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Celebrate Good Times: Come On!

Interesting assessment on Slate today (here) of the Disney-developed planned community Celebration. It's from their architecture critic, the always-readable Witold Rybczynski, who likes the town more than a cynic might expect (though he does go for the inevitable Main-Street-at-Disneyland lead). His main complaint: it's too damn popular:

Like all American real-estate ventures since colonial days, it's a mixture of vision, business, and blarney. The design and planning are an order of magnitude better than what is usual in planned communities. If there is a trickle-down effect—and the financial success of Celebration has not gone unnoticed by commercial homebuilders—Celebration may push developers in the direction of denser, more varied, and better designed suburban communities, which will be a good thing. But Celebration is hardly the model for the future that Disney intended. A four-bedroom house on a small lot—like the relatively modest Craftsman-style Bungalow pictured here, hardly a McMansion—now sells for $450,000. This is more than three times the average selling price of houses in metropolitan areas nationwide, which is currently $140,000, making Celebration the residential equivalent of a Lexus. The truth is that despite its best efforts, the populist Disney Co. has produced an elitist product.
Anonymous | February 10, 2005, 11am PST
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Interesting assessment on Slate today (here) of the Disney-developed planned community Celebration. It's from their architecture critic, the always-readable Witold Rybczynski, who likes the town more than a cynic might expect (though he does go for the inevitable Main-Street-at-Disneyland lead). His main complaint: it's too damn popular:

Like all American real-estate ventures since colonial days, it's a mixture of vision, business, and blarney. The design and planning are an order of magnitude better than what is usual in planned communities. If there is a trickle-down effectâ€"and the financial success of Celebration has not gone unnoticed by commercial homebuildersâ€"Celebration may push developers in the direction of denser, more varied, and better designed suburban communities, which will be a good thing. But Celebration is hardly the model for the future that Disney intended. A four-bedroom house on a small lotâ€"like the relatively modest Craftsman-style Bungalow pictured here, hardly a McMansionâ€"now sells for $450,000. This is more than three times the average selling price of houses in metropolitan areas nationwide, which is currently $140,000, making Celebration the residential equivalent of a Lexus. The truth is that despite its best efforts, the populist Disney Co. has produced an elitist product.
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