Saturday, 28 July 2012

A Set of Building Blots (C. F. Brown) II

"All within a few miles of downtown Manhattan and all within a few blocks of one another, these houses illustrate some home buyers' low sales resistance to anything that looks "elegant," "exotic," or "extraordinary." Here, you can learn how to play mix-and-match Domestic Architectural Kitsch.

 Take one basic shingled box, add plywood arches, one stuccoed brick buttress, a paneled plastic garage door, and call it Spanish.

Take the same basic box, apply a stucco crenelated façade, rustic permastone base, two paneled plastic front doors, and you get a duplex Norman keep.

Enlarge the box, add Cape Codcottage weathered shingles, a formal Federal broken pediment above the entrance, a few spindly columns, and you achieve Early American.

Borrow the bay window from the first house, the garrison front from the "Spanish" or "Norman" house, pillars from the "Early American" house, and the all-purpose Olde Time diamond window panes, add a Venetian porch lantern, and voilà: All-American International Kitsch."

Brown, Curtis F. (1975) Star-Spangled Kitsch. New York: Universe Books. pp 87-88.

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