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Ugly houses: a different point of view

Murray Henninger, Jr. Avon

Editor’s note: The letter writer asked that we reprint this column, which can be found at http://www.static.monolithic.com/pres/uglyhouses/index.html.

by David B. South

President of the Monolithic Dome Institute

As I was perusing the Monolithic Dome Builders Bulletin Board one day, I came across an interesting post regarding a presentation given by Dan Sutterfield, a Monolithic Dome Builder from Newburg, Mo.

The portion of the post I am referring to is as follows:

posted 08-14-2002 11:08 a.m.

… I’m going to paraphrase Dan Sutterfield in a presentation he gave Monday evening:

You know what I think is ugly?

1) a $100,000 stick-built home infested with termites.

2) a non-monolithic house scattered all-over the neighbors property.

3) a mother who has lost her two children in a house fire.

4) the sight of an ever increasing utility bill as rates go up and traditional houses keep wasting energy. — Chuck

This got me thinking. What makes a house beautiful? What makes it ugly? If it’s true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, is ugliness there, too? In other words, do we judge something, like a house, to be either beautiful or ugly simply by how it looks? Or are our judgments based on how the house makes us feel and what it does for us?

I think the latter is true.

To me, houses that are truly ugly are shelters that don’t really shelter.

I recently made up this list of ugly qualities a house might have. Read it over and see if you agree. Let me know if you have one or two you would like added.

Ugly houses:

– Give a false sense of security.

– Burn ” destroying lives, families and keepsakes.

– Blow away in tornadoes.

– Get flattened by earthquakes.

– Disappear during a hurricane.

– Float during a flood.

– Rot after a flood.

– Allow wind to blow through without any air control.

– Do not hold sounds out.

– Do not contain interior sounds.

– Are not soundproof.

– Harbor and provide food for mold.

– Can be eaten by termites and other pests.

– Lose their roof’s.

– Develop foundation and wall cracks when the ground shifts under them.

– Consume high amounts of energy.

– Require expensive repairs and maintenance.

– Have load bearing walls that limit remodeling.

– Have to have high ceilings added in at vaulted prices.

– Have a short lifetime often less than 50 years.

– Use up our forests.

– Deplete our fuel reserves.

– Cannot be recycled to be used as something else.

– Have an unnatural shape or artificial look.

– Make people feel boxed in hurricane.

– Are the homes of the past, not the future.


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