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Old 03-23-2011, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Ohio
411 posts, read 980,610 times
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I know there is an anti-suburb sentiment on City-Data, and one of the reasons is a hatred of what many of you call "cookie-cutter" houses. What do you define as "cookie-cutter"?
I grew up in a suburb just outside of Cincinnati on the oft-maligned west side of town. The street I grew up on was built in the late 1960s. Yes, there are houses like my mom's, but none identical to hers. The variations in brick or siding colors, shutter and roof colors, and later, the landscaping, trees and additions to homes, mean that none of these houses are identical. In fact, the only almost identical houses that I see are the post-1980 beige brick McMansions. Nothing from the 70s or before looks identical from the outside, much less the inside.
Does "cookie-cutter" mean the same floor plan, and if so, what is wrong with that? Not to mention that I see a lot of bungalows, four-squares and Sears homes built in the late 1800s and early 1900s with the same floor plans.
Does "cookie-cutter" mean any home built after World War II?
I am asking about the designs of the homes, not the materials used to build them inside and out.
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Old 03-23-2011, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Up on the moon laughing down on you
18,509 posts, read 28,169,813 times
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cookie cutter is one of the most abused words on here along with sprawl, suburban, urban, vibrant, etc.
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Old 03-23-2011, 12:01 PM
 
551 posts, read 996,858 times
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I am not an expert but I do think that most homes built after WWII would be "cookie cutter" houses.

Look here as for an example of how the pre-WWII semi-suburban homes are not really cookie cutter. They all look different and look very pretty compared to the McMansion type of homes that are built today.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhCnp...el_video_title

However in general I just think that to me "cookie cutter" homes are homes that are not built with the same craftsmanship and detail that pre-war houses had. While some homes built after WWII may have good craftsmanship and good design, the majority of the suburban homes look like one another and are made of various cheap looking materials such as stucco or vinyl instead of brick, brownstone, or other things.
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Old 03-23-2011, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Ohio
411 posts, read 980,610 times
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Default suburbs

The house I grew up in:

Snapfish: Share Photo:Registration

built in 1967

Last edited by skippercollector; 03-23-2011 at 12:14 PM.. Reason: added info
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Old 03-23-2011, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,378 posts, read 59,836,421 times
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Haha, I live in a suburban neighborhood of brick row houses and twins. If that ain't cookie cutter, I don't know what is. But like many of the homes in JKFire108's video (thanks for the tour!), over the past 85 years, they've been remodeled, added on to, re-roofed and re-sided, planted and replanted, to the point where they no longer look identical even though they really are.

Quote:
Does "cookie-cutter" mean any home built after World War II?
It really does depend on how the neighborhood was built, both before and after WWII. My mom's street, built in the 50s, has only two identical houses: The first guy to build on the street built a brick Cape Cod at one end for his family, and another identical house at the other end of the street for his mother-in-law. There is one delicious quad-level that I've been coveting ever since I was in grade school and played with the kids that lived there. The rest are brick or aluminum sided ranches, or two-story colonials, none of which are identical.

My sister's street, built in the late 50s, has only four or five different models: a couple of ranches, a couple of two-stories, and a quad. I never really checked to see if they were evenly doled out: ranch, two-story, quad, ranch, two-story ...

I'm guessing my mom's neighborhood was built piecemeal, by different builders, and my sister's was built all at once. I'm sure all the houses in my neighborhood were all built at the same time (some of them would have to be, since they're rows, LOL). But even the houses on my sister's street no longer look identical, because one guy replaced the black shutters with green ones, another turned his garage into a rec room, and another swapped two windows for one bay window, etc.
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Old 03-23-2011, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Center City
6,855 posts, read 7,802,585 times
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All sizes | Suburb Houston (anywhere) Texas | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mvskoda/5006645938/sizes/l/in/photostream/ - broken link)


Tuesday, Mar 04 | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/cavanriley/2322934171/ - broken link)


All sizes | Glory of Urban Sprawl [DSC_7406] | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
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Old 03-23-2011, 02:29 PM
 
Location: St. Mary's County, Maryland
115 posts, read 213,322 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skippercollector View Post
I know there is an anti-suburb sentiment on City-Data, and one of the reasons is a hatred of what many of you call "cookie-cutter" houses. What do you define as "cookie-cutter"?
Houses that are identical or near identical in design and floor plans in the same general area.
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Old 03-23-2011, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Ohio
411 posts, read 980,610 times
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Default then why

Then why are the aforementioned bungalows, four-squares and Sears homes not considered cookie cutter, even though I have seen blocks and blocks of them in different cities, and the ranches and two stories and Colonials from after World War II derided by that term? Again, I am NOT referring to the building materials, just the floor plans. There seems to be a double standard.
When a new residential street was being built in the early 1900s with a row of bungalows, wouldn't all of them have looked almost alike anyway before the homes and yards began to be personalized by their owners?
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Old 03-23-2011, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Pure Michigan!
4,347 posts, read 7,424,560 times
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When I think of "cookie cutter" houses, I think of the mostly tan, brick-front subdivision homes that have prolifierated since the late 1980s, "McMansions", if you will. I happen to live in one of those subdivisions, and when we walk around the neighborhood, I am amazed at how similar the houses are in size, style, and color. I love our house, but yeah, it's cookie cutter. I used to dream of owning a big, one of a kind Victorian house, but the reality of maintenance, small room size, etc. sunk in and we caved. We are cookie cutter dwellers...
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Old 03-23-2011, 06:32 PM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
9,432 posts, read 18,331,107 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skippercollector View Post
Then why are the aforementioned bungalows, four-squares and Sears homes not considered cookie cutter, even though I have seen blocks and blocks of them in different cities, and the ranches and two stories and Colonials from after World War II derided by that term? Again, I am NOT referring to the building materials, just the floor plans. There seems to be a double standard.
When a new residential street was being built in the early 1900s with a row of bungalows, wouldn't all of them have looked almost alike anyway before the homes and yards began to be personalized by their owners?
Many of the bungalows have real craftsmanship and better materials, more wood, less stucco and sheet rock. Also the pre WWII neighborhoods didn't have HOA restrictions of color variations or making sure that every single home looked totally uniformn every single way. There is nothing wrong with living in a new house, in fact I would prefer provided I had the means to support it, especially in New England which is more of a rarity. It just seems "custom homes" has to be the way to go in so many places if you don't want to live in a neighborhood that doesn't look cheap, cheesey, and manufactured. Homes that have the garage dominating the front exterior are so unattractive. I also find it bizarre to be in a neighborhood with cul de sacs built with adjacent homes so close you could shake your neighbors hand all clustered together and then be surrounded by acres and acres of farmland. At least early 20th century urban planning built neighborhoods tastefully with more elbow room and less clashing with their surroundings.

The duplicated homes in the southwest with the white stucco and red tiled rooves don't bother me so much, even abutting vacant desert. Neither would a neighborhood of modern colonial revivals built into woodlands. It's the crowded neighborhoods surrounded by farmland that looks totally out of place. Also in many woodland neighborhoods developers completely clear cut without any selective cutting, that doesn't look right either. And nothing could be more vanilla than to live on a cul de sac where every single house is beige with HOA restrictions forbidding any color variation.

New neighborhoods with modern homes can be very nice if they are built right. The reality is most American families do prefer the suburbs when raising kids and selecting school districts. I would to. Unfortunately many greedy developers have capitalized on it in a way of maximizing development and housing plots, as cheaply as possibly with hardly any consideration of how unattractive they really are. They look cheap now, and they will look even worse in 20 years.


Nice interior I'm sure, but the garage domination is yuck!!


Last edited by Desert_SW_77; 03-23-2011 at 06:55 PM..
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