A good definition of a McMansion: Scott Skiles’ suburban Milwaukee home

Since I occasionally criticize the improper use of the term McMansion (see this recent post arguing that the 90,000 square foot home at the center of the film Versailles is way beyond McMansion territory), I might as well also point out when the term is used well. Take, for example, this description of Milwaukee Buck’s coach Scott Skiles’ home:

Scott Skiles was always a smallish NBA player but he has a very large house. His Mequon domicile boasts 4,728 square feet (nearly four times bigger than the average single family home in the city of Milwaukee) and five bathrooms. Plenty of places to shower off that sweat after a grueling practice…

Meanwhile he is still living in Mequon-styled splendor in a home that could hardly be less urban. To measure this, we do a walkability score (from walkscore.com) that calculates distance to the closest school, coffee house, grocery store, etc. as the crow flies and from the site’s “street smart” score, which does this calculation based on the walking distance on local streets. We also look at the distance to Milwaukee’s City Hall; suffice to say, for Skiles it’s no slam dunk.

The Rundown

  • Style: Single-family – Tudor/Provincial architecture
  • Location: Stonefields neighborhood – Mequon, WI
  • Walk Score: 12 out of 100
  • Street Smart Walk Score: 3 out of 100
  • Transit Score: Not Available
  • Size: 4,732 sq ft
  • Year Built: 1997
  • Assessed Value: $1,236,700 (2011)
  • List Price: $1,475,000
  • Currently listed: Yes, with Realty Executives – Integrity [Listing]
  • 4 bedrooms
  • 3-car garage
  • 5 total full baths
  • 13 total rooms

According to the typical usage of the term McMansion, here is how Skiles’ home meets the criteria:

1. It is a large house of over 4,700 square feet. Interestingly, it has more bathrooms than bedrooms. I would guess there is some really large family/great room space in this house. I’m not sure what Scott Skiles’ height, small by NBA standards but fairly tall for the population at large, has to do with it…

2. The walkability score is quite low, suggesting that it is in a relatively isolated suburban neighborhood. In other words, it is not really possible to walk in or out of the house to locations outside the neighborhood. The implication could be that this is another fairly anonymous suburb where neighbors don’t know each other and people hunker down in front of their TVs.

3. There are some pictures of the home in this story. The house does have a number of gables and the driveway is quite large and dominates this particular exterior photo.

4. The house is pretty expensive and built during some of the McMansion boom years (1997).

According to the four criteria I identified that are typically used for defining McMansions, this particular usage meets at least two out of the four: it is a big (and expensive) house associated with suburban sprawl. It may even qualify as a poorly designed home though it is difficult to know for sure with these six pictures. It does not appear to qualify as a relatively larger home

I suspect that many athletes and head coaches live in homes that would qualify as McMansions…

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