Must New Urbanism look old?

Neal makes a valid point regarding my post, “New Urbanism blooming in Bloomington”:

A neat development in a neat town, but the main problem is that the new houses are old-fashioned looking. What part of “New Urbanism” says it has to look like the thirties?

I know the looks are a response to what suburban building looks like currently, but there is another direction you can take this in — new designs. I would be a lot more attracted to something more fresh looking.

Here’s some housing that’s definitely “fresh,” from useful + agreeable magazine:


But maybe an architect friend or two can point out some other modern designs that would work in an older neighborhood?


  1. These buildings are reminiscent of a gigantic iPod/iPhone wall charger!

    Though it’s not a “modern” design, I’ve always been a fan of 20th/21st century Cape Cod architecture.


  2. The fact that the structures themselves are usually new is a part of what attracts people to New Urbanism. I don’t know that the buildings have to look “old” but thy do need to have some distinctive character.


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