Fortress Mentality

This week, the Mississippi Governor's Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal plans to begin distributing free copies of "A Pattern Book for Gulf Coast ...
by | November 28, 2005

This week, the Mississippi Governor's Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal plans to begin distributing free copies of "A Pattern Book for Gulf Coast Neighborhoods" (view in PDF) at building supply stores such as Home Depot. The 72-page booklet, with a forward by Governor Haley Barbour, describes ways to design traditional homes and neighborhoods that incorporate New Urbanist values.

In a New York Times article that ran on Thanksgiving Day, several architecture professors decried the "dominance" of New Urbanists in the state's planning efforts and their "singular focus on historicist designs as they try to rebuild the region."

Of course, there are alternative approaches. Said an architecture intern from Gulfport, who plans to design an entirely different kind of house to replace the 1907 Victorian she lost in Hurricane Katrina, "It's going to be a fortress."

That sounds a bit medieval. Here's hoping she refrains from pouring hot oil on visitors--and that her fellow Mississippians decide in favor of the welcoming front porch as they rebuild their homes and communities. 

 

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Anne Jordan  |  Former Editor
mailbox@governing.com  | 

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