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Thread: Persian Palaces and Northtowns Neo-Mediterraneans: ethnoburbian vernacular residential architecture

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Persian Palaces and Northtowns Neo-Mediterraneans: ethnoburbian vernacular residential architecture

    How's that for a thread title!

    Anyhow, reading several articles about "Persian palaces" -- a distinctive style of residential architecture favored by Iranian immigrants in the Los Angeles area, I was reminded of the "Northtown Neo-Mediterranean" style houses built by Italian-American builders in Buffalo's northern suburbs. In previous threads on the Cyburbia Forums, it was found that the "Northtowns Neo-Mediterranean" style is rare in North America; it occurs mainly in suburban Buffalo, and parts of suburban Chicago, Montreal and Toronto where there are large concentrations of Italian-Americans/Italian-Canadians.

    From Wikipedia: "A Persian palace typically is a 2-story white or pink stucco-covered box incorporating architectural and decorative features from many traditions--most notably Spanish tile roofs, wrought-iron decoration, Romanesque columns and atria, bronze Middle Eastern statuary (typically of lions)--into a whole that is derided by many architects as less than the sum of its parts."





    Northtowns Neo-Mediterranean houses usually have the following traits:

    * Brick (standard modular or Roman) on the front elevation; usually cream-colored, sometimes red.
    * White aluminum or vinyl siding on side and rear elevations.
    * Hip roof, usually with a low pitch and large eaves.
    * Windows either don't have mullions, or they have a snap-in diagonal mullion pattern grid.
    * May have a Palladian motif fenestration outline on first floor facade windows, but fitted with standard rectangular windows.
    * May have a two-story window, and/or window above the front door, used to bring light to a two-story foyer.
    * Usually little or no articulation of the facade, except where an attached garage meets the house.
    * Double doorway at the front entrance.









    Are there any other types of "ethnoburbian vernacular" architecture? That is, residential architectural styles that are built by a particular ethnic group that is not native to the region.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    1. Cool thread, cool thread title.

    2. The second house from the top does not look too bad.

    3. The 'Neo-Med' houses don't seem anything like Mediterranean architecture to me... Not really much in the way of redeemign features.
    Life and death of great pattern languages

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Found another example of ethnoburbian vernacular residential architecture: the Fruit Palace of Sydney. From Wikipedia:

    Quote Originally posted by Wikipedia
    Fruit palace is a partly derisive and partly humorous colloquial term used in parts of metropolitan Australia (particularly Sydney) to refer to a style of residential housing embraced largely by successful southern European migrants to that country in the latter decades of the 20th century.

    Fruit palaces are typically large 2-storey freestanding dwellings, constructed of red or cream brick, roofed in red terracotta tile. In most respects save their size and the decorative elements used to embellish them, they are typical of most other Australian residential housing of the 1970s and 80s.

    At the time of their construction fruit palaces were often disparaged as oversized, ostentatious, tasteless expressions of their owner's material success - particularly in their use of such elements (uncommon for the time) - as double entrance doorways, double garages and wide pebblecreted verandahs bordered by long, white-painted concrete balustrades, punctuated by Corinthian support columns.

    The name "fruit palace" refers to the buildings' size, the self-conscious use of Graeco-Italian-inspired decorative elements in their design, and the stereotypical livelihood of the buildings' owners as market gardeners, providores and fruitshop owners.

    Fruit palaces are particularly common in parts of southwestern Sydney where populations of southern European migrants settled from the 1950s onwards. Some of the best examples can be found in the suburbs stretching from Marrickville and Earlwood through to Bankstown. Similar houses are to be found in Melbourne, especially in the northern suburbs of Lalor and Thomastown, although the term "Fruit Palace" is not used in Melbourne.

    In many respects fruit palaces anticipate the McMansion contemporary style of residential architecture.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    My only comment is that the house plans for Tony Soprano's house went on line and sold like hot cakes. We have an eastern orthodox sect on the south side that is starting to take shape. The neighborhood might be right to photgraph in a few years.

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    Member Oz_developer's avatar
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    Haven't heard the term fruit palace before, a more disparaging term generally preceeds palace, but I will refrain from speaking its name for fear of giving offense to any southern european gentlemen and ladies.

    I will endeavour to find and photograph some of Sydney's most outlandish [insert ethnic slur here]/fruit palaces for your entertainment

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    Cyburbian boilerplater's avatar
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    No offense Dan, but I can do so much better than that here in Las Vegas. You would not believe some of the ridiculous places I've seen. There is the sense here, or at least there was, that out here in the void of the desert you are free to build any goofy thing you want. When I see these places, I usually avert my gaze for fear of burning my eyeballs, but I'll be bringing my camera along in coming weeks to get some pics to post here.
    Adrift in a sea of beige

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