The Alice Ball House in New Canaan

Recently the NYT carried a story about the plans afoot to demolish a historic mid-century house designed by Philip Johnson in New Canaan, CT. Even the local preservationist, who is generally unhappy with the idea of demolition, can't quite think his way out of the McMansion mindset.

"This is a space that has to be experienced directly," said Gregory Farmer, a preservationist at the Connecticut trust, which lists the Ball house as one of the state’s most threatened treasures, "a space that’s experienced at a very personal level rather than something that’s very impressive to someone passing by on the street. Driving by, it looks like nothing."

Driving by? It looks like nothing? See, this is the problem. These people don't live in actual neighborhoods. They live in houses on roads. And "curb appeal" refers to the impression you get as you zoom past each house in your SUV. Grr.