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Old 05-21-2014, 07:04 AM
 
Location: Chicago W Suburbs
487 posts, read 584,058 times
Reputation: 617

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This is just out of curiosity, and I'd like to hear from long-time residents on this one. How did the habit of block wall fencing just about every property come to be? Did it start out as a way to keep animals out of people's yards, or is it simply that everyone likes fences? Could it have become a "thing" there because of the number of pools in yards?

I'm not complaining about them - I actually like them quite a bit. It's just something I haven't really seen much out east anywhere. We have plenty of fences, but it's not a given like it seems to be in cities and suburbs out west.

Thanks!
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Old 05-21-2014, 07:09 AM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
29,287 posts, read 39,605,925 times
Reputation: 18707
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueCat1105 View Post
This is just out of curiosity, and I'd like to hear from long-time residents on this one. How did the habit of block wall fencing just about every property come to be? Did it start out as a way to keep animals out of people's yards, or is it simply that everyone likes fences? Could it have become a "thing" there because of the number of pools in yards?

I'm not complaining about them - I actually like them quite a bit. It's just something I haven't really seen much out east anywhere. We have plenty of fences, but it's not a given like it seems to be in cities and suburbs out west.

Thanks!
They were made of wood in the typical tract development years back. The higher priced homes had concrete block. The wood rotted and fell over and eventually block became the standard everywhere.

Why fences? Who knows. I suppose a developer in CA tried it, consumers liked it, and it became a trend and then a standard. I like them too. My dogs, my pool, my privacy, my landscaping choices, my "stuff" out back protected from thieves. I can't imagine living without a block wall.
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Old 05-21-2014, 07:11 AM
YAZ
 
Location: Phoenix,AZ
7,075 posts, read 11,804,802 times
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In the early days of settling the west, block walls were put up to control livestock. Traditionally, they were not so high.....low enough to see over.

They've morphed somewhat into a privacy issue, but they're also there for safety and fire control.
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Old 05-21-2014, 07:13 AM
YAZ
 
Location: Phoenix,AZ
7,075 posts, read 11,804,802 times
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I can imagine what my neighbors would think if I still lived in Michigan and I put a six foot block wall around my property.
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Old 05-21-2014, 07:17 AM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
29,287 posts, read 39,605,925 times
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The backyard is much more of a personal space in western "culture". People spend a lot of time out back in the pool or just enjoying the weather. The rear patio has been a feature of homes here forever. I can't say if that is cause or effect of the walls, but clearly without them, it would not be so enjoyable.
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Old 05-21-2014, 07:30 AM
 
3,104 posts, read 898,316 times
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I would also add that when they started building tract homes in the newer sub- divisions there are no alleys, so the yards were back to back. The solution....fences, lots of fences!
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Old 05-21-2014, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
29,287 posts, read 39,605,925 times
Reputation: 18707
Quote:
Originally Posted by slowesthand View Post
I would also add that when they started building tract homes in the newer sub- divisions there are no alleys, so the yards were back to back. The solution....fences, lots of fences!
Subdivisions here used to have alleys and they all had fences too.
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Old 05-21-2014, 08:04 AM
 
2,941 posts, read 6,762,010 times
Reputation: 3518
Alright, I actually get to use my college degree for something. According to my professor when I took my Arizona geography and western history classes the high block wall is a Mexican influence. Mexican houses and neighborhoods typically had small to no front yard with a high walled backyard. On top of that block is easier to get a hold of in an area with little to no trees.
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Old 05-21-2014, 09:43 AM
 
52 posts, read 54,974 times
Reputation: 65
Other than much of the USA and Canada, almost every other place in the world I've been to has had walled back yards. I used to live in Scandinavia and they would grow a thick 6 foot tall hedge around their yards and that was common in much of Europe. It actually makes sense in that gives a lot of privacy as well if you have little kids you can let them play back there without worrying about them running away.
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Old 05-21-2014, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Hard aground in the Sonoran Desert
4,652 posts, read 8,569,310 times
Reputation: 6497
Same reason we use tile on roofs here for the most part and not wooden shingles. Same reason we use stucco instead of wood or vinyl siding. Wood does not hold up in this heat and concrete blocks do. Privacy fences are popular all over the country, wood fences don't hold up here like they do in other parts with less sun and heat to dry and destroy the wood.
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