Monday, October 22, 2007

That Lovely Old Bungalow, Again

Curious, I looked up the civic plan for the neighborhood in which the bungalow resides. The entire neighborhood is not designated historic, but a few of the major thoroughfares are, and some of the more interesting houses. The lovely old bungalow is one of the historic sites.

The civic plan makes two interesting observations in two separate sections. First, in a description of the district, the planners write that the neighborhood has a disproportionate number of low income residents. Second, in a section describing the historic sections, they wonder why so many of the houses designated historic have not been restored. Could it perhaps have something to do with the high number of poor residents? A look at the tax map shows that many of these houses are owned by older folks who purchased the houses long before the historic designation. I imagine that some of them are rentals, too, though most of them look well kept even if they aren't restored. A couple of the larger houses obviously need a lot of work, the lovely bungalow included.

The planners do say that there are some funding programs available to help residents with restoration, but I wonder if it's enough, especially when a house owner has to choose between feeding and clothing the family verses spending money on fixing up a house beyond basic maintenance?

I've been looking at lots of house blogs and haven't found much discussion of the problems associated with living in a historic district.

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