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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 11:43 pm 
Smeric
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Viktor77 wrote:
I was bored, so I coloured this photo of some no longer existing homes in Detroit. Obviously the colours are all wrong and far too simplified, especially on the houses, but I didn't have the patience to make it more detailed lol.

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Why would they get rid of such nice houses?!


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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 11:48 pm 
Sumerul
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Skomakar'n wrote:
Why would they get rid of such nice houses?!


Because this is America and our answer to how to deal with our history is to just destroy it. Plus the houses probably looked like this house:

Late 1800s
1991
Today: Gone.

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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 12:04 am 
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The problem is that a lot of those houses were abandoned and in bad neighborhoods being inhabited by junkies and decaying. There comes a point in which that history isn't worth saving in the physical form (the history still exists in photos and other works). Plus with how detroit is I don't see how saving the former homes of the rich will help its current problems and keeping them around will probably cause more problems or prevent the problems from being solved.

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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 12:14 am 
Sumerul
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Vortex wrote:
The problem is that a lot of those houses were abandoned and in bad neighborhoods being inhabited by junkies and decaying. There comes a point in which that history isn't worth saving in the physical form (the history still exists in photos and other works). Plus with how detroit is I don't see how saving the former homes of the rich will help its current problems and keeping them around will probably cause more problems or prevent the problems from being solved.


Houses like these exemplify when Detroit was the Paris of America and are among some of the most elaborate residential architecture in the country. Certainly they can be saved and restored by private investors and many have. Brush Park has come around to the point it's actually safe to walk outside around the neighborhood. In a sense Brush Park could be seen as the future of a very much salvegeble Detroit. I'm not denying houses must come down, but those which should, and will, are those characterised by the growth of the city in the early 1920s and not the historic homes in the core of the downtown area.

For example, here is a restored home in Brush Park:
Before
After

So don't say these homes can't be rescued, as the few which remain certainly can be and many are already.

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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 4:50 am 
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I don't know, man, I'm all for nice victorian houses and all. after all they're pretty! But I don't know if a building should be preserved because of it's historic value alone [unless it's really a historic building, like this one]. I mean, sure, history is important, but so is development, on which people's jobs and wallets depend. Okay, maybe keep some of those nice buildings around, after all, they're nice and have touristic value and they give cities personality and all that, but a city can become frozen and stagnate if too many buildings are deemed historic/protected. I understand this happened to plenty of cities in europe?

I'm the first guy to argue against unregulated real estate development, but I don't think "historic" is a good enough criteria to keep many houses around... "pretty as hell", on the other hand, is, but that's real subjective.


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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 8:09 am 
Avisaru
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in america, the master's old home is what counts for history. while the master is gone, he is not so far gone that his starveling children can't paw around and hope he comes back


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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 11:04 am 
Sumerul
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Torco wrote:
I don't know, man, I'm all for nice victorian houses and all. after all they're pretty! But I don't know if a building should be preserved because of it's historic value alone [unless it's really a historic building, like this one]. I mean, sure, history is important, but so is development, on which people's jobs and wallets depend. Okay, maybe keep some of those nice buildings around, after all, they're nice and have touristic value and they give cities personality and all that, but a city can become frozen and stagnate if too many buildings are deemed historic/protected. I understand this happened to plenty of cities in europe?

I'm the first guy to argue against unregulated real estate development, but I don't think "historic" is a good enough criteria to keep many houses around... "pretty as hell", on the other hand, is, but that's real subjective.


Why do people go to Europe? Of the many reasons, a prominent one is for the centuries old historical architecture which we romance so much about here in America. America doesn't have the long enduring history of Europe. We don't have the castles and palaces that played home to kings and queens, dukes and counts and countless wars which redefined history. But what we do have is wonderful architecture which speaks to that heritage birthed out of revival periods in the late 19th century. There is no reason these buildings should impede progress; they don't in Europe. For example, the restored house above is no longer a house, it's apartments. Another restored mansion is an inn. We can keep the incredible and beautiful facades of these buildings and change their functionality, that's what Europe does. Not everything can be preserved forever, as new technology and new architecture brings fourth progress, but we can make sure to preserve pieces of what once was and what we still find telling of our history. American's are too often separated from their local history. The individualist tilt of our country allows us to brush off the history and the pioneers who built our cities and so we feel no responsibility to maintain and preserve what they left behind--we simply destroy it all for progress for progress' sake. But we CAN preserve in an economically sound manner and with it we bring not only tourism, but a more strengthened connection between individuals and their community and their history.

Lastly, as a note about Brush Park specifically. The area's experiencing large scale development in the form of new townhomes. Normally I would be against building vinyl covered cheap affordable housing next to gorgeous old Victorians built by master craftsmen, but in this case this is a sign for Detroit that the phoenix is reborn from its ashes. Old and new can live together in harmony. It's not the most perfect of scenarios, but it's a workable scenario which melds the old with the new to strengthen the community both spiritually and economically. We must remember what once was while still make progress for our own generation. These two ideals can work together in harmony without massive destruction or massive preservation.

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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 3:44 pm 
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Finally put my trigonometrical collision checking back in place again, after restarting on the game a few months ago.


Last edited by Skomakar'n on Tue May 18, 2010 11:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 10:40 pm 
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Viktor, your coconut headphones are showing again. Hide them.


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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 7:16 am 
Sumerul
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Radius Solis wrote:
Viktor, your coconut headphones are showing again. Hide them.


WTH is that supposed to mean?

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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 7:51 am 
Avisaru
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He may be hinting at the fact that you're going off into your own little world here. Nice buildings are nice (Stonehenge, yeah!), but not everyone is a 19th-century-architecture fanatic like you. :|

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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 8:08 am 
Sumerul
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thedukeofnuke wrote:
He may be hinting at the fact that you're going off into your own little world here. Nice buildings are nice (Stonehenge, yeah!), but not everyone is a 19th-century-architecture fanatic like you. :|


Perhaps, but I'd argue there's enough love of 19th century architecture among the populace to warrant its semi-protection. Just watch any home-buying show where the buyers go (in reaction to a new construction), "Ooh look, crown molding! And the mantel is so pretty with those corbels! (Well, they'd probably say 'bracket-thingies')" If people awe at such tiny elements, just imagine how they would react to true 19th century design. People like pretty things. I'm not anti-Bauhaus or anything, it's just that modern and post-modern architecture still do not have the large scale appeal of traditional architecture. If you look at those buildings people usually find most unattractive, the majority of them will be modern or post-modern, especially the Brutalist variety.

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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 11:33 am 
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Yeah, Brutalist art is basically crap. If you visit any large city in southern England (outside central London) you will be assailed by concrete.

But you're still being a little unrealistic about how much people appreciate 19th-century architecture. They like it, on a subconscious level, but I've never heard a home-buyer make any particular comments about that sort of thing. Where I come from people are interested in whether it has enough room to live in, how accessible it is, and whether the neighbours are scum.
I mean, I think that 17th-century arcitecture is wonderful, but I don't pretend to be an expert on it like you assume everyone to. (Incidentally the college I'm at was built around 1600 and looked lovely before all the brickwork was covered over with concrete in the 1820s. :evil: 19th-century aesthetics are not all that they're cracked up to be, Downing College notwithstanding.)

EDIT in an effort to get this thread back on track, here are a few photos I took on my Gap Yah.

Image
Makkasan undercity, Bangkok.

Image
Old Town, Hanoi.

Image
Angkor Wat east side, Angkor.

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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 11:41 am 
Sumerul
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thedukeofnuke wrote:
Yeah, Brutalist art is basically crap. If you visit any large city in southern England (outside central London) you will be assailed by concrete.

But you're still being a little unrealistic about how much people appreciate 19th-century architecture. They like it, on a subconscious level, but I've never heard a home-buyer make any particular comments about that sort of thing. Where I come from people are interested in whether it has enough room to live in, how accessible it is, and whether the neighbours are scum.
I mean, I think that 17th-century arcitecture is wonderful, but I don't pretend to be an expert on it like you assume everyone to. (Incidentally the college I'm at was built around 1600 and looked lovely before all the brickwork was covered over with concrete in the 1820s. :evil: 19th-century aesthetics are not all that they're cracked up to be, Downing College notwithstanding.)


So maybe your average firstime homebuyer isn't looking to move into a 5000 square foot Queen Anne near the city center, but still they are likely to look at awe upon it. As I said above, we can compromise between old and new architecture, in essence appealing to both people who like Bauhaus and people who like classic revivals. Old homes can change in functionality, so I don't see where preserving them is such trouble versus the value of having the view of a beautiful old home. Plus, have you seen newly constructed houses? They're cheap, they're covered in vinyl and have no detail, and are designed to maximise efficiency and cost-savings. Do we really want to promote that our culture is nothing more than how we can accomodate the most people for the least cost? Don't you think it's a nice aspect of our culture to see true craftsmanship and quality of design every now and then?

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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 11:45 am 
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Yes. But not everyone can be upper-middle class.
And the pressing need for cheap housing can be attributed to overpopulation everywhere. After we've got rid of five billion people we can stop worrying about it.

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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 11:52 am 
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thedukeofnuke wrote:
Yes. But not everyone can be upper-middle class.
And the pressing need for cheap housing can be attributed to overpopulation everywhere. After we've got rid of five billion people we can stop worrying about it.


But even upper-middle class homes built today are cheap. There's a whole subdivison in my city full of cookie-cutter homes with vinyl fireplaces, the cheapest windows known to man, etc. and they sell over 250K apiece. I know that in today's economy it is not efficient to build nice quality homes under the upper class level, but since we already have them from the 19th century, then let's preserve them to share (not as homes, FTMP, but as icons) with future generations so they may reminisce and be inspired by a time when craftsmanship and architecture actually mattered in residential design.

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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 11:55 am 
Avisaru
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Wait, when did I say that we shouldn't preserve old buildings? Just two posts ago I was complaining about the failure of people in the 19th century to do so.
:roll:

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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 11:57 am 
Sumerul
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thedukeofnuke wrote:
Wait, when did I say that we shouldn't preserve old buildings? Just two posts ago I was complaining about the failure of people in the 19th century to do so.
:roll:


Sorry, it sounded like you were making the case that we should sacrifice older buildings, since they have little appeal to people, in the name of modern society's idea of progress.

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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 12:03 pm 
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but viktor, the person who believes in progress here is you. people building decent houses these days is "impossible" because they're not "efficient" so rather than hoping that people start to care about shit other than "efficiency", you just want the old shit to stick around


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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 12:05 pm 
Avisaru
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"Progress"!
(I've just read a book called A Short History of Progress. Maybe I'll make a topic about it, since it's probably of interest to denizens of the board.)

Nah, you're just being dreamy and pretentious.

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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 12:12 pm 
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Pthug wrote:
but viktor, the person who believes in progress here is you. people building decent houses these days is "impossible" because they're not "efficient" so rather than hoping that people start to care about shit other than "efficiency", you just want the old shit to stick around


I'm just commenting how our society has come to embrace, more than ever before, the concept of Capitalistic Utilitarianism.

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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 12:13 pm 
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More than the late 19th century that you so hanker for?

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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 12:15 pm 
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thedukeofnuke wrote:
More than the late 19th century that you so hanker for?


At least then people weren't concerned with housing the greatest number of people at the expense of craftsmanship or architecture. They were more of a mindset of how I can build a better house than my neighbor's (except among the lowest rungs of society) creating very architecturally diverse and fascinating neighborhoods. Today it's all a quasi-capitalistic utilitarianism, whether it be home construction, Wal-Mart, etc.

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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 12:22 pm 
Avisaru
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Viktor77 wrote:
Pthug wrote:
but viktor, the person who believes in progress here is you. people building decent houses these days is "impossible" because they're not "efficient" so rather than hoping that people start to care about shit other than "efficiency", you just want the old shit to stick around


I'm just commenting how our society has come to embrace, more than ever before, the concept of Capitalistic Utilitarianism.

yes. This is a thing you have *accepted* and so rather than do anything about it and favour contemporary durable styles, you have decided to prefer markedly *antique* fashions. Even better, rather than saying that what should happen is that new houses should be made more solid, you say that old buildings should be *preserved*. As a monument to the solidified labour that people put into houses In The Olden Days.

You have swallowed the idea entirely.

You are also being hilariously blinkered about this. The 19th century was a great era of slum-construction (which is all about housing "the greatest number of people at the expense of craftsmanship or architecture" as well as maintenance, overcrowding, etc.) but all you care about is bourgeois architecture. This makes your acceptance of the narrative of progress all the more amusing since if durability could be made widespread again anywhere, it would be among the bourgeois who are free to talk about "being able to build a better house" as though they were the ones carrying the hod.


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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 12:26 pm 
Avisaru
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Viktor77 wrote:
thedukeofnuke wrote:
More than the late 19th century that you so hanker for?


At least then people weren't concerned with housing the greatest number of people at the expense of craftsmanship or architecture.

You what? You what?

You've not seen the Welsh Valleys, or Streatham, or Doncaster. Those urban parts of Britain that weren't either levelled in the Blitz or built over in the years after (or both) consisted largely of tiny, cramped, mass-produced brick terraced houses built for the miners and factory workers.
Viktor77 wrote:
[T]he lowest rungs of society
made up most of the population, for God's sake.

Ninja-edit: Pthug said this already, but still.

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