ruminations about architecture and design

Friday, August 30, 2013

alterations for eternity

Someone I know who is looking to buy a house had this to say: "Everything that's original is in good shape; it's the newer stuff that looks bad." Or something along those lines. A year ago I was having a discussion with a fellow architect who was recounting a conversation he had with a very experienced remodeling contractor--"When you dig into an old house the original structure is well built. The additions built afterwards decline in quality."

And from these anecdotes we could reach stunning conclusions about the general decline of construction quality in the United States of America. Or, we can infer that the compromises and challenges involved with maintaining, updating, and adding onto existing buildings are so exhausting that at some point the person doing the work just shakes his or head and tacks something together that keeps the thing limping along for a few more decades.

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