Cul de Sac (6/11/09)

06-11-09 (Cul de Sac)

Whenever I think of cookie-cutter architecture, I always default to frame houses with light-colored paneling, pitched roofs and large bay windows. Maybe that’s because of numerous cultural references from the Malvina Reynolds song, Little Boxes to the opening credits of the TV show, Full House to the second panel of this comic strip. I even see dozens of these clone homes lining a street in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood as I ride the train to work every day. But when I stroll through my own neighborhood, or others throughout the city, I see a different type of assembly-line-style house: the bungalow. There must be hundreds of Chicago streets lined almost exclusively with these brown brick monoliths. Bungalows are well-constructed – certainly more so than the townhouses built during the last 10 years – but they still personify a crushing conformity that ought to inspire the type of criticism usually reserved for recent construction.

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