Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Old North Upkeep 6: Discussion (235)

SIXTH OF SIX
When I began researching this series, I envisioned the concluding post as a substantial treatment of the features, causes and consequences of ON upkeep.

But, as time has gone by and I have contemplated the data we see in tables 1 through 8, my zeal for interpretative conclusions has waned.

I now lean, instead, to offering a single concept related to these data and otherwise leaving interpretation to readers.


That single idea is heterogeneity, which one dictionary defines as “the quality of being diverse and not comparable in kind.” Another dictionary defines heterogeneous as “made up of parts that are different.”

Below, I offer a list of some ways in which we observe heterogeneity in ON.

As you read this list, you might keep in mind that the three neighborhoods I reported as scoring higher than ON on upkeep (College Park, Elmwood and Reed Drive) are also considerably less heterogeneous.

1. In ON, residential buildings were constructed over the better part of a century--some as early as 1913 (and one in 1896) and some only recently--although most went up in the 1920s through the 1950s.

2. Some structures were built to be apartment rentals and others were intended for “single family” ownership, among other configurations.

3. Residences and residential buildings are very different in sheer size, quality of construction, and architectural style.

4. The ON area is significantly penetrated by several forms of non-residential buildings and other structures.

5. ON residents are of quite varied ages and family formations--featuring student renter groups, single adult households, and relatively few traditional families, among other configurations.

6. Residents vary in economic and occupational and social class status (but ON racial and ethnic homogeneity is quite evident).

7. As can be inferred from the observational data presented in previous posts, residents are of varied and distinctive tastes in how a residence should appear and be kept up.

8. Residents are of varied orientation to ON qua ON, varying from obliviousness or numbness as regards the area, through consciousness of and concern for it, up to contempt for the very idea of caring about it at all.

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These and additional dimensions of ON heterogeneity make up a complex stew of variables. I leave it to the reader to decide the degree to which any of them are or are not related to interpreting ON level of upkeep.