Defending new large homes by arguing the new homes are certainly not McMansions

Here is an example of how to defend the construction of large, new homes: argue that they are certainly not McMansions.

When the Anderson home on Ridge Road in Rumson was demolished to the dismay of many, Rumson Historic Commission President Jim Fitzmaurice defended new construction, saying the work of most of the area builders was not tantamount to that of a cheap, McMansion-type reputation, but high end and diverse.

“The term McMansion is often used as a term of derision to describe new large homes,” Fitzmaurice said in a blog on Patch. “I believe the term is inappropriately applied to most of the new construction in Rumson [and the surrounding area]. The term should be reserved for cheesy false front monstrosities, clad in vinyl siding on the sides and back. The homes being built by most of the high class builders in our area are nothing of the sort and will someday be the focus of another Historic Commission in the future.”

Fitzmaurice had said in an interview that he knew of some high quality new construction and revamping of smaller homes in the area as well.

When asked if the trend was one that, as it was followed, ended up pushing out diversity more and making the borough one that could only be afforded by purchasers of larger homes with bigger families, Lucarelli said that while that was not the intent, the need for larger homes and proximity to good schools is one that continues to be satiated by builders in the borough.

Don’t confuse those high-end new homes with McMansions! Fitzmaurice seems to be primarily working with one dimension of McMansions: poor/”cheesy” architectural quality evidenced by impressive fronts but siding on the side and back plus not looking “high-class.”

I’ve encountered a similar situation before where people (metaphorically) almost fell over themselves to declare they personally did not live in a McMansion but they knew nearby people who did. I’ve wondered about that situation: how guilty did these people feel that their home might be labeled a McMansion?

Fitzmaurice also suggests these new large homes may be preserved years from now by Historic Commissions. I’ve never seen anyone estimate this before but I am curious: what percentage of current large homes will survive 50+ years and/or be recognized as places worth preserving?

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