The defacing of a neighborhoodWritten by hootenannie on May 16th, 2007
There is nothing like waking up to the gentle sunshine on your face, the birds chirping through the trees, and the racket of a jackhammer outside your window.
All across town, the scales are falling from the eyes of Seattlites, and the truth is being illuminated. People are becoming aware of a grave deficiency here in our fair city: a serious shortage of townhomes. Otherwise reasonable people are migrating to the dark side, and destroying winsome older homes in favor of multiplexes and clapboard. Truly, townhomes are cropping up like rabbits in the springtime, and my neighborhood of Wallingford is in no way immune.
One morning last summer, I walked out of my charming 1920’s brick apartment building, full of character and humble fortitude, to find the house across the street gone. Bulldozed. Flattened. Nothing but rubble. When did that happen? I missed the old house. True, it was a bit dilapidated and probably moldy and rotten… but I liked to believe that it had good bones, and could have been resurrected with some tender loving care. A Craftsman home should never be torn down – it’s like shooting a bald eagle. Or a unicorn.
Over the past year, in the place of the charming old decaying house, I have watched a 4-plex take shape. But not just your run-of-the-mill townhome: this place is a palacial monstrosity, an anachronistic Cair Paravel, complete with faux stone walls and steep-sloping gables. No amount of landscaping is going to make this chateau less conspicuous; it is atrocious.
Just last week, they tore down the house next door to the recently developed eyesore, intending to build another multi-residence home. It makes me sad.
But you know what would redeem it all? If they tore down MY NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR’S HOUSE. There have to be at least 20 people living in that single-family dwelling place. The drug dealers. The obscenity screamers. The crooks who were arrested for having 33 stolen side-view mirrors in their basement. I blame my frequent car theft on them – or at least on some of their “clients.”
They deserve a townhome.