Wednesday, February 21, 2007

McMansions on the rise

[Source: Jim McPherson, Arizona Central] -- Driving to events at the Arizona Biltmore or to the adjacent golf course for an occasional round of 18, I'd notice that houses along the drive would be put up for sale one-by-one, surrounded by chain link fence, demolished, and replaced with a much bigger, taller, and often gaudier house that engulfed the entire property. They’re called “teardowns” or “McMansions.” Arcadia and Paradise Valley residents have expressed concern about the phenomenon too. And the National Trust for Historic Preservation sees it happening nationwide.

The Trust has put together a resource guide to show how various communities have worked to put in place and adopt tools to manage teardowns and retain the character of neighborhoods that are designated as historic or simply going through significant change. Does this issue concern you or your neighbors (who appreciate your neighborhood's existing character or miss your views blocked by a new structure)? Click here for some resources (in PDF format):

~ Graphic illustrations to help make the case for how teardowns impact older neighborhoods.
~ Terminology of the growing teardown trend.
~ Step-by-step guide and advice for advocating for alternatives, mounting a successful campaign, and strategies for managing teardowns.

And you're welcome to share your teardown story with the Trust and your local preservation group.