Mid-Century Madness: Amazing Modern Homes

  • Mid-Century Madness: Amazing Modern Homes

    Starting in the late 1930s and continuing into the 1960s, modern minded architects in the U.S. and elsewhere began to rethink and re-conceive the way in which they designed and built private residences and other structures. Thus was born the mid-century modern movement. Devotees and pioneers of the style discovered that building with an exoskeleton of steel not only tossed traditional building techniques on their ear, but allowed for the wide open interior spaces and vast walls of glass that came to characterize the mid-century modern movement. While the modern style certainly had its devotees, it never achieved main stream acceptance and as a result many mid-century modern homes fell into a state of neglect and disrepair. In the early to mid 1990s the mid-century modern style had a resurgence that continues today. All over the country design oriented people rediscovered the pared down elegance and simplicity of the style and began buying up and renovating the houses back to their former mid-century modern glory. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    Texas Modern
  • Texas Modern

    Most folks probably don’t think of the great state of Texas as a hot bed of mid-century modern architecture, but it kind of is. In fact, urban centers like Dallas and Austin have very sophisticated architectural histories. In Austin, a mid-century modern house built in 1953 by Austin architect R. Earl Dillard recently arrived on the market with an asking price of $895,000. Dillard — an acolyte of early modernist Richard Neutra — built the redwood and glass house in the Balcones/Highland Park West neighborhood as his personal family home. Photo Credit: Modern Austin
    Modestly Modern
  • Modestly Modern

    The residence was originally conceived and built as a modest but unapologetically modern 1,250 square-foot residence with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The Dillards, who occupied the property until the mid-1980s, expanded the house in 1969, adding a glass-walled master bedroom with an office space for the architect below. Photo Credit: Modern Austin
    Small Changes
  • Small Changes

    The current owners have made sensitive alterations, restorations and expansions to the house that now spans 2,907 square feet and includes three bedrooms and two and ½ updated bathrooms. The long living/dining room area was left largely untouched in terms of style but the floors were replaced with trendy cork tiles and the floor-to-ceiling sliders were replaced with more energy-efficient aluminum-framed windows that maintain the architectural integrity of the original house. Photo Credit: Modern Austin
    A Kitchen Touch-Up
  • A Kitchen Touch-Up

    One of the beefs some people have with mid-century modern homes are the small, galley-style kitchens that appear in many deisgns. The current owners have expanded the kitchen of this Austin house to include a 15-foot-long island, pantry and laundry room. All-new flat-fronted cabinetry and white counter tops keep with the clean lines and unadorned vibe of the original house. Photo Credit: Modern Austin
    A 'Lot' of Space
  • A 'Lot' of Space

    The approximately half-acre wooded lot backs up to preserved land and has been terraced with fieldstone pulled from the site and planted with drought-tolerant plants. Several terraces and patios ring the house and the original redwood decking was replaced with more durable ipe. The original redwood beams that allowed for the house to be cantilevered have been replaced with stronger steel. With all the recent work, this mid-century modern is ready for the 21st century. For more information contact Sloan Houser at (512)431-2617 or visit the listing. Photo Credit: Modern Austin
    Lautner Lovliness
  • Lautner Lovliness

    If the modernist movement didn’t start in southern California, it certainly took root there. In 1949, much-lauded modernist John Lautner built the Schaffer Residence, a redwood, glass and concrete home in Glendale, Calif., that opens itself through vast walls of glass to the oak forest that surrounds it. The two-bedroom and 1½-bathroom modern residence has been meticulously restored to its original design and is currently listed with an asking price of $1,495,000. For more information contact Crosby Doe (310)275-2222 at Crosby Doe Associates. Photo Credit: Architecture For Sale
    Pretty in Paulsbo
  • Pretty in Paulsbo

    About an hour outside of Seattle on a rustic and wooded five-acre waterfront lot in Poulsbo, Wash., is the Dr. K. Heller Residence designed in 1965 by Perry Johansen, one of the leading architects of the modernist movement in the northwest. The 2,000 square-foot house, currently listed at $1.2 million, has two bedrooms, two bathrooms and sits high off the ground in order to take advantage of the expansive views of the pristine Hood Canal. There are white terrazzo floors throughout the house and the fireplace and front door were custom designed by a local artist. For more information contact Mark Lowder (310)275-2222 at Crosby Doe Associates. Photo Credit: Architecture For Sale
    An Organic Denver Delight
  • An Organic Denver Delight

    In the mid-1960s, architect Charles Deaton designed and built a sculptural shell-shaped residence in the foothills outside Denver that challenges the very notion of what a house should look like. The Sculptured House has recently undergone a massive renovation and expansion — also designed by Deaton — that added 5,000 square feet to the residence. There are a total of four bedrooms and four bathrooms between the main house and guest house but there are only two right angles in the entire house. Photo Credit: Architecture For Sale
    And It's a Movie Star Too!
  • And It's a Movie Star Too!

    A circular elevator, featured in Woody Allen’s film Sleeper, services all five levels of the carefully renovated residence. Deluxe modern materials such as glass tile and terrazzo flooring that took eight months to install are some of the more interesting features. Also, the home includes custom cabinetry built from Tamo Japanese Ash, custom glass counter tops and 5,500 square feet custom-cut Colorado Red Sandstone for the terrace. The property is being offered at $7,995,000, a price that includes the current owner's extensive collection of mid-century modern furniture. For more information contact Rollie Jordan at (303)601-9055 or check out the listing. Photo Credit: Architecture For Sale
    A Rocky Mountain Shangri-La
  • A Rocky Mountain Shangri-La

    Listed at $489,900 and sited on three pine-covered acres in the Rocky Mountains town of Parker, Colo., is a seven-bedroom and three-bathroom residence dubbed Shangri-La that is designed by architect/owner Emilio Florino. The sleek, two-story house was built with classic mid-century elements such as floor-to-ceiling glass walls, cantilevered decks and an open and flexible floor plan. Many of the home's original mid-century details have been retained including light fixtures and appliances. For more information contact Craig Mayer at (303)331-4508 or check out the listing. Photo Credit: Architecture For Sale
    Bel Air Beauty
  • Bel Air Beauty

    Tucked into one of the many rugged canyons that wind up from the swanky Bel Air area of Los Angeles is a boxy but airy residence designed by Case Study architect Craig Ellwood in 1949. The renovated and glass-wrapped residence, listed at $885,000 and known as Broughton House, was built using early modular construction techniques and includes three bedrooms, two bathrooms and entire walls of curtain windows that offer unobstructed views of the surrounding hillsides. For more information contact Crosby Doe or David Philp (310)275-2222 at Crosby Doe Associates. Photo Credit: Architecture For Sale
    Marina Modern
  • Marina Modern

    San Francisco’s Marina District is best known, architecturally speaking, for its Mediterranean and bay-windowed Victorians that line the streets. However, uber-modernist Richard Neutra designed and built a glass-fronted, two-flat building in the Marina District in 1938 that is currently on the market with an asking price of $3.95 million. The Schiff House was featured in Architectural Record in 1939 and was in several publications including Sunset Magazine in 2005 after an exhaustive 10-year renovation by its current architect/owner. Photo Credit: Hill & Co. Real Estate
    Ahead of Its Time
  • Ahead of Its Time

    Although built in 1938, the architect’s choice of an open floorplan, wide expanses of glass that obliterate the visual transition between inside and outside and use of industrial finishes seem thoroughly modern. The lower flat spans 1,724 square feet with two bedrooms and two bathrooms and the upper flat has 2,530 square feet on two floors with three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a vast roof terrace that offers a quintessential view of the Golden Gate Bridge. There is also a four-car garage and a dumbwaiter for lifting packages from the garage to each of the buildings floors. For more information contact Caroline Kahn Werboff (415)321-4260 at Hill & Co. Real Estate. Photo Credit: Hill & Co. Real Estate
    An Atomic Ranch in Charlotte
  • An Atomic Ranch in Charlotte

    In the somewhat unexpected location of Charlotte, N.C., a fully renovated “atomic ranch” built in 1961 is currently listed at $319,000. The interior spaces were updated and upgraded but still retain the look and feel of the original design. There are three bedrooms and two bathrooms in the main house and a detached guesthouse, which matches the home’s mid-century modern design, has an additional bedroom, bathroom and kitchenette. For more information contact Gail Jordan (704)957-9107 at Modern Charlotte Realty. Photo Credit: HREO Modern Charlotte Realty
    Modern in the Suburbs
  • Modern in the Suburbs

    California-based real estate developer Joseph Eichler built scads of classic California modern ranch homes all over the state. In San Rafael, an upscale suburb just over the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, a pristine, double-A-frame style Eichler original is currently listed at $885,000. The 1,942 square-foot house, built in 1963, has five bedrooms, two bathrooms, a large atrium with beamed ceilings and an updated kitchen and bathrooms. For more information contact Renee Adelmann (415)EICHLER at Marin Modern Real Estate. Photo Credit: Marin Modern Real Estate
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