From American Dream to Arrested Development: An Architectural Roundup From American Dream to Arrested Development: An Architectural Roundup
Design

From American Dream to Arrested Development: An Architectural Roundup

by Jenna McKnight

May 29, 2013

Photo by Laura Segall/Bloomberg via Getty Images


Photo by Rich Pedroncelli

With California City, sociology professor and real estate developer Nat Mendelsohn thought he was master-planning the Mojave Desert into a model city to rival Los Angeles. Today, a grid of crumbling paved roads surrounds a Central Park, complete with a 26-acre artificial lake. The city’s skeletal sprawl allows it to claim the title of California’s third-largest geographic city.


In the “ring of death” of exurban ventures that strangled Atlanta following the sub-prime mortgage crisis, the community of WaterLace stood out for its scant 13 houses, which were originally meant to be part of a community of 400 families. Fields of weeds and unrealized blueprints for a clubhouse with a pool and tennis courts make for an uneasy landscape.


Perhaps a battle lost within California’s Inland Empire, the Rosena Ranch suburb just outside the Rialto city limits only realized 10 percent of the planned gargantuan houses. The empty lawns leave the sparse residents stunning views of the adjacent San Bernardino Mountains. The recent MoMA exhibition “Foreclosed” used this development as a case study for reconsidering suburbanism.


Photo by Bill Sanders

The rural plains surrounding Foristell, Missouri didn’t provide the economic spark to get the subdivision of Liberty off the ground. Despite the original 2006 plans to build over 1,000 homes, only a functioning post office remains.


Photo by Chris Lee

 
Written by Steven Thomson for Architizer
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From American Dream to Arrested Development: An Architectural Roundup