If you are anything like us, you cry salty tears of mirth and recognition when perusing mcmansionhell.com. The way Kate Wagner offers architectural critique reaches far beyond the easy (and somewhat uninformed snobby) utterances of “It’s just not cool” into the realm of social, political and economic discourse with triumphant humor. She understands the McMansion as a tool employed to boast of moderate wealth and fill holes of self-esteem in situ, free from any deeper design or construction considerations and contemplates their ultimate symbolism of pre-GFC house-as-investment culture which continues to permeate our own country like a virus, all in between outrageously hilarious stabs at bitter families living beneath the chandeliers and marble veneer. If you’d like to hear her in fine action listen to episode #27 of US Modernist Radio.
Last year we fawningly wrote to McMansion Hell, informing Wagner about own MCM battles across the Pacific, which elicited this lovely response;
“Thank you!! This is a super important issue, and I’m glad that you and your colleagues have taken up arms against it in such a public and successful way. You have my full endorsement, and godspeed to you all. Also, I didn’t realize there was such a large number of vibrant MCM buildings in Australia. I’m totally hooked.”
But wait – you say – that link to her website doesn’t work.
And you’d be correct.
Let us explain.
In a similar way we use images of real estate listings to promote our bounty of Australian MCM properties currently on the market or for lease, McMansion Hell does the same – albeit with a more *ahem* educational spin. And it seems inevitable now that the sooky la-la McManion set suddenly feel that their repugnant status castles are beyond critique, that they are more important than any artwork or any celebrities commented about in the daily media and MUST. NOT. BE. LAUGHED. AT. Zillow, that North American real estate UX horrorshow (say what you like about our nation’s real estate websites but hol-y they are a joy to navigate compared to Zillow) have taken steps to lawyer up and come down on Kate Wagner for using their images, as it maybe violates their agreements with the afore mentioned sooky la-las. As a single voice in the entire USA websphere and just making her way in it, Wagner has sadly but prudently taken down McMansionhell.com, until this whole mess can be sorted out.
Can you even fathom such thin-skinned objection to dissenting ideas? Dissenting ideas about architecture?
We at MA, here and now, claim our place next to McMansion Hell, stand up for them (and us) and all who question our built environment, our ‘economic values’ and call out this absurdity for what it is – arbitrary censorship by snowflake. But in the current climate of the USA, it seems winter has well and truly arrived.