Friday, June 19, 2009
Hyde Park Architectural Styles can live side-by-side in colorful harmony
The extremely colorful house on the left, with a tin roof and Victorian-filigree here and there, is getting a scrapping and fresh coat of a whole palette of warm, sunshine paint colors - pretty bright, right? It was originally a small, 5-600 sq. ft. shotgun style wood-frame. I'm just guessing, but it was probably built in the 1920s. It took on an entirely new existence and identity over the past ten-fifteen years or so as the neighborhood around it, a local and National Historic District, become very desirable; everyone wanted a quaint bungalow and home prices climbed sky high. Existing homes, of which just about about architectural style popular in the first quarter of the 20th century was built, from Craftsman-style bungalows to Frank Lloyd Wright Prairie-style, became subject to strict Architectural Review Board control. Any alterations are carefully scrutinized to protect and preserve the homes and neighborhood. Because it became a place everyone wanted a piece of, this sweet little house has been enlarged, close to tripled in size, with the sensitive addition of an two-story structure to the rear. I think it looks great and fits the house and harmonizes with other homes around it. The much larger house on the right is relatively new, built on an empty lot where a little house once stood. (Empty lots are almost unheard of in the Hyde Park neighborhood and there are very few new homes.) The home it replaced may have been falling down or some dire fate befell it in its past. In it place is another popular style, the Mediterranean. The two present quite a startling contrast to one another. Whichever style you prefer, the wildly fun house on the left that's bursting with charm and color is my pick. Just plop yourself down in a rocker on that porch, drink in hand, good book and get real lazy fast.