The corner placement of the porch for one of the houses at the end of a cul-de-sac was striking. An alley segment intersected the bulb of the road end, and across the alley were "The Woods." Even on a cul-de-sac the porch worked the urban border of house and street and forest really nicely, and it felt active, not dead-end sleepy.
|The porch borders the sidewalk,|
an alley, and woods
|Forest Alley off the Cul-de-sac|
|Alley garages! The light blue one on the left is for the porch at top|
|The foursquare looks finished|
|But in the Tour of Homes - it has a large front yard|
Maybe too since for all the other houses on the Tour the front elevations are so dominated by the garage and driveway, it was necessary to add some kind of paved approach to the house. It's not that important in the end, but it's funny.
The Four Quarters
Hopefully the other projects will start building soon so there's a full complement of the "Four Quarters of Fairview." (Pringle Creek, Lindberg Green, and Simpson Hills being the others.)
While it would have been great for the entire Fairview project to be developed as a whole, with one consistent vision, the more I think about it, the more I like the way it has turned into a "theme and variations," with the Fairview Master Plan as theme and each of the four Refinement Plans as the variations.
|Pringle Creek LEED Platinum Home|
The dwellings in the Fairview Addition, at least at the moment, are not pursuing LEED or other certification, and in that way they almost certainly have a bigger carbon footprint. In the appeal to neo-traditionalism, they also trade some on nostalgia. But in the way they deploy car storage and address the sidewalk with large porches and small setbacks, they seem much less autoist - and definitely better for walking.
There are trade-offs.
But the variety means there are different products brought to market that will appeal to different buyers with different preferences. Some features will be more popular than others, and in subsequent phases of the build-out we may see some elements of convergence on the most popular features. Less popular features may drop out. There will also be further innovation. Other developers might find elements to incorporate elsewhere in Salem. The whole thing is something of a lab for Salem green housing.
While it's not going full-on "mad scientist," this element of experimentation is what makes the theme and variations in the Four Quarters of Fairview so very exciting. In the end, the mixed ecosystem of four different developers may result in a better overall project. Once it is all built out, it won't be as "pure" as the original vision, but might well be more vibrant.