June 16th, 2013
Jim Weiker, The Columbus Dispatch
When architects and builders replaced homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, they offered a variety of models.
They found that residents bypassed the contemporary designs in favor of homes that looked like the ones destroyed.
The story illustrates that people like what they know.
As much as some observers—count me among them—would like to see more daring home designs, the fact is that most homebuyers want something that bears a resemblance to the home in which their parents or grandparents grew up.
That’s not lost on builders or developers, as the current Parade of Homes demonstrates.
The parade, in Jerome Village in Union County, illustrates both the opportunities and challenges of imposing a traditional architectural vision on a new neighborhood.
The Jerome Village website is rich with images of beautiful and impeccable replicas of Queen Annes, Craftsmans, Georgians and other architectural styles.
But the neighborhood’s homes suggest, rather than mimic, the real thing.
Indeed, some of the homes on the parade fit into none of the nine architectural styles that Jerome Village planned to allow.
When Doug Annette, a partner in New England Homes, submit-ted his design, with its painted white stone exterior and galvanized steel gutters, he wasn’t sure what to call it. Neither were the folks at Nationwide Realty Investors, who developed Jerome Village.