NEW YORK: It's Got to Be Different

As a West'chester County bedroom for Manhattan, suburban Scarsdale (pop. 14,500) is fiercely jealous of its upper-middlebrow status. Its streets curve and are often called lanes; it scorns the row house. Even the ugliest of its houses have what real-estate agents like to call "character."

About a year ago, Builder Sam Berger set out to change the face of Scarsdale. Berger was modern. His new houses were colonial ranch types and they looked fine, but they also looked just alike. On Scarsdale's matrons, driving by, they produced the effect of a visual stutter.

Property owners muttered darkly. Last week they flocked...

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