The Null Device

Things that look like houses but aren't

In Toronto, Canada, the local electric utilities have a tradition of disguising power substations as suburban houses, complete with balconies, windows and gardens. Known as "bungalow-style substations", the facilities have been built over many decades, in whatever style fit in best at the time, and according to a commenter, even hire someone to "live" in the houses on Halloween and hand out candy.

Meanwhile, in London, there is 23-24 Leinster Gardens, W2, where two terrace houses were demolished in 1867 to make what is now the District Line, and replaced with a convincing-looking and well kept-up façade.

When I lived at the end of Holden Street, North Fitzroy (map here), there was a house across the road which was condemned because it stood in the way of maintaining/replacing a water main that ran immediately beneath it. It had stood there for a year or two at least, slowly falling apart, no light emanating from its windows; at one point, a notice was attached to its front, detailing a plan to, after demolishing the house, build a façade across the front of the lot, in keeping with the neighbourhood's character. I don't know whether this has happened, or whether there is now a convincing pseudohouse in North Fitzroy; as of August 2004, the empty house was still standing, slowly, sadly falling apart.

There are 1 comments on "Things that look like houses but aren't":

Posted by: kstop Tue Jun 13 19:30:22 2006

Dublin has a telephone switch building smack dab in the middle of the Temple Bar tourist trap, it's in an old brick building that fits the character of the area a lot better than some of the refurbished buildings around it. But they don't make any attempt to hide the racks inside, so it looks like a Georgian brick case mod for a supercomputer.

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