Design: Curlers at the Block Party

Archie Bunker tries to prettify his look-alike house

Between downtown, with its Promethean towers, and suburbia, with its manicured lawns, are the vast gray areas of the American city. This is where Archie Bunker lives.

Many of these gray areas are abandoned or decaying. But some of Archie's working-class neighborhoods are holding their ground. Most of these were houses built from the 1890s to the 1920s, when chimney-studded industrial plants belched soot over entire neighborhoods. Blue-collar housing consisted of look-alike cottages or row houses. But after World War II, in their own dogged kind of urban renewal, more affluent workers began to alter...

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