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Let's All Argue About Joe Farrell Now

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A friend once opined regarding Pottery Barn, "You can't go wrong there!" We said, "If you can't go wrong, that means you can't go really right." That's how we feel about the McMansions built by local titan Joe Farrell. They're the housing equivalent of a Pottery Barn chair: pleasant enough but not interesting nor memorable. Mr. Farrell, quoted in the New York Times, says of his houses, "Someone's going to build them. I just happen to be building a lot of them, and people are buying them." He makes a convenient target for people worried about overbuilding, architectural snobs, the envious, Wall Street critics, you name it. Meanwhile, he employs hundreds of local people and seems to be fulfilling a need. Yes, the houses are all pretty same-y, but if people want a house that's similar to their friend's house, so what? Blame middlebrow Pottery Barn taste, not the builder.
· Hamptons McMansions Herald the Return of Excess [NYT]