If you're a traditional design lover add Poundbury, England to your travel wish list. The latest issue of Travel & Leisure did an article on this small urban extension in England on the outskirts of Dorchester in Dorset county.
Championed by Prince Charles, this suburb is a master planned community that adheres to strict building covenants that require architectural designs embracing only traditional ideals.
The narrow streets are lined with neo Georgian , Victorian and Arts and Crafts style homes. Even though the oldest buildings are only sixteen years old, by design they look as though they have stood in the countryside forever.
Many facades are covered in vines and slate roofs have moss growing on them. Elements of modernity are hidden from view; no satellite dishes, meter boxes, exhaust vents on the sides of buildings or garbage cans are to be seen.
Of course, not everyone is as excited about Poundbury. Modern design architects have complained that Prince Charles is thwarting a democratic planning process by insisting on traditional building designs in the town.
Critics have derisively referred to it as Charleyville. Others describe the facades as resembling a Dickensian workhouse which were once found in Victorian towns.
Personally, I love the idea and would love to live here. I have a dislike for the planned communities I have seen here in California which die hard urban-ites refer to as "beige" neighborhoods. What I especially like about Poundbury is knowing you get a historic look with period architectural elements without the repair or renovation challenges. The best of both worlds.