Rhapsodizing about Retrofit
From: Joani Blank (jeblankic.org)
Date: Sat, 7 Feb 1998 03:25:34 -0600
I've visited N Street, and I think it would be an thoroughly delightful
community to live in, I'd move there in a minute--or to Southside Park in
Sacramento--if I could pull myself away from the Bay Area, and if it
weren't so beastly hot there in the summer. But I have some words of
caution for those of you who occasionally rhapsodize about N Street or read
here the rhapsodizing of others.  I think I remember that when I first
visited there over three years ago, it was already nine years since Kevin
had bought the first house, and then the second, on that block.  Also,
there a remarkable conjunction there of a truly burning soul, an area of
Davis where very little of the housing was owner occupied. and the fact
that Davis is a college town,  

In other words, a number of factors serendipitously combined to make N
Street happen.  Perhaps I'm belaboring this point, but I've talked to a
number of people who seem to think that they could relatively easily locate
a block or an existing condo community or apartment house that they could
relatively rapidly and inexpensively retrofit and convert into cohousing
within just a few months or a couple of years at the most.  I can see this
happening with a very small group of households, perhaps six or fewer but
not with 13-14 units (which in my very personal and humble opinion is the
bare minimum for cohousing to work really well) or more. 

I'd be the last person to discourage any community building that leads to
more cohousing-like living.  Just hope to discourage unrealistic
expectations a bit.

Joani Blank
Old Oakland CoHousing/ Doyle Street CoHousing (SF Bay Area)

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