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Thread: Make large plans: McMansions to the extreme

  1. #1
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Make large plans: McMansions to the extreme

    Even the rich seem to be outdoing themselves lately. With the economy doing as poorly as it is, can you believe that this is even financially feasible?

    To me thought the interesting part is that the neighbors are not pleased with it. The post we had before about how McMansions make us unhappy... do rich people not want others to have such an odd showing of wealth? In this market though... why?

    http://wcbstv.com/seenon/greenwich.m....2.701479.html


    My only question is why does anyone want 26 bathrooms? What is the reason? 27,000 square feet? Really? Can you even think of things to fill the 27,000 square feet... dog grooming room?
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  2. #2
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    You need to rename this thread toot suite.

    it's not a 'McMansion'. It's an actual mansion.

    As to what motivates such conspicuous consumption, see Veblen's "The Theory of the Leisure Class."

    The wikipedia article is concise but pretty good.

    Personally I think it's time for anyone who lives in a rich country to move beyond the whole, sad concept of positional goods
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  3. #3
    That building would be beautiful as a museum or other civic structure, but as someones home? No one needs a huge house, especially of that size.

  4. #4
    That looks like something you would tour in Europe! Not a house. I would also be suspicious that he does not actually have other plans for it besides single-family. Maybe he plans on holding conventions?

    Of course, some people just have more money than brains.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    The real problem is scale. It belongs on at least a 200 acre spread.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    ^ Not really. Maybe where land is cheap and nearly worthless. Buckingham palace is bigger than that house and ceratanly does not sit on 200 acre.
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  7. #7
    If it's anything like the Halls, etc of Europe (and surely you have some extremely large houses in the States? the White House, forex?) that he's blatantly mimicking, then it's not intended for a single family as such. It's intended for a single household as a place that size is definitely going to need live in staff, even if he doesn't employ the army of servants known up until the late 19th and early 20th centuries. There's every chance he's intending it for more than that, however.

    And I can almost guarantee he'll have some "commercial" use of it. Plenty of places in the 7+ bedroom scale in the UK have to put their homes to commercial use if they want to keep it going. The only other option is selling, be
    aring in mind that people get very emotionally attached to their homes. Admittedly, I'm talking about houses that have been built for at least 50 years and have Listed status, but I would have thought the same applies!

    There's the consipicous consumption angle, too. He just wants to show how obscenely rich he is. If he wants to throw it away / around, maybe he should share it out I don't suppose his neighbours like being reminded that there are richer people than them in a part of the world that doesn't have to accept lords of the manor (because there aren't many manors?)
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  8. #8
    Cyburbian RandomPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hink_Planner View post
    ...My only question is why does anyone want 26 bathrooms? What is the reason? 27,000 square feet? Really? Can you even think of things to fill the 27,000 square feet...
    I don't understand the 27 bathrooms, but I can see the need for multiple stalls in the bathrooms if it's off -- say the ballroom or the pool. If you're going to have this big of a home, you're also going to want to show it off -- and that means extravegent parties!
    (Insane, I agree, but...a lot of people spend money stupidly!)
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  9. #9
    Cyburbian Plus
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    The proposal was rejected by the Greenwich, CT, Planning and Zoning Commission on May 20:
    http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/20...20kogan&st=cse

    NY Magazine's tongue-and-cheek take was "sizeism":
    http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2008/05...t_of_gree.html

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Seems like an example of a commission denying something just to temporarily make the crowd happy. How are they going to defend themselves against the billionaire's appeal if it meets the regulations as the article says?
    You'd think the smaller mansion owners would welcome the rub-off of increased property values from the new mansion.

  11. #11
    Unless they don't want to provide infrastructure or civil plans for the thing...

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Plus
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    "Action agenda" of Greenwich Planning & Zoning Commission's 5/20/08 meeting:
    http://greenwichct.virtualtownhall.n...08-Revised.pdf

    Kogan mansion application lost by the narrowest (2-3) margin.

    There's no discussion in the PDF, but the above NY Times article gives this info:
    ...some critics took issue with the extensive use of “subterranean” space in the house plan. This involved trucking in earth and mounding it around the three-story house...
    . . .
    ...if measured by cubic feet, as opposed to above-ground square feet, the Kogans’ mansion comes in 40 percent bigger than Mr. Cohen’s [house with a larger number of square feet].


    Quote Originally posted by Seabishop View post
    How are they going to defend themselves against the billionaire's appeal if it meets the regulations as the article says?
    An online news search indicates that the Kogans have not appealed the decision.


    It appears as if the Greenwich Planning and Zoning Commission, right on the spot, made two substantial changes in zoning regulations:
    - Cubic-foot rather than square-foot measurement when determining new residential building.
    - Limitations on new residential 'subterranean' building.

    I wonder if--or more likely, when--these new residential zoning regulations are going to cause future issues in the town and haunt the Commission?

  13. #13
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    While the example from the article from the original poster might be an actual mansion designed and built to order, McMansion isn't exactly a foreign term in places like Greenwich, CT. Personally, when you begin build spec houses on that type of scale, that's when I think they should start to be qualified as McMansions.

    From a recent article in the New Yorker:

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2...act_paumgarten

    Alas, it seems that even environs such as Greenwich are not imune to the fall of the housing market.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

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