We here at The Clam have been watching with interest the proposals for affordable housing at the Cameron’s site. More specifically, we’ve been watching the reactions to the proposal with interest. The project is, as you may have guessed, meeting a lot of resistance from local residents.
Recently, images emerged which represent the basic layout and shape of the proposed structure. They literally made the drawing lime green and orange, and included exactly zero architectural features which would define this as a building. It’s essentially a representation of the mass and spatial occupation of the proposed building.
Seriously, there are no windows or doors. It’s just a shape. A green and orange shape.
The beauty of the local dissension is twofold, really. First, a lot of people apparently cannot fathom that this big green and orange windowless, doorless shape in the pictures is not actually how the building will look. It’s delightful.
Secondly, there’s a big dose of ugly classism being disguised as concern for the logistical soundness of the plan. This is less delightful, though not entirely surprising to be honest.
Below are actual comments from your fellow townspeople, lifted from the internet, with helpful translation as to what they really mean.
” Is “Affordable” a fancy word for Section 8?” – Translation -“Keep the poors out of downtown. Also I’m probably a little bit racist.”
“Why is it so ugly? And where are the windows?” – Translation – “I’m dumb “
“Keep housing off Main Street !” Translation – “The new housing I mean. All those people who live there already are obviously not scary poor folks, they’re Gloucester locals. “
“No more section 8 in Gloucester” Translation – “I dislike poors in general. Also I’m kind of racist. No I’m a lot racist.”
“awful design! No windows. Lime green and orange!! No charm, In a charming city. Please don’t build this!!” Translation – “I actually believe this is a design which would be built, this actual green and orange box is something I think could come to fruition.”
” how can this even meet code…no windows. ..what if there is a fire..how do you get out…how does it get vented other than thru the roof…are the architect’s crazy. ..or just dumb..A kindergarten could do better” Translation – “I think I’m being clever in pointing out building code violations.”
” Ugly. Just plain ugly. And, although they might be well intentions, to bring affordable housing, these things usually don’t end up well. Check out Red Road flats in Scotland, Divis flats in Ireland, and the Projects in Southie.” Translation – “Poor people just don’t know how to behave.”
“Kids need green space and elderly do not need to inhale toxic fumes. Downtown is not the right spot for housing!” Translation – “WON’T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!?”
“Not to mention that fire code requires windows and fire escapes on anything two or more floors…at least in NYC’ Translation – “I don’t know how you bumpkins do it, but us city folk have things like windows on our buildings.”
“My Mother was born in Gloucester. I wish I could have a say in this.” Translation – “Native born Gloucester people are more important than transplants.”
We thought some of these folks may want to make counter proposals, as you do when something is so important to you. We’re helpfully providing some examples which we think they’ll find to be much more suitable for Affordable Housing, so that they can make a nice presentation for City Hall. Obviously these should be nowhere near Downtown. Maybe Dogtown or West Gloucester. You’re welcome!