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Architecture 🏛 Mid-century modern houses

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
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11,373
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52
Lately I've been running through some neighborhoods I've never really explored and when running through a typical suburban subdivision, I usually make an effort to eventually run out and back on every dead end and cul de sac. I was doing this yesterday morning through a really large neighborhood of '50s and '60s ranches. Most of the homes were pretty standard for this area, although quite a few had some sort of MCM flourish, then I turned down a very short cul de sac with 4 houses and 3 of them were real MCM gems.


Looking on Zillow, one of the houses was on the market a couple years ago and thankfully the pictures are still available. Here's a few standouts:

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The three houses in question were built in '56 and '57, and looking at some old tax documents, I have a feeling they were all built/designed together by the same team. The three also all have detached garages which is sort of out of place in this neighborhood. I wouldn't be surprised if they originally had carports.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
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I like going through the pictures and looking at design ideas. My house isn't MCM, but I think the furniture style would fit it.

A nice book about MCM buildings in my area. I think you can get you a better price then Amazon though. I think there is also a book about MCM homes and restoring them. I'd have to look, but I could find it if you want a copy.

A list of some buildings in the area:
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
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11,373
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This one probably isn't considered MCM (and looking at the tax information, it looks like it was actually built in the '80s) but it definitely caught my eye while I was out on a run this weekend.

It's on a very oddly shaped lot with a pretty steep slope and even though it's got about 3+ acres, much of it in the back is a pond and wetland. Still, it was a pretty cool house from the front:

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It's hard to see on Streetview, but the back of the house is just 3 or 4 stories of glass. Very cool looking:
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It doesn't appear that it's been on the market in years so unfortunately I cannot find any interior shots.
 

WSU MUP Student

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The front looks more like a school or something than a house.

That's what I thought too when I ran past that one (it actually looks very similar to our local community arts center).

___________________

On my run this morning I ran down a particular road I love: winding, hilly, and dirt in an otherwise built up area; plenty of large houses on large lots, a few of the houses are nice examples of MCM or MCM-inspired. Today there was a for sale sign at the end of a driveway. I couldn't see the house so of course I looked it up.

The tax information says it was built in '99 but it was designed by somebody from Yamasaki's firm, a couple of the bathrooms still look pretty 1950s or 1960s, and even comes with the quintessential 1950s feature - a bomb shelter! (Knowing how our county property tax records work, I have a feeling the '99 date was actually a big remodel/renovation.)

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The house looks pretty cool (and it has some fantastic gardens!), but it's 5,000+ square feet and, like the previous house I posted, it definitely has a bit of an institutional feel to it, especially from the exterior. Maybe there's some sort of maximum size for MCM and once it gets above that point, the homes begin to get more strange and impersonal

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Zillow used to have better (more recent?) pics of the interior of the house on Kinross but I think they got removed last time it sold and it somehow reverted to some of the older pics instead of having no pictures at all. And I actually really did the toy vehicle collection.

Actually, those are even newer pictures that I put up on https://www.zillow.com/homes/18050-Kinross-Ave-Beverly-Hills,-MI,-48025_rb/24584115_zpid The old pictures, from when we bought the house 4 years ago, are still up at https://www.trulia.com/p/mi/beverly-hills/18050-kinross-ave-beverly-hills-mi-48025--2325178315 I guess they're "better" in an early-90's ArtVan/Ikea stage-rental-furniture sense, but I like our crazy modern style better and am not into Facebook that much so Zillow is my only social media outlet. It gave me a warm-fuzzy to know that people notice the constantly updating Zillow non-listing ;-].
 
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Wow that was weird! A couple days after I posted that link to the Trulia site with the old pictures they were taken down after being there for 5 years! And the new pictures I've been uploading to Zillow are now on Trulia as well if you search it for the address of the house! It's got to be because of my posting here on this forum!
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
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Actually, those are even newer pictures that I put up on https://www.zillow.com/homes/18050-Kinross-Ave-Beverly-Hills,-MI,-48025_rb/24584115_zpid The old pictures, from when we bought the house 4 years ago, are still up at https://www.trulia.com/p/mi/beverly-hills/18050-kinross-ave-beverly-hills-mi-48025--2325178315 I guess they're "better" in an early-90's ArtVan/Ikea stage-rental-furniture sense, but I like our crazy modern style better and am not into Facebook that much so Zillow is my only social media outlet. It gave me a warm-fuzzy to know that people notice the constantly updating Zillow non-listing ;-].

Thank you for posting up the links to the newer photos. Still definitely one of my favorites in the area.

____

I was out on a run this weekend and ran down a street I had never been on in an already interesting neighborhood. The neighborhood was primarily developed with a bunch of random condominium (some attached and some detached) developments of all different architecture styles and sizes of homes. I would label the homes on this street as primarily international style (but that seems tangentially related to MCM) and from the exterior, it was a pretty cool sight. FWIW, there are a couple of homes from this street currently listed (like this one and this one) and the interiors are definitely not MCM, but it's still an interesting street.

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3,080
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26
From (online) Architectural Digest, November 16, 2020:

Step Inside This Meticulously Restored Midcentury Modern Masterpiece

Working with designer Oliver M. Furth, artist Mary Weatherford safeguards the future of a stunning modernist landmark in Los Angeles

A designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument, the 1948 house was designed by architects A. Quincy Jones and Whitney R. Smith. Escher Gune Wardena was the architecture firm of record for the restoration. Landscape by Native Sanctuary and Tivoli Landscape Design.

For MCM architecture enthusiasts, the (relatively short) article is worth reading in its entirety.

The restoration is so stunning that it may leave you wishing that the photography were of equally stunning quality.

(This may sound a bit harsh... until you see the photography.)
 

Doohickie

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That's...... too MCM if there's such a thing.

By way of explanation, maybe what I mean is that a good MCM house takes you bake to the Space Age and evokes the ethos of that time. This house bludgeons you over the head with it. Or like the difference between spiking the ball after a touchdown and performing a multiplayer choreographed dance routine in the end zone.
 
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This West Hollywood MCM must have been absolutely stunning before the Hollywood-elite interior decorators got to it:
(It still looks OK. I like the bookcase.)

Alternate universe:
"Sorry, all we we want is a carpet runner for our aging dog. Come back when you have one. Buh-bye."
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
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I was out running yesterday and ran past a gorgeous house I've run past hundreds of times before. It's hard to see from the road but from what I can tell it always looked like a gorgeous MCM home. I've never seen a for sale sign or anything but I was looking something up on Zillow this morning and decided to click on this particular house to see when it was built. It turns out the house was on the market back in '10 and '11 and the pictures and listing are still online!

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The house was built in 1955 and it turns out that it was built by Minoru Yamasaki. The photos don't do the exterior landscaping justice but the interior looks pretty nice too. At more than 5,000 sqft, I think this is definitely on the larger end of the typical MCM spectrum but it's actually one of the smaller houses in that particular neighborhood. The house is about a block away from the grounds of the Cranbrook Academy which is a mecca of MCM design.

An update on this Yamasaki house I posted back in 2020: I run past through here every other week or so and today I noticed a For Sale sign out front. I pulled it up on Zillow hoping there'd be new photos but unfortunately all that was available on there was a new exterior photo:

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The last listing I found said the house was more than 5,000 sqft but now it shows up as 3,100 sqft. They must have been including basement space before or something. I remember after seeing that it sold for about $650k last time around thinking to myself, "Maybe if it hits the market again, I can convince my wife that we should buy this architecturally significant house in this gorgeous neighborhood!" Talk about a pipe dream. It was listed a couple weeks ago at $1.6 million and is already showing up as pending. It looks like the current owners are in line for a nice profit on that house in just a decade! :ohreally:

Edit:

I should have gone to the listing agency's site instead of Zillow

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WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
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Points
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When I pulled up Zillow to look for photos of the above house, this house popped up as a new nearby listing in my area:

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The listing says it was built in 1951 and mentions that it's built in the shape of a "Z" with the bedrooms in one leg of the Z and the living area in the other. Sounds cool and like a perfect reason to use a drone to get an aerial shot but no dice. Oh well... Google maps gives the gist:

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The interior shots look pretty nice to me...

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Since the Yamasaki house is a) out of my price range, and b) sold, maybe I can convince my wife that we need this one instead?
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
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Points
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When I pulled up Zillow to look for photos of the above house, this house popped up as a new nearby listing in my area:

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The listing says it was built in 1951 and mentions that it's built in the shape of a "Z" with the bedrooms in one leg of the Z and the living area in the other. Sounds cool and like a perfect reason to use a drone to get an aerial shot but no dice. Oh well... Google maps gives the gist:

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The interior shots look pretty nice to me...

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Since the Yamasaki house is a) out of my price range, and b) sold, maybe I can convince my wife that we need this one instead?

Listed on the 25th.
Showing as pending as of the morning of the 26th.
 

Maister

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Anyone happen to catch CBS Sunday Morning yesterday? They had a segment on a Frank Lloyd Wright house being relocated/rebuilt.

 

Dan

Dear Leader
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Slightly off-topic: Colden, New York, deep in Buffalo's Southtowns, has more than its share of unusual residential architecture.

A million dollars will buy you this 2,800 square foot modern house.

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When I moved for the job I had now, this house was available for rent. It was too small for me and my dogs, so I passed.


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kms

Cyburbian
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Anyone happen to catch CBS Sunday Morning yesterday? They had a segment on a Frank Lloyd Wright house being relocated/rebuilt.

Those are near here. I haven't been yet, bit plan to schedule a tour in the fall.
 

WSU MUP Student

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When I moved for the job I had now, this house was available for rent. It was too small for me and my dogs, so I passed.


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That cube house is very cool. I occasionally daydream of buying some piece of property on a lake here or somewhere isolated Up North and putting up some minimalist house like this one. It seems like it would be relatively inexpensive to construct and would be nice and cozy when visiting on a snowy winter weekend.
 

Dan

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It seems like the nation's housing bubble hasn't hit Northeast Ohio.

Here's one from the suburb of Cleveland where I lived in the 00's. From the description:

Absolutely spectacular architectural masterpiece in the heart of South Euclid. The home was designed by the renowned architect Richard Fleischman, and was his private residence until 1984...The home seamlessly blends the indoors with the natural wooded surroundings. Glass, wood, stone and a wooded lot all come together in a true delight. The home is compromised of 7 different levels. The ground floor has a 2 car attached garage and elegant foyer, The next level boasts a beautiful formal living area with a stone fireplace. Continue up a 1/2 flight of steps and you will find the kitchen/ dining room level with sliding doors opening to patio. Floating between the living room level and kitchen level is a magnificent open library level. As you continue up a 1/2 flight of steps you enter a bedroom level with 2 bedrooms and an updated bathroom. The following 2 floors feature a Huge family room/ game room area overlooking the lower levels. The top level boasts a huge master suite and master bathroom with walk in closet. The home is built into a hillside so the master suite level opens to s deck and a wooded back yard area. The home is unique in every way and an absolute MUST SEE!!!

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$225,000.



Really. Not a typo. $225,000.
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
11,373
Points
52
It seems like the nation's housing bubble hasn't hit Northeast Ohio.

Here's one from the suburb of Cleveland where I lived in the 00's. From the description:



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$225,000.



Really. Not a typo. $225,000.

Looks like a pretty cool marriage between MCM and shed architecture.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
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Hard to tell what the entire house looks like, from the listing, but built in 1962, lakefront/steep slope, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2,698'², kind of time capsule-ish, $950K. Looking at the 3D tour, the place is going to need another million dollars of work for updates, repairs, and fixing floorplan weirdness.


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And ... uhhhhh ... a European detail, I guess, because they're not so uptight about things and stuff.

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WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
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^ So much potential but so much required work.

If I bought it, I'd work to convince my wife we need to keep that exposed toilet next to the hot tub. Ya know, it really helps with the flow of the room!

Alternate comment: Feng shui? More like feng sh!t!
 
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