Last Harvest: How a Cornfield Became New Daleville: Real Estate Development in America from George Washington to the Builders of the Twenty-first Century, and Why We Live in Houses Anyway
Last Harvest How a Cornfield Became New Daleville Real Estate Development in America from George Washington to the Builders of the Twenty-first Century and Why We Live in Houses Anyway Author:Witold Rybczynski In Last Harvest, the award-winning author of Home and A Clearing in the Distance tells the compelling story of New Daleville, a brand-new residential subdivision in rural Pennsylvania. When Witold Rybczynski first heard about New Daleville, it was only a developer's idea, attached to ninety acres of cornfield an hour and a h... more »alf west of Philadelphia. Over the course of five years, Rybczynski met everyone involved in the transformation of this land -- from the developers, to the community leaders whose approvals they needed, to the home builders and sewage experts and, ultimately, the first families who moved in.Always eloquent and illuminating, Rybczynski looks at this "neotraditional" project, with its houses built close together to encourage a sense of intimacy and community, and explains the trends in American domestic architecture -- from where we place our kitchens and fences to why our bathrooms get larger every year.As Publishers Weekly said, "Rybczynski provides historical and cultural perspective in a style reminiscent of Malcolm Gladwell, debunking the myth of urban sprawl and explaining American homeowners' preference for single-family dwellings. But Rybczynski also excels at 'the close-up,' John McPhee's method of reporting, where every interview reads like an intimate conversation, and a simple walk down neighborhood sidewalks can reveal a wealth of history."Last Harvest is a charming must-read for anyone interested in where we live today -- and why -- by one of our most acclaimed and original cultural writers.« less
Mary L. (marymix) - , reviewed Last Harvest: How a Cornfield Became New Daleville: Real Estate Development in America from George Washington to the Builders of the Twenty-first Century, and Why We Live in Houses Anyway on + 21 more book reviews
I wouldn't call this a compelling story, but it certainly is interesting to watch the whole process of development, especially since the story goes from 2001 through 2007 - right up to the brink of the housing bust. Apparently the community is now nearly completely built. There is even a facebook page for "The Real Housewives of New Daleville"
I found some of the historical information to be fascinating and I wish there had been more of that.