The Bernstein Family
August 1996 - September 2001
Our first home was in a new development in Bowie, MD. Bowie itself is significant as a Levitt development - the same people that brought you Levittown, NY, the famous post-war development that practically invented the romantic concept of surburbia. Cookie cutter houses, front lawns, driveways and curvilinear streets.
July 2008 - present
We've gone from traditional surburbia to fake urbanism to the middle of Washington, DC in a true historic urban neighborhood. Georgetown, founded in 1751 as a Maryland port town, became part of the new District of Columbia when the federal city was created. The neighborhood, a National Register Historic District, is a mixture of Federal (early 1800s) and Victorian (late 1800s) architecture. Our home was built in 1893 in a development known as "Cooke's Addition" in Georgetown Heights. Right now we are having our kitchen remodeled. Follow along via the Instagram feed on the right.
November 2002 - July 2008
The neo-traditional neighborhood was a relatively new architectural/urban development trend brought to the forefront by architects Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberg. The Miami-based husband-and-wife team pioneered the New Urbanist movement and planned most of its East Coast communities. The movement started in response to the typical suburban developments by Levittown to move back to a urban feel. The concepts behind the neo-traditional neighborhood are to expand common space, bring homes closer together, widen sidewalks and narrow streets. These concepts are designed to create a sense of community by creating a neighborhood that will bring people out of their homes and into the public spaces. New Urbanist neighborhoods dispense with the elements commonly associated with surburbia such as curving streets and cul-de-sacs, returning instead to the gridded streets of traditional communities. Most of the houses in the community also do away with the eye sore that is the two-car garage moving them from the front of the house to the back with access from a common alley. On the houses that do have them (like ours), the garage is not the focal point and is purposefully set back from the street. Another common feature is the front porch. For more information on the New Urbanist movement, visit the Congress of New Urbanism.