The McMansion rose to prominence in the early-to-mid-2000s and to this day is the epitome of the excesses created by the biggest mortgage bubble in the history of mankind. In suburbs all across America, these 3,000 – 5,000 square foot, cookie-cutter monstrosities, with their foam pillars and lots that were just barely larger than the footprint of the houses themselves, were popping up faster than you could say “subprime mortgage.”
Unfortunately, as we’re forced to report frequently here, Americans tend to have very short-term memories and can’t seem but help but constantly repeat the sins of their past. As such, it’s hardly a surprise that the average size of new homes in the U.S. is once again skyrocketing at an even faster rate than the early part of this century.
Apparently people in the Midwest managed to maintain some level of modesty in the early 2000’s but have since decided ‘modesty’ is massively overrated.
Meanwhile, the return of the McMansion epidemic is also helping to push home prices back to all-time highs.
Meanwhile, if you can’t beat em, as the saying goes, then you might as well mercilessly mock and ridicule them…or something like that. Luckily, as the Washington Post points out today, that is where “McMansion Hell” comes in.
Kate Wagner, an architecture critic, wishes America would have learned its lesson about McMansions the first time around. She spends her free time tearing apart their architectural anachronisms on her blog, McMansion Hell.
Wagner describes McMansions as a particular artifact of economic history, one whose physical form was the product of a new American pastime: flipping houses.
And, since Americans will never stop building these hideous dwellings, McMansion Hell should be able to provide us with hours of entertainment for years to come.
“They were built to sell in the year they were selling, not for future generations,” said Wagner. “These houses are kind of disfigured, because they were built from the inside out, to have the most amenities to sell faster.”
A culture of house flipping helped to quantify certain home improvements, like the addition of colossal marble islands and palatial foyers designed to grab the attention of buyers. That gave these houses even more of a cookie-cutter feel.
“It’s about invoking the symbolism of having a lot of money, but not spending a lot of money on the house,” says Wagner.
Whoever owns the house above must be poor…not a single column.