You’ve probably heard how Florida’s housing boom ended with tales of New Jersey-ites inhabiting 12-story condo towers alone, or of entire communities that started and will probably end life as sun-baked ghost towns.
In Gainesville, there are condo complexes that started and finished at one building and upscale residential addresses that are no more than an ornate gate and acres of undeveloped land. Bleak as it may seem, there are signs of a minor turnaround. In my own neighborhood, I give you an ambitious single-family dwelling that might require some creative license to envision as an attractive completed project. Still, there is reason to hope.
The question is one of aesthetic inconsistency. This new dwelling is located across from a fractured abandoned home, so fractured that the front porch is falling off. This type of stylistic mish-mash is common in Northern Florida, but I like to think of it as an anthem to the disintegration of cultural and architectural progress, however it plays out. Or we can stop before intellectualizing and state the obvious: These objects do not fit together well. Will time claim the shack where the bulldozers won’t? In the meantime, the owners of the ambitious new property can gaze out upon the failure of the old.
The third and fourth pictures are of a nearby property that shows recent signs of habitation. The physique of the neighborhood is decrepit, yet the builder of the new home has enough confidence to invest in potential transformation. At the moment, though, the neighborhood has taken on the qualities of an artistically dubious collage.