A few weeks back Seattle Weekly featured a cover story by Nina Shapiro on controversial Seattle developer Dan Duffus - whose critics object to his practice of putting big homes on tiny lots. Many also call his homes ugly, too modern, and out of step with the historic character of the neighborhoods they're in. Last week, Shapiro followed up with a post to The Daily Weekly in which the future of the craftsman home was debated.
"Most people buying right now don't like traditional homes," [Duffus} told SW. He added that he himself lives in a modern house in West Seattle. (See the websites of his development and funding companies for examples of his projects.)
"The demand is so high for this modern look," echoed Steele Granger, a builder involved with Duffus on a Tangletown project. He traces the trend back to Palm Springs, where he says it emerged four or five years ago.
But Seattle isn't Palm Springs. Isn't the historic craftsman (above) a thing of reverence here, conveying taste and class to a Northwest sensibility and making neighborhoods like Queen Anne, Wallingford and Capitol Hill so desirable?
Not any more, says Windermere agent Penny Bolton. At least not for youngish buyers. "For the demographic that is 30 to 40, the crafstman is dead," she says.
Much like Shapiro's cover story, the recent blog post on the future of the craftsman home in Seattle inspired some heated debate in the comment section.
As Bungaloid writes:
Fine. Then don't buy anymore Craftsman homes and fuck them up with your ugly, modern, open floorplans that are going to look dated in about 10 years.
And as double_hopped replies:
guys like "SaveTheSound" and "Bungaloid" believe their taste is better than your taste and want to bend you to their will. Get over it, guys...the city doesn't have any more land and housing is needed. The Seattle City Council and even his-goofiness Mayor McG got land use RIGHT for once. I am not a developer, builder, real estate agent, or otherwise professional profiting handsomely from all this. I'm just a guy with an in-city lot that has a piece of crap house sitting on it with absolutely NO renovation value. For the past 15 years it has not been economically attractive, in a very modest way, for me to build new on that lot. Now it is. And, despite a surprisingly sound and common-sense approach by the City, YOU want to stop it.
What's your alternative? leave that house to deteriorate some more? have it become the neighbourhood eyesore? OR how about I put up some of those hideously ugly "Craftsman" townhouses that are all over the city...the remnants of the development nightmare of the 90's and 00's?
I'm going to guess that in your eyes the solution is to go back to the way things were 30 years ago. Am I right? 'cause if I am right then how do we even have a conversation? it is sheer fantasy to think we can turn the clock back...though that's not stopping the Repbulicans, is it? (oops...went on a tangent). Maybe you don't think I have the right to make a profit on an investment I made 20 years ago (see - I'm not some house flipping fool), and if that's the case I don't know how we have a conversation.
I like what Dan at Soleil Development is doing. I like PB Elemental and their designs. That is what I want on my land. Who are you to tell me I can't have that kind of design, just 'cause you don't like it?