This house, not far from where I live now, was built around 20 years ago. The man who had it built for himself and his family never moved in, and it has been on the market far more than it has been lived in during those years.
The house angered neighborhood residents, who were not able to keep it from being constructed. Before it was even completed, bricks were thrown through the windows. The pattern of vandalizing continued, and for the first decade of its existence, I never saw this house without at least one broken window.
The house is not located in a posh historic district where property values are protected against such "eyesores" as tree houses, lawn gnomes and columns inconsistent with the columns of neighboring houses. It is on a street where several other modern houses stand. This is a neighborhood where it is okay to be different. A little different.
But not like this. This house is often referred to as "the spaceship house" and is just too weird, apparently, to be left alone. Over the years, I've heard lots of people say it should never have been built; I've heard a few, too, who "understand" just why others might see it as deserving of vandalism and defacement. After all, to be this different, and for no good reason, someone must be trying to prove something.
Social norms, and sometimes architectural norms, are enforced through the use of sanctions. These consequences apply not only to the individual in question, but also to associates. In the case of odd houses, this means neighbors who might share in spillover victimization or at least see their property values decrease.
In the case of odd people, sanctions can range from sideways looks all the way through murder. Potential friendships are discouraged by fear of declining "cool" values; everyone who has ever been 12 knows about this. Talking to somebody "weird" makes one an instant suspect, and few teens or pre-teens can afford the tax levied for such associations. For many, this fear of contagious stigma persists into adulthood, contributing to the myth of difference as a moral issue, and creating a society in which the few throw bricks and the many stand by quietly and "understand".