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  • Why Shutters? Update 1

    Posted on July 8th, 2010 Toby Weiss 7 comments
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    Here’s a perfectly respectable former bank building in downtown Granite City, IL. It’s heartwarming to see it still in use. But let’s take a closer look at the great insult to its dignity.

    The pawn shop put SHUTTERS ON ITS WINDOWS!  Extreme outrage and towering incredulity at such a moronic move makes me weep, and only because I was with a friend, did I refrain from going inside to ask the following questions:
    Why, Jim?
    Why not on the 2nd floor as well?
    What was your inspiration?
    What was the motivation for this expenditure?
    How long did you contemplate buying the shutters before swinging into action?
    What was so wrong with the building that you feel it required shutters?
    Have these shutters benefited your business in a positive way?
    In quiet moments, can you hear the building weeping?

    Granite, limestone and cheap ass plastic shutters – breathtaking, really. The thought of how difficult it was to drill through all that solid rock to install forest green vinyl exclamation points just makes this a dubious achievement. I want to make a citizen’s arrest.

    Meanwhile, over in Kirkwood, I was initially elated to see all the shutters removed from this house.

    I’ve covered this house before, noting how scary it must be for them to have that bulbous, steroidal Victorian breathing down its neck. Click to see how it looked with shutters.

    This street is Teardown Central of Kirkwood, so when this unassuming ranch went up for sale, I was deeply worried. Luckily, someone bought it and obviously intend to keep it, because a sign for the painting contractor is in the yard, and that’s a fresh coat of gray on the brick.

    Considering that all of the shutters are resting neatly by their intended, I’m guessing the shutters are going back up. But I want to ask the new owners, “Seriously, does the house look all that bad without them? Maybe live without them for a month and see how you feel about mussing up the new paint job?”

    I was overcome with the overwhelming urge to steal the shutters; throw them in the trunk of my car and speed off. But this is Kirkwood, so there’s lots of eyes on the street, and that would be a criminal activity that could land my butt in jail. And as much as I loathe shutters, I couldn’t face being permanently branded as an illogical lunatic. I realized my argument about most shutters being illogical just wouldn’t hold up in court, so I just drove away.

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    7 Responses to “Why Shutters? Update 1”

    1. I think the owners (of both the shop and the house) should be made aware of your feelings. It can’t hurt. Can it? You may provide a public service we would all benefit from.

    2. Do it Toby. Do it. start the Shutter Liberation Army.

      first we’ll kidnap somebody and get them to do the dirty work.

    3. Not long after your other shutter post, my 14 year old son and I were walking our UCity neighborhood and he said several things that pleased me to no end. He commented on how all of our houses at least looked different from one another, even if the floorplans were really the same among some of them. He made teen-like but insightful comments about how door and window openings need to be the right size for the size and style of the house.

      But the best was this: “Mom, if shutters were originally for closing the outside of the windows, how come people put up shutters that don’t look like they’d work?” And yes, he referenced a house with too-small decorative shutters. I couldn’t explain. Tough questions from a teenager.

    4. I really like the idea of the Shutter Liberation Army. Sign me up for the Colorado Corps.
      My shutter pet peeve post:
      http://mgerwing.wordpress.com/2010/07/02/shutters-architects-pet-peeve-no-8/

    5. Toby, shutters are appropriate to the house in Kirkwood. The shutters are even functional there, making them very respectful and probably original. I hope they go back up!

    6. In the event a hurricane blows through, I would like to watch Jim shutter his windows with those rather thin bits of wood or poly.

    7. That’s the old Granite City Savings and Loan building in downtown Granite. I remember the rotating time-and-temperature sign they had there, as any number of banks had back in the 60s and 70s, when I grew up in GC.

      I agree, why put the shutters on there? Has anyone gone in to ask why? And if so, what was the reaction?