Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions for Whittier
“Life takes place!” the late architect Charles W. Moore declared. He insisted that good places matter, “As everywhere seems to look more and more like nowhere, we seek out places that make us feel as though we are somewhere.”
There is a timeless Sense of Place about neighborhoods of the David Bagwell Company imparted by the natural and constructed environment. Each one is an evocative setting established for families to realize what Wallace Stegner called “the place where during the best time of our lives, friendship had its home and happiness its headquarters.”
Place resonates at the spiritual level, R.C. Stedman explains in Toward a Social Psychology of Place, “The quality of the physical environment underpins both place attachment and satisfaction.”
Stegner’s protégé, farmer/philosopher Wendell Berry, famously said, “If you don’t know where you are, you don’t know who you are.” Stegner believed that one knows a place from experience. A person identifies with particular geography through remembered history: being there in seasons, loving its mornings and its evenings, experiencing epiphanies in situ, valuing it for the investment of labor and feeling that a family has put into it -- all monumented by copse, crag, or craft.
“A sense of place results gradually and unconsciously from inhabiting a landscape over time, becoming familiar with its physical properties, accruing history within its confines,” explains Kent Rydon, Professor of American and New England studies. On this theme, Stegner elaborated, “Some are born in their place, some find it, some realize after long searching that the place they left is the one they have been searching for. But whatever their relation to it, it is made a place only by slow accrual like a coral reef.”
The bedrock of place in David Bagwell Company neighborhoods is the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, called “CCRs”. These CCRs are recorded in the Tarrant County public records “…for the purpose of enhancing and protecting the value, attractiveness and desirability of lots and houses and which shall run with the land and (are) binding on...and inure to the benefit of each owner thereof.”
A neighborhood’s CCRs may be understood as its “Declaration of Interdependence”, which ensures compatibility among neighbors in practical ways. For example, by establishing a plan for surface flow of storm and irrigation water, CCRs prevent one property from impinging on a neighbor.
Quality assurance is another objective of CCRs. High ideals for design, construction, landscaping, and general property maintenance are realized through aesthetic guidelines that the neighborhood architectural control committee, established through the CCRs, promulgates and applies in evaluating information that is submitted and approved before construction begins.
While some may feel “The devil is in the details”, renowned architect Mies van der Rohe demurred. “God is in the details,” he declared. Author John Mason wrote in An Enemy Called Average, “Mediocrity is a place bordered on the north by compromise, on the south by indecision, on the east by past thinking, and on the west by lack of vision.” Fidelity of implementation is a hallmark of David Bagwell Company neighborhoods. As country singer Aaron Tippin put it, “You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.” Similarly, Stegner said, “It is the beginning of wisdom when you recognize that the best you can do is choose which rules you want to live by, and it’s persistent and aggravated imbecility to pretend you can live without any.”