In J.B. Jackson’s article the westward moving house, three homes of successive generations of the Tinkham family are described. These homes span hundreds of years, radical improvements in technology, and vastly altered social and economic realities. The article analyzes three aspects of the home and family; Socio-Cultural, Economic, and Structural.
As a recent first-time home buyer with a familial heritage similar to the Tinkham’s it seems natural to turn this lens on my own home.
The recession has had a devastating effect on the economic situation of my generation. This has led to stagnating wages, much higher rates of renting and lower rates of saving. Until recently I fit squarely within those trends. It was only a stroke of luck that allowed my exit from this state of affairs.
The increasing trend of postponing marriage or avoiding it all together has major implications in housing development. Additionally, younger generations have an interest in downtown living that their parents didn’t have. I fit squarely in both of those trends. When house shopping last summer, easy access to transit, close proximity to an urban care, and low maintenance were highly important to me.
I purchased a studio condo in the Salt Lake downtown area that was next to the Salt Lake Library, 1 block from a transit stop, and close proximity to school, shopping, food, and all the amenities I need. With nine foot ceilings, large windows, open kitchen plan, white walls, light cabinetry and a half wall between the living and sleeping areas, the condo has a spacious, breezy feel that is very conducive to single living.
While this is merely a cursory look at my condo through the lense of JB Jackson’s work it points towards a changing taste in dwelling preferences and hints at the impact of economic turmoil. Another interesting wrinkle is that I don’t expect to live here for more than eight years, it remains to be seen how my own dwelling, and those of society in general, evolve as this current generation ages up.