To withdraw like a monk and live like a prince--this was the purpose of the original creators of the suburb. They proposed in effect to create an asylum, in which they could, as individuals, overcome the chronic defects of civilization while still commanding at will the privileges and benefits of urban society. This utopia proved to be, up to a point, a realizable one: so enchanting that those who contrived it failed to see the fatal penalty attached to it--the penalty of popularity, the fatal inundation of a mass movement whose very numbers would wipe out the goods each individual sought for his own domestic circle, and worse, replace them with a life that was not even a cheap counterfeit, but rather the grim antithesis.
--Lewis Mumford, The City in History
photograph: Kyle Cassidy