Forest Hills, Queens, April 30, 2006
- Sad to say, but Queens attracts ugly buildings like beer attracts slugs. A few lucky neighborhoods, such as Forest Hills Gardens
are protected, but the vast majority of the borough is being overrun by idiot homebuilders who tear down perfectly lovely old houses and put up crap like this...
This is by no means the worst offender in the neighborhood. In fact, it could have been much worse, given that the original zoning (smack dab in the middle of a pleasant few blocks of one-family homes) allowed for a six-story multi-family building. Yes, on that tiny lot. No doubt it would have been one of those lousy Fedders houses
that are spreading like weeds. Well, after the original house was torn down and excavation for the apartments had already started, the neighbors banded together and eventually got the area downzoned. In the meantime, the site spent a good six or seven years as a fenced-in hole in the ground.
So I can imagine that this house was conceived as a "screw you" to all the neighbors that caused the builder so much grief. I don't mind that it's fairly big for the lot. We're in a city; houses can be close together. But it's the boxy split-level shape, the protruding balconies, the misproportioned windows and floor heights, the electric meter out front, the completely concrete-covered front yard that all point to an angry or incompetent architect. And the house isn't even finished. I fully expect "classical" balustrades up the stairs, maybe stone lions or eagles somewhere, and a stainless-steel fence.
Hey, at least the brick isn't pink, like other gaudy new houses nearby. Boy, the monstrosities I could show you...
(Cross-posted to queensnyc