« McMansion / Harvard Joint | Main | When it comes to new homes, bigger is again better. The median size of new homes built for sale peaked in 2007 at 2,295 square feet, then fell to 2,159 two years later, after the housing crisis hit. »

New urban Bronx

The development is being carved out of a 16-acre forest called Chapel Farms, whose past owners include the founders of the Theosophical Society.


Fieldston, a neighborhood of majestic oaks and winding privately owned streets in the northwest Bronx, is prized for its quiet country-in-the-city atmosphere, as well as its early 20th-century architecture and proximity to prestigious public and private schools. In April 2006, Fieldston was designated a historic district by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Mr. Moerdler of Community Board 8 said that complaints from Fieldston residents about the development had diminished. He said the opposition had its origins in concerns about a "deforestation program" of the property, which resulted in water runoff from the construction sites after heavy rains.

When asked to explain the difference between the houses of Villanova Heights and so-called McMansions, Mr. Stern said: "This is not a house for the Sopranos. These houses have fine detailing; they are based on creative interpretation of traditional designs."

He said that Villanova Heights was the kind of development that New Urbanists "would like to see happen around the country, where you have a relatively small property and the houses have a strong relationship to street, with clearly identified front doors."

He added that although the houses have three-car garages, they are "tucked around" toward the back of the house, and partially hidden from street view.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)