McMansions have sprouted up all over the country in subdivisions and suburban neighborhoods. Some people love them, but it seems the majority does not like the "corny columns, mismatched windows, and construction that buts right up to the property line," says Realtor.com writer Erik Gunther.
For those that can't stand McMansions, there's McMansionHell, a website from architecture aficionado Kate Wagner that breaks down the problems with McMansions piece by piece. The site was recently mentioned in a Bloomberg News piece about the declining value of these houses, but the piece reported that the site/blog was authored anonymously. So Realtor.com talked to Wagner in this Q&A, where she discusses just why she thinks that McMansions deserve a special place. She says:
Q: McMansions are like the classic definition of obscenity—”I know when I see it”—but we’ve never come up with a concrete definition for them. So how do you really define a McMansion?
A: Many attempts have been made to quantify the McMansion, and I think the obscenity analogy is spot on. It’s a large house (larger than 3,000 square feet), designed without consideration of architectural history or basic principles of good design. They’re built cheaply and without concern for the landscape around them, leading to the trope of the giant house on the tiny lot.
Q: What’s been the response to your site?
A: The response has been overwhelmingly positive. People are thankful that someone is coming out of the woodwork, so to speak, and giving them the vocabulary to describe why they do or do not like something.
Many people hate these houses, and they don’t know why. We’re helping them articulate it.