Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A collection of Cape May houses

Here is a collection of some houses (buildings) that EH and I saw in Cape May, NJ, last week. Architectural diversity is also a trademark of America, even if it is hard to believe when you see acres and acres with newly built and ugly 'McMansions'.
Cape May is famous for its Victorian Seaside houses, many built in the late 1800s or early 1900s. City people took the train from Philadelphia to the shore in the summer, where it was cooler and less smelly and noisy than in the summer city. Photo by EH.

This Victorian house is being renovated, quite drastically. On the door there is a sign that says CLOSED. Photo by EH.

Strip malls don't need to be ugly flat boxes - here is one based on the Victorian style. Photo by EH.

Light houses and bird houses, there is a study in size differences. The purple martins love in colonies, and these multiple birdhouses are popular here. They are always white. Purple martins are a kind of swallow, nearly black. This is Cape May lighthouse of course! Photo by LS.

Some other animals need housing too, like this hermit crab we found on the shore. I read that there is a lack of shells of the right size for hermit crabs so some designer are making fake shells and spreading them out on beaches. This crab found the right thing! Photo by EH.


O.K. said...

Nice pictures, houses of all sizes. I especially like the bird/lighthouse one, nice contrast.

Do you really think that the US is so much more diverse than other countries?
I saw a trailer for a movie on tv a few days ago, which started with street scenes. Within one second I thought "This really looks like New Jersey". I was right. :)

LS said...

I am not sure - I think it is very diverse, but also very large. If you don't look at the mass-marketed architecture (McDonalds, etc.), you really have a lot of variety between New York City, Victorian seaside houses, Florida bungalows and New Mexico adobe houses. And don't forget skyscrapers, railroad stations, ice cream stands, and churches. It might not be more than China or Germany, but I think it is more than we usually give America credit for. It is hard to see the houses past the strip malls and recent ugliness sometimes.

Note - in America they say buildings, not houses, for anything bigger than a single-family home. I say houses anyway :)

O.K. said...

I agree that it is diverse. Although I think that there is some common denominator regardless if it is a skyscraper, railroad station, Macmansion or pyramid in Las Vegas that makes it look american, but I'm not sure what it is.

EH said...

Macmansions as you called them have a little bit of Disney-complex, they look alike a "princess house" in Disney movies with all kinds of stuff on them, like bricks, stones, plaster and wood. And if you´re really into it, get a tower!

LS said...

That's it - little cutesy Disney-houses. Obviously they haven't learned that 'more is less', and they mix and match regardless of styles and looks.

On some houses the windows are all misplaced or the wrong size, and the lack of window trims is so ugly too. Just wait until I start talking about landscaping and (the lack of) gardens around McMansions.

O.K. said...

I'm not sure it's a "disneyesque" quality I associate with american architecture in general. PP, any thoughts on the subject?

LS said...

I didn't mean all architecture, only the Mcmansions are Disney-esque, or "prettified".

O.K. said...

Haha, "prettified"! There's a word I like.

LS said...

Or its antagonist, "uglified". I am afraid that sometimes prettification leads to uglification, at least here among the McMansions.