Howard Mansfield's Reviews > The Perfect $100,000 House: A Trip Across America and Back in Pursuit of a Place to Call Home

The Perfect $100,000 House by Karrie Jacobs
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's review
Apr 02, 2012

really liked it

The author, a former editor of Dwell magazine, hits the road in search of an honest, affordable Modern house. Call it Blueprint Highways. The architects she visits in Seattle, Denver, Austin and Alabama are doing brave, fascinating things. She’s honest enough to express her doubts or air her reservations, and let us know when she’s rooting for the architects.

The strength of Jacob’s $100,000 House is her incisive understanding of Modernism and, surprisingly, tract houses. She says that the few Modern houses built today have the manners but not the mission. They pose Modern, but it’s all about style. These are one-off houses for the well-off which photograph so well in magazines. But the Moderns were concerned with housing the masses. They were concerned with comfort, but didn’t make a fetish of it. The Modern poseur has good finishes, but its true ancestor sought to make good spaces for living in modest square footage.
Does she find the perfect 100,000 house? Well, almost.
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