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Whose house?

There's this little phenomenon over here in Linden Hills, and it's such a big deal it even gets it's own trademark.


These "Monster Houses" are popping up quicker than dandelions in July, and that also tells about how much they're liked. When we took this picture, a man actually came out of his house and flipped out at first because he thought we were going to steal the sign (which has happened before!). Once I explained that I'm from the U, I live a block down, and I'm on HIS side, he appolgized about 15 times and wished me well on my project. I honestly thought he was gonna whip out a shot gun.

The Monster houses don't fit the size or style of our existing neighborhood at all. That's not to say Linden Hills doesn't have a mix of some larger and smaller homes, or a change up of ramblers and bungalos. The McMansions don't stick out like a castle in the middle of a trailer park, but when you drive by you can tell they're out of place.


Who's putting up the McMansions? It's not like there are open lots, just waiting to be built on. Developers are buying up homes in the neighborhood, tearing them down to nothing, and then building to the property limits. This leaves the old neighbors these huge towers next door - something they never bargained for when they bought their homes many years ago.

So what can us Linden Hillers do? Build a fence? (Actually more like a wall. A great big wall.) Complain? Write a letter? Go on TV? Even better yet.. make signs.

Honestly, there's not a lot we CAN do. Most developers are staying JUST inside the zoning laws. After all, THEY'RE not going to live in Linden Hills.. they're just building a house and making money. Is that all that design has come down to?

I think this is where we hit that break between the profession and the discipline, practice and education. The developer needs to ask 'What's more important here? Preserving the energy of this neighborhood? Or the money we're about to score from that couple in Edina, who wants to live "In the City" but doesn't want to give up their square footage?' On the off chance that the builder even considered this predicament, judging by the continuation of the new builds even post-signs, it's pretty clear who won.