The latest installment of the always-delightful McMansion Hell (previously) departs from the usual format of mercilessly skewering the tasteless custom homes of the contemporary super-rich and instead delves into their historic precedent, the 1970s-vintage "proto-McMansion," AKA the "Styled Ranch."
Posts like this are a peek behind the McMansion Hell curtain, giving us a glimpse into Kate Wagner's outstanding critical eye for architecture, its meanings, and its failings.
My grandparents had a not-quite-Styled-Ranch house — smaller than these, and with better proportions — but I instantly recognized the type of house on display here.
This 5,600 square-foot house features 6 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms and can be all yours for ~$1.8 million USD. You'll notice a lot of things about this house that are not McMansion-like: its symmetry, its lack of a complex roofline, its unified exterior claddings and window styles. However, this is why the house is interesting – it is not as much a McMansion as it is a proto-McMansion. Many McMansion features are apparent in their nascent form, for example, the competing architectural styles of Tudor (windows) and Neoclassical (portico, front door, quoins), the tacked-on mass containing the three car garage, an ostentatious pediment with elaborate columns, and extruded double bay windows.
The McMansion Hell Yearbook: 1970 [Kate Wagner/McMansion Hell]