Is there Beauty in Concrete?
|From the Anguilla Local News - Site Map.|
"Why are there
so many abandoned construction projects on Anguilla?
Home ownership is widespread in Anguilla, unlike many
other Caribbean islands.
And people often build their own homes, slowly
over time, as they save, with help from their
friends and family. Those
aren't abandoned, they are works in progress. Think of them
as Anguillian bank accounts.
North American suburbs also
claim wide home ownership, but most of the homes are
actually owned by the bank! Mortage-free homes are quite
common in Anguilla.
Look at the three building projects pictured here. One hasn't seen any progress in 3 years. One is being built by a man who works on it a little bit after work each day. And one is already occupied. These aren't blights on the landscape, these are tributes to sturdy middle-class values.
"Why are there pipes sticking up from the roof?"
A common question.
The answer is optimism. Since most people can only afford
a one-story home, but plan to have a
second floor somday, it only makes sense to leave
the rebar and utility conduits sticking out of the roof,
And, eventually, it does happen, and the second floor is
added to the first.
Bunkers versus Cute bungalows.
Next question is invariably, "Why are all new homes made
of concrete block and why are there so few cute little
wooden houses like they show on the postcards?"
According to old-timers, Anguilla used to have lots of
cute little wooden homes. Then along came Hurricane Donna
in 1960 and knocked most of them down. That traumatic
experience convinced an entire generation to try
concrete instead of wood. Hurricane
Luis proved the wisdom of the Anguillian approach. While other
islands were still shell-shocked and homeless, Anguilla
had cleaned up and was back in business.
Revised: September 28, 1997
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|Copyright 1997. Bob Green|