30 June 2010

Neat Street vs Color

I love the children's book "The Big Orange Splot" by Daniel Pinkwater:

It is the story of a man who lives on a "neat street" in which all the houses are the same. Then one day he dramatically changes his house. His neighbors try to get him to change it back, but he responds "My house is me and I am it. It is where I like to be and it looks like all my dreams". Eventually the other neighbors also change their houses to look like their dreams. It is a wonderful story.

I was reminded of the book while reading a recent article about a man who painted his historic house orange:

Many of Ruben Jones' neighbors are not pleased with his color selection, or that his house is being painted at all, since the paint covers the original, unpainted gray surface of the house designed by Neel Reid. Jones said the color is meant to replicate the look of an Italian villa and will fade.
Frankly, I like the orange and I don't think something as transitory as a thin film of paint should be regulated at all, even in an historic district.



Dan said...

Sort of unrealted to your topic but I loved Daniel Pinkwater books when I was a kid.

Radarman said...

I think it's going to be great. Hell, it's already great.

VisuaLingual said...

I think I need to borrow that book.

When I visited Cupertino for the first time, I was amazed at how well everything in that town matched. I mentioned it to my relatives who lived there, and they made some snarky comments about not being allowed to stray outside of a specific color palette. It was only years later that I learned about HOAs and all that. I think it's insane that something like a house color might be regulated.

Unknown said...

We just moved to a historic district and I've already been hearing murmurings about issues like these. (We have to build a garage...)
I have a hard time with the belief that maintaining a neighborhood's "history" has to be something static. Isn't history an ever-evolving thing? That is, isn't the orange house just a part of that neighborhood's history now. And if so, shouldn't that be protected?

Unknown said...

Oh yea, and just ordered the book from Amazon. Thanks!

Unknown said...

Mike, you kind of remind me of Mr. Plumbean.

CityKin said...

Thanks!, I need to get a handlebar moustache though.

Mascara or Motoroil said...

I just stumbled upon your blog, and I was so excited to see you mention this book! I was so in love with the Big Orange Splot as a kid! I always knew I wasn't meant for the suburbs.

Anonymous said...

This Neil Reed home is historic, but the neighborhood is not in an "istoric district". Moreover, paint color is never dictated by Historical District status. For some reason people get "historic" confused with Home Owner Associations. Very few neighborhoods in Atlanta have HOA's --that is a suburban thing.

Alice in Atlanta