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Supersize My House

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Slate is presenting an interesting essay slideshow on McMansions, the supersized abodes we love to hate.

Why are Americans obsessed with big houses? The booming economy of the 1980s created great personal wealth, and wealth found expression in domestic architecture, as it always does. These large houses were variously referred to as trophy houses, starter castles, and McMansions. It isn’t just that they were big, like their namesake Big Macs; it’s that they celebrated bigness.

The photographs contribute to the story by showcasing some of the worst and some of the not-as-bad, and starts off with some thoughts about Terrell Owens and his doubleplushome in suburban New Jersey. (I live in suburban New Jersey, and that’s likely the only thing I have in common with T.O.)

The essay spends some time focusing on architectural aspects of McMansions (or lack thereof), as the author, Witold Rybczynski, is Slate’s architecture critic. Doesn’t every news magazine website need an architecture critic?

Updated December 20, 2011 and originally published January 5, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

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