Is Commonspace cohousing? [was: We're in Time!
From: Fred H Olson (
Date: Sun, 19 Nov 2017 06:44:34 -0800 (PST)
On 18 Nov 2017 Linda Hobbet <linda [at]> wrote on the
Cohousing-L mailing list:
( )

> Time Magazine has an article on intentional communities and Village
> Hearth (Durham, NC) got a mention! Nov 27 issue, page 24. There is an
> expanded version online, which, considering how brief the mention, got
> a lot wrong, but still it's a mention,
> .

>From the first paragraph of the article:
>At one place in Syracuse, all of that [social interaction] happens on
>those long snow-filled nights. That place is Commonspace, a
>"co-housing" community on the fourth and fifth floors of a restored
>19th-century office building.

I've only skimmed the article so far but the quote above got my
attention and I got sidetracked investigating:

Is Commonspace cohousing? ( )

It's not listed in the Cohousing directory
( ) Does it have Participatory Process
and Resident Management ? ( see definition of cohousing quoted below )
Their website gives me the impression that it may not.  Does anyone
have more familiarity and insight?

Last night we visited friends in their 120(?) unit condo complex.
These friends are are interested in cohousing (and who I hope may move
to Bassett Creek Cohousing when we get it built).

Their condo complex has a number of attractive features.
We got a tour including the party room and the courtyard.
Our discussion naturally compared it to cohousing. They talked a bit
about the resident group and changes over time. They mentioned the
original two staff people who were friendly and accomodating. But
these staff people have moved on and their replacements are more rigid
and much less accomodating. If you don't effectively have control by
residents, things can devolve with little recourse.

In light of this, I wonder ...  Is Commonspace cohousing?

My hunch is that no, it is not cohousing tho it is cohousing-like
with a big footnote.

This is not to say that Commonspace is not a desireable alternative.


Cohousing definition from

> In order for the term "Cohousing" to apply to a particular community,
>the community must have the following Six Defining Characteristics:
>1 - Participatory Process: residents participate in the design of
>their community
>2 - Neighborhood Design: the physical layout of buildings encourage a
>sense of community
>3 - Common Facilities: includes a Common House; supplemental to
>private homes; designed for daily use
>4 - Resident Management: residents manage and do much of the
>maintaining of the community themselves
>5 - Non-Hierarchical Structure and Decision-Making: consensus is the
>primary means of decision-making; responsibilities are distributed
>according to skills, interests, and abilities.
>6 - No Shared Community Economy: the community is not a source of
>income for its members

Bassett Creek Cohousing, Minneapolis
Fred H. Olson  Minneapolis,MN 55411  USA        (near north Mpls)
     Email:        fholson at      612-588-9532
My Link Pg:

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