Vinyl Fruits...

I know a few frequent fixBuffalo readers - like Gabe! - have totally missed my vinyl critique in the last few months. The critique comes through loud and clear if you've occasion to tour the Artspace Backyard Neighborhood on Saturday mornings.

Saw these two beauties a few blocks south on Sunday afternoon in the Fruitbelt.
Picture 713

Picture 744
And special thanks to Derrick, from Toronto. He provided this lovely cultural reference. Perfect!
Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word.
Benjamin: Yes, sir.
Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
Benjamin: Yes, I am.
Mr. Mcguire: Plastics.
See My Vinyl Collection for additional inspiration.
ArtspaceBAVPATour d'Neglect - 2007Woodlawn Row Housesfaqmy flickr


Mark Williams said...


I tend to agree with your objection to the vinyl homes being erected throughout Buffalo but I believe it is the proverbial Catch-22.

Our opposition may be interpreted as taking-away the opportunity of owning a “new” home by those who are in the most need of adequate housing. I suspect our attempts at advocating the adaptive reuse of existing structures is viewed as forcing people to live in sub-standard housing.

It truly takes an innovative type person to look beyond the dirt and grime to see the potential of a magnificent home.

Louise Slaughter recently had several homes demolitioned in order to erect new builds; I could not help myself so I wrote an email applauding the fact that removing non-significant housing was good but questioned the reasoning for building more homes when Buffalo still has an enormous housing stock…no reply.

I think a compromise would be using a larger scale of Katrina’s Cottages type of modular new builds for Buffalo “new housing” since these home are definitely more in-line when it comes to any form of style.


Anonymous said...

Do you have a link to these Katrina Cottages?

I don't really see these at pure evil. This is what some people actually want. So you have to offer it to attract these people to the east side, especially on blocks where nothing is already there.

Driving through developments out in the suburbs, the new builds look just as cheap and crappy with the wavey vinyl, lack of windows on some sides, no window framing or achitectural details anywhere on the structure. I think the open grassy fields, lack of decay around them seem to hide it better than these here in "the hood".

If the city had some kind of program to offer property owners a way out besides boarding up the building and walking away we could pry do much better. A cheap buy out (better than than nothing) can get the building before it decays or is stripped and vandelized, and renovate it for less than these cost to build along with demolition of the existing structures. Plus a lot of the existing structures have woodwork etc that even people in the burbs can't afford to put in thier newbuilds.

But I feel these do have thier place in large clusters where the blocks were pretty much vacant to start with. As infill I feel there are better options.

Anonymous said...

These are just sick on so many levels. In addition to the horrid aesthetic value of these cheaply-built plastic huts, I think the Hummer in the driveway (of a house that will probably be foreclosed on within 2 years) says it all.

Sometimes I think the best plan of action for the Fruit Belt is to return it tot the fruit orchards it once was...

If these folks want suburban living so bad, we certainly we have lots of suburbs to chose from!

Anonymous said...

OMG, Gabe is correct about the Hummer. And it looks like there are two of them (red and black). Yea, that does sum it all up.

Anonymous said...

Let me add a second cultural reference, to complement the "Graduate" one:

Winn-dose??? We don' need no steenkin' winn-dose!

Mark Williams said...


The original "Katrina Cottages can be viewed at http://katrinacottagehousing.org/


WestCoastPerspective said...

Maybe they had builder incentives, buy a home, get a Hummer? :)

MJ is right- there are $250,000+ homes in the 'burbs with no windows on the sides and brick-only facades.

Driving around town recently- I was amazed at how many of the new builds had roof damage and vinyl siding pealing. Granted some are approaching 25 years old, and most existing homes are in much worse shape. Deferred maintenance dooms both new and old homes.

I'll have a post up on that other site soon on the new build townhomes in the Fruit Belt.

Anonymous said...

I have heard that moisture builds up between the vinyl and the plywood/wafer board or whatever junk they build these houses with. The look like planned obsolesence housing. How do you keep out the Buffalo cold in these cheap looking houses? It would be cheaper to fix up an old house, but I suppose the old ones have lead paint and asbestos? Sounds like a lose/lose situation.
My mother was born at the corner of Sycamore and Jefferson in 1927. What happened to the buildings that were there???

Sharon Centanne