McMansion Hell Website Under Attack by Zillow

Video screen capture. McMansion Hell

It was funny, it was educational, and it is, at least for the moment, gone.

UPDATE: There has been a settlement between Zillow and Kate Wagner. Read more in McMansion Hell update: Electronic Frontier Foundation to the rescue

McMansion Hell was a hilarious website run by Kate Wagner, that skewered all the terrible, terrible designs of big American homes. It was funny but did important work. We have noted on TreeHugger that as much as 30% of heat loss can be caused by bad design, and McMansion Hell was a monument to bad design.

But according to Gizmodo, it got a bit too much attention with an article in the Washington Post:

“[McMansions] were built to sell in the year they were selling, not for future generations,” Wagner told the Post. “These houses are kind of disfigured, because they were built from the inside out, to have the most amenities to sell faster.”

Zillow tells Gizmodo that it does not want to kill the site, but that it has "a legal obligation to enforce the agreements we make with the people who provide listings on Zillow." But many critics call this argument specious or use stronger words that we cannot publish.

It is a complicated issue, and Kate has now issued a somewhat conciliatory statement. I certainly hope that this gets resolved; McMansion Hell is funny as hell but also does important work.