I was, at one point, using the term “co-housing for the antisocial” to describe my vision for the complex, but some folks didn’t get it.
I “get” it completely and have been saving a pair of quotes for months, waiting for an update on that project.
Roark explained his plan. If what they wished to build was an unusual summer resort for people of moderate incomes — as they had announced — then they should realize that the worst curse of poverty was the lack of privacy; only the very rich or the very poor of the city could enjoy their summer vacations; the very rich, because they had private estates; the very poor, because they did not mind the feel and smell of one another’s flesh on public beaches and public dance floors; the people of good taste and small income had no place to go, if they found no rest or pleasure in herds. Why was it assumed that poverty gave one the instincts of cattle? Why not offer these people a place where, for a week or a month, at small cost, they could have what they wanted and needed? He had seen Monadnock Valley. It could be done. Don’t touch those hillsides, don’t blast and level them down. Not one huge ant pile of a hotel — but small houses hidden from one another, each a private estate, where people could meet or not, as they pleased. Not one fish-market tank of a swimming pool — but many private swimming pools, as many as the company wished to afford — he could show them how it could be done cheaply. Not one stock-farm corral of tennis courts for exhibitionists — but many private tennis courts. Not a place where one went to meet “refined company” and land a husband in two weeks — but a resort for people who enjoyed their own presence well enough and sought only a place where they would be left free to enjoy it.
The men listened to him silently. He saw them exchanging glances once in a while. He felt certain that they were the kind of glances people exchange when they cannot laugh at the speaker aloud. But it could not have been that — because he signed a contract to build the Monadnock Valley summer resort, two days later.
[Steven Mallory]: “Did you see their ads — the few they’ve let dribble out? They say all the things you told them, about rest, peace and privacy — but how they say it! Do you know what those ads amount to in effect? ‘Come to Monadnock Valley and be bored to death.’ It sounds — it actually sounds as if they were trying to keep people away.”
“I don’t read ads, Steve.”
But within a month of its opening every house in Monadnock Valley was rented. The people who came were a strange mixture: society men and women who could have afforded more fashionable resorts, young writers and unknown artists, engineers and newspapermen and factory workers. Suddenly, spontaneously, people were talking about Monadnock Valley. There was a need for that kind of a resort, a need no one had tried to satisfy. The place became news, but it was private news; the papers had not discovered it. Mr. Bradley had no press agents; Mr. Bradley and his company had vanished from public life. One magazine, unsolicited, printed four pages of photographs of Monadnock Valley, and sent a man to interview Howard Roark. By the end of summer the houses were leased in advance for the following year.