Can McMansions ever add to the charm of a neighborhood or community?

I’ve seen many stories over the years of how teardown McMansions ruin the charm of older neighborhoods. Here is a recent case from the north shore of Long Island:

Call it a neighborhood dispute over home sizes. A small village on Long Island is seeing more and more small homes torn down to make way for so-called ‘mcmansions.’

Some neighbors have been pushing back, saying the huge homes are taking away from the charm of their community.

Are there any conditions under which a new McMansion might be considered charming? While I can’t recall seeing such a positive description used, here are a few scenarios in which it might work:

  1. The replaced home was small, decrepit, and in severe disrepair. McMansions may not be the preferred replacement option but some homes can be terrible shape and such eyesores are appreciated by few neighbors.
  2. The owners of the new home go significantly out of their way to placate neighbors. Regular deliveries of baked goods? Lots of volunteering for local duties? Handwritten notes asking for forgiveness? Hosting regular parties for neighbors in their spacious new home?
  3. The McMansion meets certain conditions: it is not so large compared to nearby homes, it does not seem to be bursting out of its lot, and the architecture is tasteful and consistent with nearby homes. Even with these, I suspect some neighbors will never be able to get past the idea of a McMansion.

Critics of McMansions tend to pick out clear-cut cases but not all larger teardowns are so easily categorized.

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