I’ve never been a fan of “McMansion” houses. They have spread across this country like a plague and have taken away from the unique architectural style of certain regional areas. For example, where I live in New England, we’ve always been known for capes, ranches, split levels and the colonial style of older homes. McMansions have no business being here. And yet, every time I see a parcel of land become available around here and a new home going up, it’s always a McMansion. Always. No offense to anyone who lives in one, but I fail to comprehend their appeal–they’re unnecessarily huge, expensive, lack any uniqueness and stick out like sore thumbs. And yet this behemoth has been nothing but successful since it first sprouted up in the 80s.
Now that my rant is done, I’d like to turn your attention to the humble mid-century modern home. Ahhhh…aren’t these great to look at? National Homes was at one time one of the country’s largest providers of pre-fab homes. It was founded in 1940 and by 1963, had built 250,000 homes across the U.S. I think these houses are beeeeeooootiful. What I wouldn’t give to find a little ranch with a carport and white fence for the right price in my area like the one in the ad above. And the designs were customizable and affordable. If only they’d make a comeback…
The complaints about McMansions are not unusual. Compared to the McMansion, the modern home is smaller, has a carport (which is less ostentatious than the multi-car garages many McMansions have), has only one story, and has a nostalgic appeal. However, I’m not sure the modern pre-fab home would be considered beautiful. Is it built with more quality or design that today’s McMansions? How many other Americans would also choose modern homes over McMansions?
If someone really wanted to go retro and avoid the McMansion, why not go back further to homes that didn’t require mass production or pre-fab pieces? This would require going back to pre-World War II era and finding homes that were constructed by smaller builders in more traditional styles.