Re: Common function areas in neighborhoods?
From: Kathryn McCamant (kmccamantCOHOUSING-SOLUTIONS.COM)
Date: Fri, 28 Aug 2015 10:47:38 -0700 (PDT)
There are some very interesting examples written about by Dolores Hayden
in one of her earlier books (Redesigning the American Dream, The Grand
Domestic Revolution and numerous other books) that describes a number of
³dining clubs² created in the late 1800s thru the early 1900s when women
were working to get the vote and found they needed to find a way to free
up some of the time to work for the vote and hired help was getting to
expensive for middle class families. So they organized dining clubs in
their neighborhoods where they would either purchase a home specifically
for that purpose (their common house) or a family would offer their back
room or such for the shared dining room. There were actually quite a few
of these that lasted quite a while.

I agree with what others have said about having a neutral space that is
owned emotionally (if not also financially) by all of us where people can
come and go thru time make a common house uniqueŠ.but you could create
that in an existing neighborhood by converting a garage or basement or
other under utilized space.

Hayden¹s books are really interesting and I highly recommend reading them.
Her Redesigning the American Dream came out in the early 80¹s when we were
researching and writing our first cohousing book, and I underlined much of
the book. 

Kathryn McCamant, President
CoHousing Solutions
241B Commercial Street
Nevada City, CA 95959
T.530.478.1970  C.916.798.4755

On 8/28/15, 9:43 AM, "Cohousing-L on behalf of Richart Keller"
< [at] on
behalf of richart.keller [at]> wrote:

>Just a thought...
>One of the most important aspects of cohousing is the Common House.  It is
>a key facility which differentiates cohousing from other types of housing,
>neighborhoods, and communities.  By providing facilities in which
>interact in various ways--including the mailroom,  the kitchen/dining
>meeting rooms, laundry room, playroom for kids, etc. etc.--it is an
>important vehicle for building and sustaining social capital within the
>Are there ways in which such facilities could be provided within existing
>or new neighborhoods or housing developments?
>Perhaps this would expand opportunities for building community and provide
>an alternative to forming groups who are not able to gather enough folks
>create a full-blown cohousing community.
>Such facilities could also strengthen the sense of community in some
>cooperative housing and other non-cohousing neighborhoods.  They might
>provide a way to strengthen affordable housing developments...
>Rick Keller
>Pioneer Valley Cohousing
>Amherst MA
>Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:

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