A Better Home (2004 Archive)

Res­i­dents typ­i­cal­ly con­tribute a com­bi­na­tion of labor and mon­ey to par­tic­i­pate in A Bet­ter Home . We share respon­si­bil­i­ty for the devel­op­ment and oper­a­tion of Mag­ic , includ­ing deliv­ery of many of its ser­vices for the ben­e­fit of the gen­er­al pub­lic. Three of us, des­ig­nat­ed Res­i­dent Fel­lows out of respect for the expe­ri­ence we have gar­nered in the fif­teen to twen­ty-plus years we have devot­ed to our ven­ture, shoul­ders an extra mea­sure of teach­ing, coun­sel­ing, and strate­gic planning.

A Bet­ter Home is a vehi­cle for ser­vice by Mag­ic to we who reside there, to those who vis­it to par­tic­i­pate in Mag­ic pro­grams, and to those who oth­er­wise ben­e­fit from the work of the corporation.

Over the past twen­ty years A Bet­ter Home has evolved to reflect the con­tri­bu­tions of the sev­er­al dozen peo­ple who have remained in res­i­dence for months or years, and the influ­ence of more than two thou­sand short-term vis­i­tors and guests from around the coun­try and the world. Cur­rent­ly about a dozen adults rang­ing in age from 20 to 60 and two chil­dren born in 1999 live togeth­er. For­mer res­i­dents and oth­er close asso­ciates live with­in a few blocks.

We wel­come oppor­tu­ni­ties to meet new peo­ple and to explore how we may inter­act to mutu­al advan­tage-and to fur­ther com­mon good. Fre­quent­ly we do this over our sup­per table, or in the con­text of one or anoth­er of the pro­grams and projects spon­sored by Magic .

Autumn 2004 News


Cur­rent­ly fel­lows Robin Bay­er, Hilary Hug, and David Schrom, asso­ciates Dave Muffly and Chris Tyler, interns Ronald Feicht­meier and Emi­ly Pick, the Mag­ic twins Jen and Hil (age 5) and their broth­er Harp­er (6 months) occu­py 381 Oxford. Liv­ing next door are affil­i­ates Kazuya Ishii, a Ful­bright Schol­ar from Japan study­ing Gand­hi’s thought as an alter­na­tive basis for devel­op­ment, who has been with us since Sep­tem­ber 2002 and plans to remain through August, and Mark Kurows­ki, an intel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty attor­ney who arrived in April with plans to remain for a year or more. Tine Mogensen, a doc­tor­al stu­dent in com­par­a­tive lit­er­a­ture, and Kasha Andrze­jew­s­ka, an Accen­ture con­sul­tant, were affil­i­ates for the first quar­ter, and we’ve sore­ly missed them since they depart­ed in April for Den­mark and Nige­ria respectively.

Renovation of 391 Oxford

We’ve done struc­tur­al repairs to foun­da­tion and fram­ing, replaced roof and gut­ters, rewired, replumbed, and re-sided the struc­ture, and we’re now insu­lat­ing and sheet-rock­ing. Tak­ing “green build­ing” a step fur­ther than usu­al, we’ve used sal­vaged waste for roof­ing (rem­nants of dis­con­tin­ued prod­uct) and for sid­ing and struc­tur­al repairs (red­wood sid­ing and dimen­sion­al lum­ber from homes being demol­ished). Our suc­cess­es in this project have been made pos­si­ble by gen­er­ous gifts of mate­r­i­al and ser­vices from John North­way, Clare Mal­one Pritchard, and Delia Laitin of Stoeck­er and North­way Archi­tects; Mark Mac­Don­ald of Hohbach-Lewin, Struc­tur­al Engi­neers; Jim Stein­metz of Reusable Lum­ber; Rod­ney Clark of Co-oper­a­tive Plumb­ing; Jor­dan Dienger of Jor­dan Homes and Remod­el­ing; Pacif­ic Wood Win­dows; Penin­su­la Raingut­ter; Al’s Roof­ing; SDI Insu­la­tion; Icynene Cor­po­ra­tion; Kristi­na and George Phipps; Amati LLP; Kent Don; and Jeff Hook.