Ranches, Heaven Forbid!

constructionThe Star- Ledger had a nice story today about the $2.2 million spec house that’s being built on the corner of Old Oak Rd. and Ridgewood Ave. in Glen Ridge. The house will replace an L-shaped ranch house, which was torn down to make way for the new construction. What the Barista didn’t know (though living quite nearby) was the particular low esteem with which ranch houses are regarded in the hood.
The story quotes John Payne, chair of the Glen Ridge Historic Commission, saying the ranch-house — “a one-story building in a two-story neighborhood” — was “the wrong scale.”

“The commission saw this as an opportunity to correct an error,” said Payne. The commission has final say over any demolitions in the district.
Reading from a house-by-house survey taken when the district was formed in 1987, Payne had this to say about the ranch, which was torn down a few months ago: “An L-shaped, vernacular ranch. That’s all the consultant could bear to say about it.”

Well, it’s always been pretty obvious that certain things — like multi-colored Christmas lights — aren’t tolerated too well in aesthetically-persnickety Glen Ridge. But we didn’t know ranch houses were so reviled. If we lived in either of the two houses next to the one that was torn down (both on Old Oak, shown right) we might be just a tad nervous.
ranch_1
ranch_2
Pictured above, the builder Charles Schaafsma, with his son Frankie.

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