Worst Trend of ’08 (Thus Far): McMansion Turrets

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A funny aside that hits, for us, on two levels: 1) who doesn’t love reading about absurdly tacky trends and 2) for this writer, who lived in Phoenix for more than twenty years, it’s sometimes good to have that groan of “Oh god, it’s so awful, but it’s so true!” What we’re talking about here is an amazingly fun piece by Jaimee Rose in The Arizona Republic, “Our Turret Syndrome.” It’s about the growing movement in new tracts of housing in the Phoenix-area that include adding turrets to the tops of McMansions. It’s a wonderfully funny article, where you can just feel the sad, angry confusion behind each sentence, and then the enjoyable quick quotes from the pained experts:

“They’re absolutely abominable,” says Victor Sidy, dean of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture at Taliesin West.

“Invasions,” says Will Bruder, the Phoenix architect. “We have the authenticity of an original horizon and landscape,” he says, and we muck it up trying to drag in bits of Tuscany or old English lore, houses “where your friends from back East come and say, ‘Gee, we’ve got this in Ohio.’ “

You also get some terrific quotes that, once again, remind us why we’re glad we don’t live there anymore:

“It’s all kind of a joke,” Rogers says, “but that was the conversation about it. We worked out all the details and everything about putting one (gun turret) into our (home’s) turret,” currently home to plant-filled niches, complete with spotlights, a chandelier and a stone-floor medallion that Rogers’ wife adores.

“I would do it if I could,” Rogers says, “if the neighborhood would allow it and somehow I could get up there to use it.