This house was one of my top five for photographing… I’m even working on a painting of the light coming in so perfectly through the broken white-framed windows. It was such a beautiful house… one I would have liked to live in. It was ornate, but not overdone. It had a wonderful chandalier in the dining room that was hanging at an angle which I took an innumerable number of shots of just to get that one, perfect photo. The best part of the house was the light and how much light came in through the living room windows glowing bright on the floor. The broken glass on the ground cast sparkling illuminations across the opposite walls and ceiling. It was one of the very few houses that I felt absolutely comfortable inside.
Many urban dwellers tend to look down upon suburban life due to its redundancies. I used to think that myself, and swore off living in a house that matched my neighbors. In fact, my century old home is as unique and quirky a house can get. Yet, after a year of studying Carrollton, an old suburb with its large trees and large yards, I started to realize that this place was not just some snooty cookie-cutter ‘burb I used to think it was. Despite identical floorplans, the homes here had deeply-set personalities from varying trim-work to home colors, landscaping and more. The longevity of the people in Carrollton also was part of the personality of the area. The way in which the neighbors put up a strong fight against the airport could only be attributed to its long-time residents. It was a rarity to see a house in Carrollton up for sale and the more I talk to people from Carrollton, the more I find that families stayed there for long periods of time, if not from the very beginning in the 1960s. Sure, the homes were your typical ranch, two story or split-level homes, but they did have large yards and large trees, not to mention the fact that parks, churches, businesses and schools were added IN the neighborhood during its development. Most of your newer subdivisions of McMansions are built EXACTLY the same, down to the same shade of color and detailing with no greenspace and practically on top of your neighbor. Nobody in these areas has odd colored shutters, or god forbid a lawn gnome or birdbath made from a former bathroom sink. They definitely don’t have the same kind of permanent or long-term residents… instead you see a lot of movement within the newer home scene, people changing houses almost as fast as they change cars. I would hardly think that people of those areas would band together as strongly as Carrollton did if they were to face the same kind of widespread eminent domain. Carrollton (and some of the other older suburban areas) had these kinds of personalities that I think would make suburban life not just bearable, but interesting. I think that the builders of new suburbs need to look at some of the older places and see why people loved their homes so much they fought for them.