Twin Cities singer-songwriter Dan Rodriguez is warming YouTube’s heart with a song he wrote for a Budweiser commercial promoting responsible drinking.
The advertisement tells the story of a guy with a loving Labrador Retriever waiting for him to come home after a night out drinking with his human pals. Rodriguez lends his introspective, echoey vocals and bluesy acoustic plucks to the footage with his original song “When You Come Home.”
“With particular reference to apartment houses, it is pointed out that the development of detached house sections is greatly retarded by the coming of apartment houses, which has sometimes resulted in destroying the entire section for private house purposes; that in such sections very often the apartment house is a mere parasite, constructed in order to take advantage of the open spaces and attractive surroundings created by the residential character of the district. Moreover, the coming of one apartment house is followed by others, interfering by their height and bulk with the free circulation of air and monopolizing the rays of the sun which otherwise would fall upon the smaller homes, and bringing, as their necessary accompaniments, the disturbing noises incident to increased traffic and business, and the occupation, by means of moving and parked automobiles, of larger portions of the streets, thus detracting for their safety and depriving children of the privilege of quiet and open spaces for play, enjoyed by those in more favored localities, — until, finally, the residential character of the neighborhood and its desirability as a place of detached residences are utterly destroyed.”
Remember, kids: apartment buildings are noisy, dangerous sun-killing parasites that suffocate communities and ruin childhoods.
I dare you to fit more irrational anti-urbanist apartment-hate in two (2!) sentences than Justice Sutherland did in Village of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co. (1922).
“It is hardly possible to expect that many really different types of dwellings or their buildings can be added at any one time. To think they can be is wishful thinking. There are fashions in building. Behind the fashions lie economic and technological reasons, and these fashions exclude all but a few genuinely different possibilities in city dwelling construction at any one time.”
Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities page 216.
A lot of people complain about "cookie-cutter" architecture in Minneapolis. French chateaus are cookie-cutter. Gothic cathedrals are cookie-cutter. Richardsonian Romanesque buildings are cookie-cutter. Being cookie-cutter per se isn’t bad, because at any given time in any given culture, there were prevailing architectural trends.
Some cookie-cutter things are bad, but not simply because they’re cookie-cutter. In the ’90s and ’00s, the McMansion was very popular. The economic causes of this trend were:
- expensive freeway projects that paved over the graves of urban working-class and minority neighborhoods to provide quick and easy commutes for citizens who happened to be whiter and wealthier,
- single-use zoning and mortgage regulations that made it easy to get money to build subdivisions, and
- the reverberations of explicitly racist housing policies.
Some effects of this trend are:
- higher demand for these underfunded freeways,
- car-dependent landscapes (and concomitant decline in walking and biking), and
- ecological disaster.
McMansions are cookie-cutter. New apartments are cookie-cutter. That doesn’t mean they’re both bad.
Detroit, before and after a freeway. I’d love to see similar photos of Minneapolis and St. Paul.