Dec 30, 2023Liked by Étienne Fortier-Dubois

I enjoyed reading you this year! Continue putting art in your post, please 🎨

The texts that I remember most are the proto-industrialisation, the cemetery poems, Jane Jacobs reviews, the French cuisine, the beautiful/ugly hospital and 1001 nights.

I look forward to read you in 2024! (Specially the text on science fiction😉)

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Dec 28, 2023Liked by Étienne Fortier-Dubois

will read all of these!

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Re the expense of architectural ornamentation, this is something I've wondered about a lot as well. My wife and I are currently in the initial stages of a house-hunt, and we keep finding these gorgeous old Victorian-era houses with incredible ornamentation on moldings, door and window frames, banisters etc. Unfortunately they're all old, which typically means they're maintenance nightmares and cost a mint to heat in the winter, so we probably wouldn't be able to afford owning one. Unfortunately people don't really build those any more, we've wondered whether it's primarily due to cost or just that kind of ornamentation going out of fashion.

Unfortunately I don't have any idea how you'd calculate the cost. In fact, I'm not even sure it's possible in the general case, since there are a lot of different styles of ornamentation and it's quite conceivable that one might be significantly more expensive than another.

So what if you take a different tack? Pick a particular style that's heavy on ornamentation (I'm partial to the Victorian myself), then try to figure out how expensive it would be to build. Then maybe you could do a hypothetical estimate where that style is back in fashion and so has all the advantages of mass-production, CAD/CNC fabrication processes, etc.

I'd also personally be very interested in how much it *actually* cost to build such a house back in the day, and where that would have placed the owner in terms of their economic class. Were these just the houses of the 1% back then, and they're cheaper now because they're such a pain to maintain? Or were they something that e.g. a middle-class family could realistically afford?

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