Re: Cornerstone's problems
From: Diane Q Simpson (
Date: Sat, 13 May 95 20:40 CDT
This is a question in reply to joani's comment that living upstairs in a 
dense cohousing development (for her) detracted from the sense of 
community. I am wondering why that is.
My name is Diane Simpson, and I have posted a couple of letters to the 
list, but nothing very extensive, because I do not belong to a cohousing 
group. My husband and I along with another couple from Boston (Mike 
Bainum & Rebecca Seybolt) are very much interested in developing a 
cohousing community in Boston, and for that reason we toured the Pioneer 
Valley cohousing development (now called"the cohousing community at 
Cherry Hill") and the Pine Street cohousing community.
At the Cherry Hill cohousing community they had two-story dwellings, but 
many of the dwellings had porches that enabled second-story dwellers to 
come out and see what was going on--in effect to be a part of the 
community without having to necessarily be down on the ground level. 
Granted, you're much more involved with your neighbors when you're down 
on the street, but I didn't get a sense that people would feel isolated 
or separated from their neighbors simply by being on the second story. I 
think alot of it depends on how you design the porches. If they have low 
railings and are not screened-in so you can wave to your neighbors as 
they go by, that makes for more interaction. Or, if they're structured so 
that they're adjacent to other second-story porches so that you can talk 
to one another from your porches, that's another way to build closeness 
into the development despite the two-story buildings.
I too, am very sorry to hear about Cornerstone's problems, but, lacking 
experience in the cohousing development process I cannot offer you any 
specific advice. My feeling is that you should hang in there and try to 
weather this latest crisis because you've been through so much as a group 
already. A lot of groups fall apart before they've even put any money 
into the project, and your group has a significant amount of core members.
Do you have a mission statement? Why do you want to live together? The 
reason I am asking you this is because, if there was something in your 
mission statement that said what was your original purpose in forming 
this cohousing community, perhaps you could use that to clarify your 
current goals and figure out what you should do in order to stay on track 
towards your original mission.
I am sure I will be sending many postings to cohousing-list in the future 
as Mike &Rebecca & Dave & I try to clarify what it is that we are seeking 
from cohousing, and I hope that your group succeeds in this endeavor also.

                                                   ~~~~~~~~~Diane Simpson:.) 

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