01 October, 2009


It's a very common sight in San Francisco; the "restored" home.  As gentrification enters its final stage in many neighborhoods, those drafty yet charming old Victorians or Edwardians succumb to our mania for modern comfort and convenience.  Preserved exteriors with interiors gutted to the framework.  Sure, it looks lovely from the outside and I'm sure many would find the new interior the cat's pajamas, but I can't help thinking that there's a kind of sanctioned vandalism in this phenomenon.  A hundred plus years of history wiped out by some wealthy individual's love of stainless steel appliances, sub-zero refrigeration, central heat and recessed lighting.  I've lived in many old places and I know they can be a challenge, but their idiosyncrasies  and minor discomforts were but a few of the many reasons I loved them.  These "improvements" are turning our character-ful homes into the architectural equivalents of Stepford Wives.  Pretty and bland.  No history or texture, decorated for a DWELL magazine photo shoot.  One can't help but imagine that they are a reflection of their inhabitants.

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