|REGARDING FENCES||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: The CoHousing Company (cohocohousingco.com)|
|Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 12:21:14 -0500|
There are a variety of interpretations of Robert Frost's poem "Good fences make good neighbors". The most convincing one suggests that for some, the only communitarianism to be achieved with your neighbor is when repairing your fences. When Robert Frost wrote that poem he lived on a farm in Ireland. For years he spoke to the adjacent farmer and neighbor exactly once a year. Each year they would repair the rock wall that separated the two farms. Throughout the winter, rocks would fall from the top. Each spring, they would walk the length of the wall, each walking on their own side. All day they lifted the stones that had fallen on their side of the wall and put each one back on top of the wall. Along the way they discussed the issues of the day, got to know each other again, and discussed their own lives. The repairing of the fence (make "the good fence") was their single excuse to commune. In remaking the good fence they remade their relationship albeit brief. Cohousers have so many other excuses to be together, they do not need fences. Further, we have rarely heard of anyone who complained of lack of privacy in cohousing and certainly you can accomplish that without fences. The first two cohousing communities in Denmark were planned to have fences. The first one decided to build theirs later because of budget constraints, the second community choose to wait so they could add fences after construction so that they could place them appropriately like a sculpture adds a bit of clay based on the bust created so far Only one of those 60 houses ever built a fence. As one Danish architect told me "if you need fences, you probably have an underconsidered site plan and too much money." Charles Durrett The CoHousing Company "Architectural Design and Consulting Services towards the formation of CoHousing Communities" email: coho [at] cohousingco.com web site: www.cohousingco.com tel. 510-549-9980, fax 510-549-2140 1250 Addison St. #113 Berkeley, CA 94702
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