During my time as a Boston resident I was emersed in so much rich American history. Looking up at the beautiful brownstones along Comm. Ave. (Commonwealth) I took on a different appreciation on “traditional” design vs. modern and contemporary. Homes in Cambridge, Boston, and throughout the whole East Coast carry great historical architectural elements that you wouldn’t see out here in the West Coast unless it was a “custom” built home.
Boston is composed by different layers of history which is reflected through their neighborhoods and architecture. There are many architectural styles, however the 4 main influences that mark historical landmarks and important government buildings are in the Post Medieval style, Georgian, Federal, and the Revival styles. Don’t get me started on talking about the Revival style because its composed of 10 different styles within that “architectural bracket” You’ll never finish reading this post! That’s a history lesson on itself… but what I will do, is post random blogs on the different Revival styles so I won’t bore you and keep it interesting…. If you are into that sort of thing.
Anywho… Boston Brownstones are very dear to my heart, the whole city is actually. I am not a Boston Celtics or New England Patriots fan, but the city calls out to my soul and makes me very happy when I am visiting.
As I strolled down Comm. Ave. taking mental notes on the fine craftsmanship these homes have, I stood there comparing these homes to LA’s finest; Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Rancho Palos Verdes, The Hollywood Hills, etc.. and thought to myself; these dwellings are somewhat narrow (compared to LA mansions) limited parking space, and are on the traditional side (not everyone’s cup of tea), However they will always have this country’s history to back them up, they will always be important cultural institutions, and they will always remain as they are until the end of time. Nobody can destroy that part of history. To make exterior (and sometimes interior) alterations to your home in Boston or Cambridge, you need to go through a historical preservation hearing in order to get it approved and that my friends is difficult to achieve if it’s “too modern” for their taste… even if it’s your OWN home!
That’s enough of Boston for the moment… just one more thing. A brownstone is a building material that is composed of a sandstone and its brown!
So the new, the glam, and the fab belong in LA, where many of us interior designers are hoping to get our hands on to design and re-design again when the rich and famous get tired of it! I am in no way bashing our city’s glam based culture… I embrace it and thanks to that, I can put my passion to practice and design my way through life.