|Busy rooflines, "sandwich grid" divided lite windows, and lots of|
plywood siding: The beginning of 80s Retro Revival.
Somewhere, somehow, the members of my Baby Boom generation learned to hate Modernism. Maybe we got sick of bland white walls, moldings the size of popsicle sticks, and hollow doors you could put your fist through. Maybe we fell in love with the old Victorians or Bungalows of our grandparents, just as Millennials have fallen head over heels for Mid-Century Modern houses. At any rate, by the mid-70s there was already a growing disaffection with the kind of tract homes so many of us were growing up in.
|The first sign of a rebellion against|
Modernism: Molded door trim
replacing the earlier, plain profiles.
Well, we all grew up, and guess what? Most of us still live in stupid tract houses. But in some sense, we did get our way. By voting with our wallets, we got developers to change the way those stupid tract houses looked.
|The 1980s also brought us the molded 6-panel door,|
along with a host of other patterns. They've been with us
In 1978, California’s Title 24 energy efficiency standards mandated the use of double-pane windows, so manufacturers took the opportunity to sandwich fake “divided lites” between the two layers of glass. Such retro-look windows were a natural complement to the new, more traditional doors and moldings, and they quickly became a hallmark of 80s-era tract homes.
|"Sandwich Grid" windows: Another 80's-era hallmark.|
And alas, still with us.
(Image courtesy of greenstarlouisville.com)
|Today's mania for crown moldings—|
whether or not they're appropriate
to the style of the house—also
dates back to the 80's.
These houses also kicked off the ever-increasing bloat in home sizes, best evidenced in today's absurdly pompous master suites as compared to those of the mid-century era.
Home styles of the 80s are also culpable for the ever more haphazard way in which ornament is being used in architecture today—a longstanding trend for which baby boomers have only themselves to blame.