A reader writes:
My husband and I are staunch conservatives who are passionate about the
Arts and Crafts style. Our house, built by a local Fort Wayne (Indiana)
judge in 1947 is not Arts and Crafts, but it seems to have the spirit of the
movement in its design and the quality of the materials with which it was
built. Although it is on a small city lot, I have laid out bungalow-esque
gardens, and we have done a lot of work inside the house.
I think an Arts and Crafts style house is far more in keeping with a
classically conservative philosophy than the cheaply built McMansions in the
suburbs. Unlike the McMansions, houses of this era are well-crafted of
sound materials and show a respect for tradition. They are firmly rooted in
the best values of the past, but also are very humanistic in the Renaissance
sense–like the DaVinci drawing, mankind is their measure.
The hearth certainly is the focal point of such houses, and the warmth of
family that gathers around the hearth. In the fall, my husband and I go to
the woods with other members of our family to cut and split firewood.
(Downed trees only–we’re pretty crunchy–and the ashes go in my compost
bin). Our hearth has a real fire, earned through hard work out in the woods;
not one of those crappy gas logs that seem to illuminate the lack of taste
and soul in the households that elected them. I have a hard time
understanding how anyone with a decent education and knowledge of history,
art and culture could consent–much less eagerly elect–to live in the
suburbs, in houses as shoddily constructed and flawed as the logic of a