History does not record who coined the term remuddling — a play on words typically applied to insensitive remodeling of vintage buildings – but what architectural, linguistic, and legal research does document is that its use in print goes back at least 74 years to a jibe by architectural critic Lewis Mumford (see Remuddling History) and the concept much farther (see Morris and Grimthorpe). Since then, remuddling has become an increasingly mordant part of the American vocabulary for describing misguided exterior alterations, quick-and-dirty major repairs, lost windows, incongruous and unsympathetic additions, or clueless “restoration” work on historic houses as well as other structures — especially through the building boom of the 1990s early 2000s.

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