Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'm torn

Twin homes always interest me. Probably in the way they are the same, but over the years they grow apart but still share so much. Like these two (or one?) The left one has a pretty good look, well maintained w/ a nicely designed stoop overhang.
The right side, though, something happened and it wasn't good. I really wish I had a picture of it from some years ago before it was renovated (NOTE: 'renovated' is a bad word. It denotes being overhauled in a quick and dirty way w/o any regard for historical significance or value). It sat unrestored for a number of years, looking to be uninhabited.
But the reno was of the 'gut to the studs' variety. But the worst part (from the outside at least) was the installation of the horribly undersized out of scale windows. They look awkward, tiny, out of place, making the house look large and unwieldy.
It didn't have to be this way. Windows come in all shapes and sizes. There is no pratical need or advantage to doing this but to save a buck. Unfortunately, the West Ward is not a historical district so this stuff flies.
Anyway, it's on Jackson if you want to check it out.


  1. If this property were in an historic district, the renovation would have been required to be more sensitive than this. Property owners with the "no one is going to tell me what I can do with my property" do this to their properties and destroy property values in their neighborhoods.

  2. unfortunately, this town is just viewed as a bunch of old properties for 'investment'. hardly anyone looks at an old home around here to actually 'live' in it. just a way to make a quick buck, slap some siding on it and rent it out for $600/mo.

  3. The renovation was done to rent out the house pictured and the two just out of frame down the street. The landlord of all three is making a good buck by jamming as many paying tenants into each house as he possibly can.

    These homes belonged to Blue collar working folks as late as 1990. There was pride in ownership up until they became apartments with a suburban (read non tenant) landlord.

    These buildings were small for one familiy, now there is often 2 or more extended families living in them. Within Easton there seems to be little actual consideration or hesitancy to allow ever increasing densities in ever aging and incompatible buildings.

    The small windows likely meet code and the owner must bear looking at them only long enough to pick up the rent check while on his way to his house in the township.

  4. Another "ugly" renovation technique is the "I'm too cheap to pay for proper drywall installation so I'll just slap up outdated walnut paneling and make my living room look like the basement of an Elks' Lodge - circa 1972".

    I was looking to buy a home in Easton last year. I have some pictures - somewhere - of a house that from the outside looked charming. But inside...shudder. The only thing missing was orange shag carpeting and some avocado green vinyl chairs.