Sometimes Conformity is Good - Restoration & Design for the Vintage House | Old House Online

Sometimes Conformity is Good

Don't buy a row house if you can’t play nice with others.
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Don't buy a row house if you can’t play nice with others. Few things are as pleasing, or more neighborhood-defining, as an unbroken row of façades. When one is so changed, the street- scape is scarred.

Few things are as pleasing, or more neighborhood-defining, as an unbroken row of façades. When one is so changed, the street-
scape is scarred.

Renowned colorist Bob Buckter (aka Dr. Color, drcolor.com) spends his days choosing exquisite paint schemes for San Francisco’s Painted Ladies, and for many other buildings nationwide. Given his architectural perception, he might have felt pain when he came across this juxtaposition. Two pretty Victorians, in complementary blue and yellow and largely intact, tripped up by a third house that has been stripped of its dignity. The last house in a long row was hastily clad, but that can’t cover its shame. Gone are the gable ornaments, brackets, pent roof over the bay, even the original windows. It proves that when one member of a close family suffers, everyone does.

It’s their very repetition that makes row houses special. The row has order and rhythm, like the formations of a marching band. Marchers know that if they step out of line, they’ll ruin the show.

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