A Better Home

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.