I spent the last several years on an extended tangent exploring land use policy, the dynamics of a shifting economic and political landscape, and popular interpretations of how things should be. I’ve come to a peculiar set of conclusions and it’s not what I expected. We have a collection of rules, regulations, social expectations, and … Continue reading Mind the Gap
. . . I got an e-mail from an architect friend yesterday and I need to make a big decision. It’s not one I’m taking lightly. He let me know that in the wake of the recent fires that destroyed thousands of properties all across the county officials were temporarily suspending a lot of the … Continue reading Crisis. Opportunity. Ambivalence.
There was a time not all that long ago when ordinary people built simple small scale mixed use buildings on Main Street in every little town in North America. This was completely normal. Of course the family that owns the corner grocery store lives upstairs. Dah. But we almost never see such structures built new … Continue reading The Stealth Triplex
The fire at the Ghost Ship in Oakland, California that claimed thirty six lives touched on several themes that all congealed in one tragic event. But before I get in to the particulars I’m going to take a couple of digressions. A friend left San Francisco a couple of years ago to attend graduate school … Continue reading The Ghost Ship
Many years ago when I was infinitely younger and a lot poorer I rented a little 9′ x 18′ back yard cottage behind an old Victorian in San Francisco. Today you might call it a Tiny House or Micro Flat. But back then it was just a 1930’s potting shed that had been fitted with … Continue reading Affordable Housing That Might Have Been
Back when I was younger and a lot poorer I built a small cottage in rural Hawaii. At the time I didn’t qualify for any sort of mortgage or construction loan so I built incrementally and paid for things over a period of several years on a cash basis. In the end the house cost … Continue reading Building Codes and the Self Built Mortgage Free Home