Alien ships have landed. At least it appears that way when you look at some of the additions on millions of old and historic homes across America. Plopped onto our homesteads are some of the most curious and seemingly disconnected structures imaginable. Homeowners, builders, not-for-profits and yes, architects are responsible for these extraterrestrial designs.
In the past, nothing epitomized neighbor helping neighbor more than a rural barn raising. Today, in our central city, historic neighborhoods, a modern day version of a barn raising is bringing neighbors together, old house unveilings.
Some people will tell you that if you live in a historic district or the community is thinking about making your neighborhood a historic district, the world is coming to an end. They say things like, "It's nothing but a left wing conspiracy to take my property rights away" or "The paint police are coming to tell us why we can't cover our old house with plastic siding".
Many people have said to me they need new windows because they fear lead paint, want better soundproofing, energy efficiency and easy cleaning. Then the answer is to restore original windows, not replace them. Restoration will cost less and the windows will be lead free, soundproof, energy efficient and easily cleaned.