McMansion or Not?

Is Your House Too Fat?

McMansion or Not?
Photo By John Anderson

Web site, Web site on my desk,

Which McMansion is the ugliest?

Your neighbors think it's ugly. You think it's hot.

They say it's a McMansion. You say it's not.

There's only one way to know for sure:

The official 'Austin Chronicle' Bloat-o-Meter!

Sure, here at the Chronicle – where 60 of us fugitives from Better Homes and Gardens are crammed into a Frontage Road, bunker-chic brick hovel not big enough for Adolph, Eva, and their doomed pet schnauzers – we understand why your busy lifestyle demands 3,500 square feet to keep clean, fill with stuff, and dust on a semiregular basis. We know that the scraggly hippie next door is just festering in some long-stale bohotopia when people survived without built-in wine racks, 12-foot ceilings, and proper closets. Prove your neighbor wrong. Starting today, at, you can upload pictures of your home and get the skinny on your obese abode, via public ratings on our patented Bloat-o-Meter. The people will judge: Is your house pleasantly plump or garishly outsized?

And hey, if you're that hippie next door, vindicate your moral outrage: Submit the neighborhood eyesore to the People's Court of Austin-Weird Taste. The person who submits the photo of the ugliest McMansion – as judged by readers' scores on the Bloat-o-Meter – will receive a native Texas shade tree – so that in 60 or 70 years you'll no longer have to see Chateau du Screw You.

On the other hand, if your private Versailles is chosen the McMansionest McMansion of all, let us know. Upon providing proof of ownership, you too will receive a native Texas tree, ideally with shallow roots. Assuming you can find a place to plant it.

So steer your Escalade-sized browser to, where you can upload your favorite photo specimen of ugly or exquisite contemporary Austin architecture, or just vote and answer the question on everybody's minds: Am I McMansion or not?

The Chronicle News staff

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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