Dallas Fort Worth Urban Forum

The Plague of Pancake Development

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vman
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The Plague of Pancake Development

Postby vman » 03 Oct 2018 07:32

https://www.architectmagazine.com/desig ... 7445c34dad

Great article on the look-alike apartment developments we discuss here.

Tnexster
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Re: The Plague of Pancake Development

Postby Tnexster » 03 Oct 2018 20:48

Kind of my feeling about a lot of this stuff. Everything is turning into the same thing. You can go to almost any city and find it, beige boxes with a Starbucks on one end and Chili's on the other.

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vman
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Re: The Plague of Pancake Development

Postby vman » 04 Oct 2018 07:58

I really agree about what the author said about NOT putting residential on large streets. I cringe everytime I see those townhouses that front Ross Ave, Oaklawn, Canton..I could go on. Who wants to open up their front door and walk out onto Oaklawn?? I loved those walk up style townhomes on Canton next to the dog park. However, in the two years I lived in an apartment above the parking garage across the street, I never ever saw anyone walk out of a front door!

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The_Overdog
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Re: The Plague of Pancake Development

Postby The_Overdog » 04 Oct 2018 09:06

If I can be the contrary voice (oh I can!) I think architecture critics need to sit down and shut up for a while and this guy is no exception.

"where the miasma of the mud flats on which the Southern Pacific built its main West Coast train yards has turned into block upon block of indistinguishable barracks for the technorati, punctuated by the closed compounds of research buildings and laboratories."

Where were your lousy opinions when they were building ugly short houses across California?

even though those dense structures were so unattractive to most people, rich
and poor, that they fled to the suburbs as quickly as they could.


That's not what happened, unless you erase the financing and red lining aspects.

when the street is a six-lane corridor of cars and perhaps noisy trams, we should not force people to live next to that noise.


This is meaningless. The decibel level of a 6 lane corridor has the travel distance of close to half a mile in cold dry air. Instead, when the residential buildings come, the street should change.

Architecture should read this instead http://rationalurbanism.com/4%c2%a2-on-the/ and fix themselves. Important takeaway:
"buildings have actual functions to perform; like staying up, keeping out water, and telling people where the entrances are. The inability to perform those functions even marginally well is a solid indicator that they are not the equals of those they came before."

Or just shut up with the criticism that only has one priority- looks from afar.

Yeah, they are kind of ugly, but if they are "barracks for the technorati" (which doesn't even make sense- the 'technorati' are not an oppressed class and are able to make purchasing decisions based on superficial looks if they choose to do so) but so is everything else architects have built in the past 50 years. Except everything they have built in the past 50 years is expensive to maintain and not very useful.

So these pancake buildings are better in that aspect.

itsjrd1964
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Re: The Plague of Pancake Development

Postby itsjrd1964 » 16 Dec 2018 00:08

Late last week, D Magazine looked into the ugliness of the newer crop of apartments around the area.

https://www.dmagazine.com/frontburner/2 ... e-so-ugly/

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tanzoak
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Re: The Plague of Pancake Development

Postby tanzoak » 16 Dec 2018 16:48

itsjrd1964 wrote:Late last week, D Magazine looked into the ugliness of the newer crop of apartments around the area.

https://www.dmagazine.com/frontburner/2 ... e-so-ugly/


Basically all housing from all time periods is just a copy-paste job that contemporary architecture critics have hated. And some of the most beloved (beloved now, at least) styles are some of the most egregious in terms of just being the same building over and over again.

There is less regional variation in style now because our world is more connected. I mean, even the vocal accents of the professional class don't even vary by region, and we fly and work all over the country. Building materials are available globally, so that's not a constraint. Why would we expect large regional differences in architectural design?

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northsouth
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Re: The Plague of Pancake Development

Postby northsouth » 21 Feb 2019 22:47

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features ... k-the-same

Relevant article on this issue, complete with photos of local apartments. The one at the top (the only one given an address) is in Uptown/West Village, and I can recognize two as being on Las Colinas Boulevard due to the DART tracks, but outside one having the name Mockingbird displayed on it, I can't place any of them.

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muncien
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Re: The Plague of Pancake Development

Postby muncien » 22 Feb 2019 10:19

I really don't see this changing very much any time soon. Unlike some other parts of the world where populations are much more dense, here in the states, we have forest after forest of farmed trees. Run up to Southeaster Oklahoma and you will see what I mean. Add in the fact that the poor quality of soil here in much of North Texas makes concrete/steel construction more complicated (aka, costly), and you can see why 'stick' framing is here to stay.
While I agree that many of these structures are particularly interesting, I do find that many developers have been fairly creative in at least attempting to make them look 'different' from each other. Also, this isn't a new problem... You can easily go back in history and see entire neighborhoods built to look almost the exact same (at least for that period). As time progresses, some get modified, burn down and get replaced, etc., and appear more 'diverse' than newer stuff, but that doesn't mean they were always like that.
New developments in 3D printing or timber based high rises (yes, this is becoming a thing) may help a bit, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Plus, once those catch on, they will likely spur the same behavior... at least until the creative types gain bigger influence in design (for 3D printing anyway).
"He doesn't know how to use the three seashells..."

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tamtagon
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Re: The Plague of Pancake Development

Postby tamtagon » 22 Feb 2019 10:23

They're probably pretty easy to tear down and replace whatever is the next style of development.... it's the slow-roll mobile home.

lakewoodhobo
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Re: The Plague of Pancake Development

Postby lakewoodhobo » 26 Feb 2019 13:34

Most of us have demonized this type of development, calling it ugly or Soviet bloc, etc. But I'm surprised there's very little criticism for the pervasive slot homes (inward-facing, sometimes gated town home construction). They're just as guilty of encouraging car dependency and sucking the life out of neighborhood streets. So much that Denver has passed a moratorium on slot homes. https://www.westword.com/news/denver-sl ... um-9959586

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skeets
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Re: The Plague of Pancake Development

Postby skeets » 26 Feb 2019 13:37

Some developers try too hard to be different.
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DPatel304
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Re: The Plague of Pancake Development

Postby DPatel304 » 26 Feb 2019 13:42

lakewoodhobo wrote:Most of us have demonized this type of development, calling it ugly or Soviet bloc, etc. But I'm surprised there's very little criticism for the pervasive slot homes (inward-facing, sometimes gated town home construction). They're just as guilty of encouraging car dependency and sucking the life out of neighborhood streets. So much that Denver has passed a moratorium on slot homes. https://www.westword.com/news/denver-sl ... um-9959586


Yes, well said! These ugly slot homes are quietly popping up everywhere and they don't get as much media attention as apartments because they are generally on a smaller scale, I'd imagine.

I sometimes browse some of the new townhomes around Dallas, and the homes themselves are beautiful, and some are in great locations, but I do hate the orientation of most of them.

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muncien
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Re: The Plague of Pancake Development

Postby muncien » 26 Feb 2019 13:50

skeets wrote:Some developers try too hard to be different.


OMG! Totally. I knew this development the second I saw it. So terrible... lol
"He doesn't know how to use the three seashells..."

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mdg109
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Re: The Plague of Pancake Development

Postby mdg109 » 26 Feb 2019 17:55

Slot homes... so that's what they're called. These are so ugly at street level.


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