Scary Mansard Roofs

In keeping with today’s Halloween theme, here are a few “mansard” roofs which should be enough to make even the most hardened Trick-or-Treater think twice before knocking:

 

How much did it cost to uglify this duplex with this bizarre appendage and what benefit was ostensibly gained from it?
How much did it cost to uglify this former single-family house with this bizarre appendage and what benefit was ostensibly gained from it?

 

A bit top-heavy, don't you think? Weird.
A bit top-heavy, don’t you think? Weird.

 

Was this mansard-roofed garage addition supposed to somehow "respect" the house it is attached to?
Was this mansard-roofed garage addition supposed to somehow “respect” the house it is attached to?

 

The following mansard-like roofs were grafted onto commercial structures rather than houses, but that doesn’t make them any less scary!  Sorry about the poor image quality; these photos were all taken before I got a better camera:

 

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Not only is the “mansard” appendage bad, but what was done to the rest of this brick building is equally appalling.

 

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Oh, guys? When you’re done adding the “mansard” roof to the front, could you board up all the second floor windows and stick a porch light in the exact center of each one? Thanks – it will make the building so much more attractive!

 

Yes, there is a Victorian-era commercial storefront buried beneath this thing.
Yes, there is a Victorian-era commercial storefront buried beneath this thing.

 

 

Don’t care for Romanesque arches? No worries – just neuter them with paint and a mansardesque roof appendage!

 

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This is just plain silly. But also scary because it actually happened.

 

 

 

 

5 Responses to Scary Mansard Roofs

  1. OK. That Romanesque “update” is criminal, and whoever did it was, I hope, tossed in jail for life.

    The first image made me recoil in shock.

  2. I live right next to a development of 60 second empire twins, of which one is still original. Some of them were updated in the 70’s with the concavity of the mansards flattened out, cornices removed, and windows recessed in behind them. On the bright side, only 1 is gone and 1 other altered completely beyond recognition, and those 2 are attached to each other.

    • Philly has some great houses! I used to love visiting on occasion when I lived in Baltimore, which has a similar housing stock. I would often get depressed at the general lack of interest in preserving the amazing built heritage of both cities. There is a similar lack of interest where I live now, but there aren’t as many good buildings here, either! Nice blog, by the way!

      • Thank you! I’ve been frustrated trying to research a few things related to the architectural history of very modest houses like mine. Any pointers? I did go to the Athenaeum and get a photo of the floor plans of the Philadelphia rowhouse in the exhibition in Chicago

        • I share your frustration… I have always been drawn to historic houses and buildings which were modest in nature; those buildings tell us much more about what life was like for the average person than the huge, styled, architect-designed showplaces that preservationists tend to favor. I might have a few books which could be of interest, I will take a look tomorrow as I continue to unpack them (I’m in the midst of moving and am dragging the process out to a painful extreme). Three books comes to mind, though they are about Baltimore rowhouses rather than those in Philadelphia (though their architectural histories are quite similar). The books are Those Placid Old Rows by Natalie Shivers, Baltimore’s Alley Houses by Mary Ellen Hayward and The Baltimore Rowhouse by Charles Belfoure. There is a lot more to the history of the rowhouse than most people would ever begin to imagine! I miss mine a good deal sometimes.

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