here.
13,387 posts, read 11,879,321 times
Reputation: 15721
Quote:
Originally Posted by hockeywidow View Post
On the East Coast, many of these homes would have been torn down to build McMansions -- I appreciate and respect the fact that hasn't happened here and that people have taken the time to restore many of these homes.
Actually, that has happened in Grosse Pointe. Several of the large mansions and estates that were built from 1900-1930 were demolished and subdivided from 1950-1980. Grosse Pointe Historical Society - Home Page

...more specifically: GPHS - History of Grosse Pointe, Grosse Pointe Historical Society*- Tour of Grosse Pointe and Grosse Pointe Auto Barons
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:24 AM
Status: "My eyes are rolled back so far I can see my brain." (set 12 days ago)
 
Location: Here.
13,387 posts, read 11,879,321 times
Reputation: 15721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
New Construction.

I love shoddily built homes with cheap understrength materials, bland designs with lots of fake architectural elements and inappropriate mixtures of incompatible artchitectural styles. I want everything designed to minimize cost and maximize square footage with no concern for quality, balance ,or architectural significance. I especially like the look of McMansions with multiple roof peaks that are tacked on for abosultely no reason at all. However I only like it when they cut down all the trees and level out any geographical features and build a field of essentially identical homes a few feet apart (or use only three or four different plans and mix them in at random). It is ok if they plant some little lollipop trees, but they need to cut them down and plant new lollipops when they start to fill out. I do not want any house built to last more than 30 years. I want my house to fall apart by the time my morgage is paid off so I can buy a new one. I certainly do not want my kids to live in our family home. How boring! Never never give me a home with a real front porch or a seperate rear garage and lots of windows. I hate all that light. Oh and be certain to seal my house up like a tomb so that all of the vapor that we exhale remains inside and grows some pretty mold. Also, my kitcehn must look exactly like everyone else's with granite and stainless steel everywhere (or whatever is the fad of the decade) and make sure you include a stove that costs more than it woudl cost for me to eat out for the rest of my life so I cna boil water on it.

Love new construction!

Haha! I agree with your sarcastic assessment. I'll only point out a couple things:
  1. Many historic mansions also contain "fake architectural elements and inappropriate mixtures of incompatible artchitectural styles" "with multiple roof peaks that are tacked on for abosultely no reason at all." This ostentatious display of wealth was very popular in the Victorian era and lingered on. Brush Park has/had many examples. Even the Tudor styles which came later employed many unnecessary roof peaks.
  2. Many historic mansions were in fact built where "they cut down all the trees and level out any geographical features". If you look back at old pictures of when these homes were new, you will see a surprising lack of trees. It's only because time has allowed trees to reach full maturity that we don't appreciate this.
But otherwise, right on!
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Grosse Pointe Park, MI
90 posts, read 176,101 times
Reputation: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Retroit View Post
Actually, that has happened in Grosse Pointe. Several of the large mansions and estates that were built from 1900-1930 were demolished and subdivided from 1950-1980. Grosse Pointe Historical Society - Home Page

...more specifically: GPHS - History of Grosse Pointe, Grosse Pointe Historical Society*- Tour of Grosse Pointe and Grosse Pointe Auto Barons
I'll have to check out the links, thanks.

We've seen some well-maintained homes from the late 1920's - early 1940's that appear to have been properly renovated (without having a home inspection who knows?). When my husband was in high school and college he worked summers for a contractor outside Boston, MA who specialized in historic preservation, so he's got a great eye for true craftsmanship.

Where we moved from, entire streets of homes would be torn down just to make way for bigger and "better" homes. Appears to be a much lesser extent here.

Coldjensens, I agree that it's best value to buy a home that's already been renovated as you typically don't get your full investment back. We'll see what we find over the next few months!
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