McMansions – Losing Popularity but Litter the Land

Posted on August 21, 2010

Living in the Finger Lakes region of New York State used to be special.  Overbuilding was all over the east coast but no where near here.  But the love of McMansions has come here as it has everywhere and it has smothered the scene like a kudzu vine.

There were always some large cottages on peninsulas jutting out into Canandaigua Lake but it is not large like Seneca Lake and so the cottages tended to be smaller and classic – nothing fancy.  A trip around the Lake today was sobering. The foot prints of the homes have grown so large the spaces between cottages is almost nil.  Even on little nearby Conesus this is the case.  I have not kept up with Canandaigua but Conesus now has limits to the size of footprints on an acre of waterfront property.  It is badly needed.  With all the black top leading up to the 3 car garages, the water can’t be in very good shape from runoff.

Here is one of the larger cottages of note in the region.  It belongs to the CEO of Wegman’s Food Markets.  People around here love him.  I do myself.  But I do not love the loss of true casual summer fun of a human scale he and others have brought to the great out doors.  What do wall-to-wall carpeting and wet bars in abundance have to do with getting back to nature?

Mr. Wegman is not doing much more than a wealthy man in any other era in the US except for the fact that he has much more company in  doing this on lakes than the wealthy did in the past.  Everyone has to have a McMansion.

A good old-fashioned economic slowdown is painful for all of us but mother nature may gain from the experience ultimately to the benefit of us all.