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Monday, February 23, 2015

RIVER STILT HOUSES, MAPLETON OREGON


 Stilt houses --  probably Far East
photo credit: FACADE.

I've seen photos of stilt houses since I was in elementary school. They had a certain emotional pull for me -- how could anyone want to live on stilts? Well that of course was my young Midwestern mind at work -- unaware of the housing needs of people around the world.  

 House built of stilts
Mapleton, Oregon

However, now in my older years I have recently had the experience of seeing real stilt houses here in Oregon -- just about ten miles away along the Siuslaw River. The river does occasionally flood along certain parts of the river. So folks have adopted this ancient concept of building on stilts to stay dry in case of a flood.


House built on stilts
Mapleton, Oregon

Maybe some day along our two coasts we will begin to notice many houses on stilts as the oceans rise -- as predicted with global warming.



21 comments:

  1. I can't imagine living like this! But if you live near a flooding river, I guess it just makes sense.

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    1. Melissa -- Building a house on stilts would seem to add quite a cost to the overall construction of the house. Probably flood insurance would be expensive too. thanks -- barbara

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  2. When Sir Christopher Wren designed Trinity College Library in Cambridge he chose that kind of design too; to keep the books safe if the river should flood.

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    1. John -- I took a look at Trinity College in Cambridge on Wiki and saw that it certainly was built on piers yet its presentation stood withing the overall oneness of its beautiful design. Nice that you pointed this out about the library.-- thanks -- barbara

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  3. I'm not used to houses on "high heels" either, but I can absolutely see the point in cases such as these. And some were very elegant and practical at the same time.

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    1. visualnorway -- I like your reference to these homes as being on "high heels." They are practical when there is a flood but I wouldn't like the long climb up to bring groceries in on a regular basis. -- thanks-- barbara

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  4. Now visiting the west coast of Florida, and of course, many old and new houses on stilts and most condos have parking only on the ground floor. The hurricanes here are the reason, but they also have rising waters during regular storms now.

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    1. Tabor -- So the Florida coast has homes on stilts. I imagine hurricanes would flood these homes along the coast. I love water be it coastal or inland lakes/rivers. But I still would have a difficult time thinking about living on stilts. Perhaps one would get used to it. thanks -- barbara

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  5. An interesting thought -- I can imagine stilted houses being adopted here on Cape Cod where the houses near the beach could be flooded at high tide, especially if the ocean rises a few inches. In fact, I had lunch not long ago at a restaurant on the beach in Provincetown where most of the dining room is on stilts and high tide makes it seem to be sitting on the water.

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    1. June -- It seems that coastal storms and river floods are the two areas that would be appropriate for stilted homes. So many times now we see battered homes in the news from storms -- such as those located at the New Jersey shore and New Orleans. What an experience for you to be sitting in that restaurant you mentioned at high tide. -- barbara

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  6. Great posting, and that is such a good thing to do when in flood prone areas...my grandfather's house he built in Galveston was on stilts, but then they closed in the ground floor eventually. I saw the house in the 70s, wonder if it's still standing.

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    1. Barbara -- Not that familiar with Galveston but I take it it is near the coast in Texas. I wonder why they enclosed the stilted area -- had the threat of flooding subsided? Perhaps someday you will return to Galveston and can check out the area of your grandfather's house. thanks -- barbara

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  7. I know there are many such houses along the barrier reefs along the east coast.Storms seem to wipe them away every decade or so, and they are rebuilt.

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    1. Joanne -- I am beginning to realize from comments that we have many places in the U.S. where stilted houses reside. I imagine with the climate changes these homes you mention will suffer water damage more often. thanks -- barbara

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  8. Terrific photos, Barbara. I often wonder what kinds of challenges/benefits would be associated with these kinds of houses. I would love to put an art studio on a little flat spot near the big creek behind our house, but it often floods in the spring, so I have actually contemplated a treehouse/stilt house design.

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    1. Starr -- Your own art studio on your creek sounds terrific. I can understand though your concern for flooding. When I read your comment I checked out tree house stilt design online. If you haven't checked out Googles images for "tree house stilt design" I would suggest it -- they have some great ideas. thanks -- barbara

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  9. Our winter vacation home in Homosassa, Florida was on "stilts" . Situated on a creek less than a mile from the Gulf and 2 to 3 ft. above the Gulf where hurricanes were known to come from a small flood after a heavy night rain surrounded us. The Mrs. was ready to head back to frozen Minnesota. "Not yet", I replied.....:)

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    1. troutbirder -- Oh I can understand Mrs Troutbirder's concern. Being surrounded by water when you are in a house rather than a boat would be scary. -- barbara

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  10. That is true, perhaps they will need to be houses of the future. I too remember in elementary school being fascinated by this type of housing, I think associating it with places like Thailand. I too am intrigued by houses and homes. Sometimes I'm awe struck by how many homes there are in the world...and, lastly, I am always grateful to have a home that shelters and nurtures me...Your photos of these colorful stilt houses is just lovely!

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    1. Rita -- I think a home that gives us shelter and nourishes us gives us strength and stamina to survive most tribulations. Most of us in the U. S. are fortunate to have these amenities -- yet there are still many folks in the U.S. who don't -- the street people. If we could only solve this problem of homelessness this would be a better country. Like you I have always been fascinated by houses. Although they are inanimate they do contain stories. thanks -- barbara

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  11. Interesting colour and architecture.

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