What kind of person would own such a house?

What kind of person would want to own a house that is an architectural nightmare and has three bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, three kitchens, eight dishwashers, 13 porches, and an elevator? The same kind of person who would own 10 yachts, because the goal of such people is ostentatious wealth. Yes, we are talking about the Betsy DeVos, the education secretary who has been working to undermine public schools. This is merely her summer home, somewhere that has easy access to her summer yachts.

Kate Wagner dissects this monstrosity of a home as part of her series on McMansion Hell, house that are an abomination in almost every respect, architecturally and socially. Wagner provides the answer to the question posed in the title as to what kind of person would own such a house.

In America, the rich get richer, and the poor have to beg the federal government to forgive the debts they owe to predatory for-profit colleges run by the rich who keep on getting richer. What do the rich do with all their money? Build horrific monstrosities with eight dishwashers and dismantle the public school system.

Architecture is never a vacuum. This house sucks, but like all buildings, it is a reflection of both the people and the broader culture that make building it both possible and desirable. Those, too, irrefutably suck.


  1. jrkrideau says

    What kind of person would own such a house?

    Someone with pathological insecurities?

    Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his modest 1,100+ room Presidential Complex come to mind.

    There are probably others. If one has it, flaunt it? Madly expensive yachets seem in the same category.

    Versailles can be compared but Louis had a very sound reason for such a complex (overawe and subject the nobility) and in general it worked.

    Betsy de Vos’s building signals total dysfunction. Something like the Vanderbilt mansion in South Carolina (?), wild beyond Louis conception, was intended as a place to live. The De Vos property is bling and nasty bling at that.

  2. says

    Epicurus argued that the search for unlimited wealth or power is an error brought on by mistaking the means for the ends. When someone does that, nothing is “enough.”

  3. machintelligence says

    Some is good, more is better, and too much is just about right. What could be more American?

  4. bmiller says

    The sad thing is that this monstrosity is actually better than 90% of the dreck that the upper middle class suburban nabobs (the real source of Trump’s victory) like in gated communities throughout the land. I still remember the cheap, stucco PURPLE thing one family built in our gated enclave here in Solano County. Ugh. Just ugh. So CHEAP, as well.

  5. adetoro says

    we have people with of such caliber in Africa and Nigeria in particular as all they do is to syphon the masses money through their elected nor appointment position and live as a Lord on earth.
    it sucks!

  6. Tunchi says

    This is small compared to the ones our greedy politicians build in Nigeria. The kind you get lost or miss your way while in the building.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *